Narcissus by Caravaggio depicts Narcissus gazing at his own reflection. / Public Domain Photo Reproduction

“I wonder if the course of narcissism through the ages would have been any different had Narcissus first peered into a cesspool. He probably did.” Frank O’Hara, Early Writing

It happened yesterday]
[or maybe it was tomorrow
the days of narcissism rising when
trust was no longer a badge of honor
but an illusionary tool of demigods, those
surveilling who use identity as a weapon and
some simulacrum of joy as a pawn in the
stake-outs of a tech-pop culture that had lost
all rootedness in the old mythologies, replaced
poets and cats, history’s traditional witnesses,
with social networks, cameras, data collection,
even our cell phones became hostages to
the oligarchs and algorithms, and anyone who
was no one became the unknown known, ultimately
for terror – Maybe! – surely for merchandising
the sanctity of toys, six-pack abs, the manipulation
of values, the merging of religions and mammon
for the common unGood, nursing an underbelly of
spiritual poverty and maybe – Maybe! –  we did
get the leadership we deserve, given our own
lack of caution – “I have nothing to hide.” – and
our rampant self-aggrandizement on Facebook,
Twitter and – Yes! – our iBlogs

© 2019, Jamie Dedes


Narcissism has been around since day one, but it is on rise? Is it more entrenched in culture?  If so, how and why?  Tell us in your poem/s and …

  • please submit your poem/s by pasting them into the comments section and not by sharing a link
  • please submit poems only, no photos, illustrations, essays, stories, or other prose

Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published.

IF this is your first time joining us for The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-). These are partnered with your poem/s on first publication.

PLEASE send the bio ONLY if you are with us on this for the first time AND only if you have posted a poem (or a link to one of yours) on theme in the comments section below.  

Deadline:  Monday, July 29 by 8 pm Pacific Daylight Time. If you are unsure when that would be in your time zone, check The Time Zone Converter.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you.

You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.


Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Five by Jamie Dedes, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review (July 2019)
Upcoming in digital publications:
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 2019)

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a virtual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor. Among others, I’ve been featured on The MethoBlog, on the Plumb Tree’s Wednesday Poet’s Corner, and several times as Second Light Live featured poet.

Email me at for permissions, reprint rights, or comissions.

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton


  1. Every time she took a step towards him, he took two away
    ‘stay at a distance’ the silent message cut across flat space
    every time she lost grace but ‘Man is Master’ He commands
    ‘he has been taught to’, not obey nor cooperate nor guide

    the new car, first day on road, hit a child, blood on the bonnet
    and shirt cuff, then continuously hit other objects till the top
    went from cherry to white, ‘I know how to drive,it’s the other
    person’s fault’ running across the road without looking,head in air

    ‘Bring me my mirror’ tell me how best I look at this age too
    no feeling of infirmity,I can sing and dance and eat and drink
    ‘who says I had the quad bypass’ see I can getup without support
    and walk a mile and throw the ball and lift the box full to the brim

    this is my room, this, my car, this my flower vase, this my cupboard
    I always order chicken for my meals, usually with kebabs and ‘naan’
    ‘bread?it gets stuck in my throat’, and my timings for eating are regular
    why, it is my dinner time and you people are having tea at 7.p.m.’ Uh’

    the heat behind her head grew stronger, the spell like ‘mantra woke her up
    ‘he was praying’ ‘go out go out’ a voice warned, ‘I am with my God’ as I wish’
    he said pushing the heater closer, ‘God is One and we all pray to Him, He hears
    Alas’ man does not,’not listening is the thing that hurts’ not listening with a sneer’

    The eyes, his eyes, fill his needs, all day, ‘pull the shirt down a bit
    that is better, I like them longer, cover not the head, looks odd-

    and so she became deaf and dumb and heartless and blind and thoughtless
    drifting into another world of colorful music countless letters words and lines
    what are needs ? what is company? Who needs them anyways, who indeed
    see the blue sky, watch the birds fly, mind is the place , to walk between the pines.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my seventh response:

    Soil Is A Mirror

    we plant our needs in
    we can see ourselves
    in its grains
    as it feeds the want
    of our mouths

    we admire ourselves
    in its smooth curves
    the way it flatters
    our aging shapes
    smooths wrinkles

    as we tumble
    on its glassy surface
    shafts of light pierce
    its dark skin
    and we see ourselves
    as shadows that play

    upon grains of sand
    fused into mystery.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my sixth response:

    Are Complete

    We had our time to be made
    whole, and perhaps thought we were
    only part of what we could be,

    find an image of what we could be,
    and ignore the scary one that looks
    back from the mirror because

    it is all we don’t want to see,
    so drape a silk scarf, or cardboard
    over it, make it a partial likeness.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my fifth response:

    Her Tongue

    an unbroken red apple.

