debbie millman

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Poem: Fidelity

I can go either which way now
Left right
Black white
Hard soft

I know if I go to you
I lose part of myself
as we engage in the comfort of faith
and compromise

And yet
yet
as we sleep and I feel your breath against my back
I consider the possibility that I am wrong

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Poem: Misha

When I reached for your hand
you looked at my fingers and told me I was a witch.

All that tapering and all.

I asked if I could kiss you--
your beautiful bruised mouth
and you nodded.

Last night I dreamt I was a cat
sneaking out of closet door slightly ajar.

And I knew what it meant.
I knew.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Poem: Seeing Duff

this duplicity we have in common.
you know I prefer to think we are liars
pretending what we want to believe is real

as our hearts are breaking.

yet you gasped when you saw her
your chestnut eyes wide
and I knew then that you were a kind man

I knew that you were (like me)
desperate to be filled up
and drained--

fooled into thinking that more may be enough--
as if back-up could insure that
we would never be left again

or lost.

there is comfort in this lie
as we languish in our sweat
and wait for trouble

Monday, May 16, 2005

Poem:Evangelism

damaged in a way you don’t notice until you get too close
is how I would describe us
all chin and bravado, and of course that intoxicating, heady, manufactured success

which we seem too able to balance
with a mushy sort of underbelly that we wish wasn’t there--
and desperately try to camouflage.
yet it does come out from time to time
when it best suits us or distracts another…

“it takes one to know one,” you once told me
all cocky and critical and drunk
and I started to protest, push back
until I stopped
suddenly still

and realized that no matter how much we pretended otherwise
there was no way around this--
no way through the cycle of turbulance and nuance and disappointment.

but this I do know:
we can certainly hide and consider that an achievement.
I don’t want you to worry though: I bounce back quicker than most.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Poem: Then

I can’t wait til I am stronger
to figure out where I went then

Now I am here
Back
Forward
Unsteady
Unclean

There was a moment when I would I peek outside
and think:
It is so beautiful there
If only this weren’t happening

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Poem: Hope

The guilt is palpable.
I should apologize for what was ugly and depraved.

I remember and think:
They never saw it coming, this sad damaged girl
With the broken heart and the bad will.

I look up now.

Why do we do what we do?

All these years later I still blame you for
breaking me in, taking what you wanted
making me want to love you anyway.

I shudder now with helplessness.
A toddler, really. Wishing for mercy
while knowing we are doomed.
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Debbie Millman has worked in the design business for over 25 years. She is President of the design division at Sterling Brands. She has been there for nearly 15 years and in that time she has worked on the redesign of global brands for Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s, Colgate, Nestle and Hasbro. Prior to Sterling, she was a Senior Vice President at Interbrand and a Marketing Director at Frankfurt Balkind. Debbie is President of the AIGA, the largest professional association for design. She is a contributing editor at Print Magazine, a design writer at FastCompany.com and Brand New and Chair of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2005, she began hosting the first weekly radio talk show about design on the Internet. The show is titled “Design Matters with Debbie Millman” and it is now featured on DesignObserver.com. In addition to “Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design,” (HOW Books, 2009, she is the author of "How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer" (Allworth Press, 2007) and “The Essential Principles of Graphic Design” (Rotovision, 2008).

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