Maslow’s Hierarchy

Eli Coyle

I guess I’ll start at the bottom. The base of a triangle 
where red wine spills across white tiles. All of us
a happy accident. A piece of divine art. The framing 
of lines defining what is valid in shape. Lines had to be 
drawn for this picture and pictures are memories in cameras
paintbrushes and pencils. Art is a mobile phone. Before 
my parents had photo albums of us kids playing 
with yellow trucks on the porch    twenty-miles out of town
we were running barefoot across gravel   
with our blue mobile home in the frame. Robin egg-blue
rectangle of a house with white trim. Rattlesnake skins 
in the yard. But I don’t recall them or the memories
of my youth. At the base rooted far far back is a faint-red
feeling of first breath. Without the lower levels 
of the pyramid, there is no art. Back then my parents 
read stories to us, and we read the colors of pictures
until they eventually turned to words, and then back
to pictures. The TV   a moving picture. The frame 
of the past is not a red triangle    or a white square 
but a robin egg-blue     rectangle of a house 
with white trim     rattlesnake skins in the yard.


Coyle, Eli Headshot

Eli received an MA in English with an emphasis in creative writing from California State University, Chico and lectures in their English Department. His poetry has been published in NYU’s, Caustic Frolic, the Cosumnes River Journal, and The Helix. He is a certified yoga instructor, and his writing is heavily influenced by Eastern philosophy.

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