    She rubs it on her inner thigh
    till it gleams into a mirror.

    Inspects her reflection
    in the apple mirror.

    Hungry she breaks the mirror
    with her teeth. Sweetness

    In her mouth makes her smile.
    Her reflection is not poisonous.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my fourth submission:

    Must Be Shiny (A World Where 2)

    This apple, your skin.
    This car, this screen.

    See yourself in them.
    All buffed into mirrors.

    These windows. This door.
    Folk wear sunglasses always.

    Brightness means brand new.
    Eyes must sparkle.

    Coffins burnished. Wars
    between levels of bright.

    Highly polished means highly skilled,
    means sharp as glass, witty as stainless.

    Born bright, live bright, die bright.
    Gloom is dullness is ignorant.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A wonderful response to this week’s prompt, Jamie. Mine seems a bit juvenile compared to the works here but in true narcissistic fashion – I don’t care! 😂😂 I’ve entitled it

    “The Influencer’s Lament”

    I click a pic to show the world
The cute outfit that shows my abs
10,000 likes and 100 retweets
It’s confirmed, I’m just so fab!
I send a tweet to show support
For cleaning up the ocean
300 likes – I hit delete – wtf?
Not enough commotion
I try again, a sassy tweet
No substance behind my stance
100K likes! A Kim K retweet!
Going viral – here’s my chance!
I know I’m great – I see my stats
And now I’m getting money
Yet when I turn the iPhone off
My tummy just feels funny
And so I Insta, Tweet and Vlog
My soul and body baring
50,000 friends like me, me, me
    Yet still, I keep despairing…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. a topic everyone is expert on about someone else!


    In my garden there is a reflection pool
    surrounded by narcissus
    I spend admiring time there
    contemplating the me in us.

    I do want to know your thoughts
    about me and what I think
    and if you’re hungry or thirsty
    and if you’d make for me a drink

    What are your plans for the future
    before you answer, here are mine
    I hope you don’t mind I canceled
    the reservations at that new place to dine

    I knew there’d be distraction
    you wouldn’t focus on yours truly
    and what’s the use of spending the money
    when we could stay home and be unruly

    You’re such a trooper to understand
    and always put me first
    which of course is where I belong
    otherwise it would a curse

    to live with someone thinking less of himself
    pretending humility
    remember there’s no I in us
    and also no YOU in ME.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The #1 Narcissist

    I know how the #1 Narcissist operates
    His ego we’ve learned to defend and tolerate
    Ask for what He wants and He’ll grant it
    With the quickness
    Ask for what you want and He’ll ignore it
    Like it’s bullshit
    His Will is vapid and discriminatory
    So know that you’re on your own my darling
    He gives freely what you must earn
    By toiling for nothing
    And then He names it “blessing”
    As you force yourself to appreciate
    Thinking…knowing, “This isn’t for me.”
    One-sided, selfish, and jealous
    He full well knows that if He always comes first
    There will be nothing left
    And there will always be
    An abrupt ending to your happiness
    Before He recognizes all you’ve sacrificed for Him
    And His unrealized promises
    You will give out completely
    Before you have realized your own dreams
    Trying to live under the threat of the most righteous smite
    Forbidden to, and anyway no energy left
    To fight for your personal rights
    Always feeling as innocently guilty
    And highly undeserving as He says you should be
    Yes, this is what you must deal with
    As a subject of the #1 Narcissist
    So just know that you’re on your own in all this
    Precious Princess

    © Kelly Miller
    From my third book of poetry, “The Riddle and the Dedication II”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Jamie,

    I have only one poem about Narcissus, though one could say that all my poetry and all my writing is somewhat narcissistic, although I might try my best to hide it. Here it is:

    (Raanana, December 7, 2017)

    Back in the days when metaphors were taken literally
    And myths were news hot off the minstrel’s breast
    It was sung that Narcissus was transfixed
    By the beauty of his reflection in a pond
    And fell in, drowning
    But the truth was that he wrote a poem
    That drew a tear from the cheek of a young maiden
    And was enamored with his reflection in her tear,
    Then the skies became grey and bloated, letting go
    Their raindrops which poor Narcissus saw his image
    In each and every one,
    Then he saw himself in every poem he read
    (Everyone knows there’s more poems
    Than raindrops in the sky)
    He went crazy chasing every poem ever written
    As well as those are yet to be,
    And everyone knows that going crazy
    Is far worse than drowning.

