There they stand,
two towers of the Mexican art world
in black and white,
different as night and day,
dark and light,
bisected by an arched wooden door frame
against which her frail and impaled body
a somber dwarf child in an embroidered cotton blouse,
and a necklace that looks like a string of stones
or a possible weapon,
assuming she grows tired
of being in the shadow
of the giant toad prince,
or fears being swallowed
by the magnitude of arrogance
his hemispheric smile
Okay, usually I avoid jumping the gun, but when I checked out the National Poetry Writing Month website this afternoon I was hooked by the opportunity of writing an early bird ekphrastic poem, one that’s inspired in some way by art. In this case a photograph from Wikimedia Commons.
Being a lover of all things Mexican, including art, I instantly thought of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, a couple of painters over whom I’ve been forever obsessed. In fact, I have a shelf in one of my bookcases that’s completely filled with books about Frida, including her marvelous diary. I might have one on Diego, but I’d have to check.
I know, I know that’s not fair but, as you can tell from my little dip into ekphrasis I’m a bit biased against the big guy. Or maybe it’s just that I find a woman driven to produce art even though she’s basically chained to a bed by disabilities quite remarkable and, for me, a model for not making excuses. “Get off your butt and write, poet!” she seems to beam at me whenever I just sit in front of this crazy screen daydreaming, which is often. But not tomorrow, the Day of Fools, when a bunch of us in the world will start writing a poem each day for 30 days! Maybe you’ll join us?