    (c) Mike Stone
    (from my 3rd book of poetry, “Bemused”)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did you see Bodhizar’s (bogpan). I rather agree. Also seem to remember that Sylvia Plath wrote that all her writer friends were narcissists but she liked them anyway. I don’t think we are narcissists to the degree that politicians are though, but maybe that’s a conceit.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. The New Narcissus

    Got my Prada
    Got my Gucci
    Got drama like Susan Lucci
    I’m a TMZ All Star
    Killin’ the Game
    So check my follower count –
    ‘Cause everyone knows my name
    And y’all, I’ll do anything
    If it gets me noticed
    Got those tabloid scandals
    Like my name was POTUS
    And I really don’t care
    ‘Bout no kids at the border
    Trophy wife like Bugatti y’all
    I had to import her
    Now I wear her on my arm
    Like a gold Rolex
    ‘Til she gets a little older
    Then it’s “thank you, next!”
    Just like DJ Khaled
    All I do is win
    And y’all actin’ so offended
    But you keep tunin’ in
    ‘Cause this is Hadleyburg
    Everybody knows it
    All it took were some pieces
    Of gold to expose it
    So keep my name trendin’
    Y’all, give it a boost
    But don’t act so surprised
    That I’ve come home to roost

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my third response:

    I Borrow

    distortions. I want to look
    like her or him, so I can be

    her or him. I buy their perfume,
    their makeup to look a million dollars.

    I want to be distorted into them.
    Only by doing this can I be true

    to myself, and who I am. Plastic
    surgery would make me feel better.

    I could be younger, fresher more vibrant.
    Adverts tell me this, because I’m not.

    Adverts tell you how to distort yourself
    into who you are. Are you with me?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my second response:

    Our Insanity

    is healthy. Hurt others,
    hurt yourself. Hospitals

    widen wounds. Firemen
    are firestarters. Doctors

    avidly spread disease.
    Dementia is encouraged.

    Helpfulness and reasoned action
    is criminal. Thought for others

    will get you referred to a psychiatrist.
    Multiple personality is encouraged.

    Not knowing who you are is wellbeing.
    Celebrate murder, envy, greed, selfishness.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my first response:

    Frame It

    in high definition people take photos,
    paint pictures of emptiness.

    Ensure the image is pin sharp,
    Every detail of blank space captured.

    Many pixelled selfie. A landscape
    without land. A panorama of stillness.

    It has the highest click rate online,
    a million likes and shares.

    People wish to buy it, blow it up
    for their walls, print the image on mugs.

    It becomes a meme, an emoji.
    Nothing is celebrated.
    Frame It (A World Where 2)

    in high definition people take photos,
    paint pictures of emptiness.

    Ensure the image is pin sharp,
    Every detail of blank space captured.

    Many pixelled selfie. A landscape
    without land. A panorama of stillness.

    It has the highest click rate online,
    a million likes and shares.

    People wish to buy it, blow it up
    for their walls, print the image on mugs.

    It becomes a meme, an emoji.
    Nothing is celebrated.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is great. This is fantastic.
    A distance up the beach
    There are us
    Shouting in the waves, ‘me-me’
    And I feel someone grab my hand
    Narcissism rising, a poem want to swim,
    Then how could I stop loving you? YEAH
    I don’t want you to think I am imagining a world without you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. . type of love .

    was hoping to garden yesterday, clear the ground,
    it was a challenge, with all that rain. so we
    mended things, with love and string.

    it is a challenge, 52 , to even think and google

    many types, immeasurable, not three nor for all
    of us. yet those of us who do, may trust blindly,
    childishly love our toys, cherish home, hold

    i looked up, that does not mean i love you.


    Liked by 2 people

  16. . letter to a friend . eight .

    it has been a while since we spoke.

    even now, you will not receive this letter,
    along with others not sent.

    some went away to exhibition, while others remain in my head.

    it is the rule, no contact. today is cooler, we change the clocks soon.

    i suppose you are nearly retired, yet i have lost track.

    even so, i reflect on what i have done, i ask, what have i done?

    it lingers in the past with no judgement here, they are good friends.
    we may ask what have you done, yet it does not matter now.

    all things pass.

    i shall occasionally write, and never send.

    no contact.


    Liked by 2 people

  17. ~ winter food ~

    there was no fanfare,
    no procession, no proclamation,
    as i hit the button, no exclaimation
    as i changed my life. as if no one
    noticed, and if i am right, they
    probably didn’t.

    didn’t see as i drove the valley,
    didn’t protest, or speak in tongues,
    did not see the little things.

    we bought winter food.



    Liked by 1 person

  18. 13.1.

    did you notice the different weaves,
    the names, the celtic not. have you

    heard the language, problems arising,
    too long spent driving. two of them
    work well, one is new paper
    that will not ash the flame.

    will you remember them, narcussus,
    small people who suffer?

    i will send their photograph.

    Liked by 1 person

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