Thursday, May 11, 2006


This painting by Frida Kahlo is juicy...called, "The Bride Frightened at Seeing Life Opened" (1943) and part of the Gelman collection from Mexico--this image asks questions, sparks curiosity, displays the ripening of fruit before a pale doll's careful gaze. The title--yes, this is juicy hints of sexuality, inexperience, and the hungering physical body.

When I hear the word, "juicy"--Frida Kahlo immediately comes to mind. I think of her visage stalking me all over Taos when I was there--she peered out of beveled glass windows and from silkscreened t-shirts. Poetry was scrawled for her on the back of the bathroom stall door in a crumbling restaurant. Poetry...her life, pure poetry...

When I think of juicy poetry, I think of Renee Gregorio, who I also stumbled across in Taos. First, a film she appeared in about writing and creation...then, the bookstore's local section bowed with the prodigious regional talents and there she was, this example just one of many I could have pulled from her incredible collection, The Storm That Tames Us (1999):


The beauty of the hot pink gladiola
is almost too much
to bear--its color like swelled lips,
lips that have kissed too much.
The arc of its stalk curves
as if it's the hand of a dancer, reaching
up toward an imagined sky, the uppermost flowers
not yet opened.
Their fragrance, anyway, is slight,
and for all their color, they feel unpainted,
yet generous, like the love of a ten-year-old girl,
before makeup and puberty.

I like looking up
at this flower, purchased today at Wild Oats
for exactly $1.59 with the thought of buying
a good deal of beauty at a tiny price.
And, it's true, the slant of the stalk
could set me to dancing--it's a Saturday night,
after all, and the buffalo grass is growing,
the laundry's drying on the metal wire
in the backyard, and the moon is only half-full
or half-empty, depending upon the tilt
of your thoughts as you dare to look up
into the city sky with its desperate and yearning stars
just dying to show their light.

I feel the longing in this poem and it speaks to me of all of the evocative stirrings of love and springtime and over-kissed lips. Juicy things all...on this quiet Thursday morning.

More takes on "juicy" from talented mamas...
More "poetry" to wet your appetite for inspiration...

Don't say I didn't warn you...


Blogger Dana said...

Love this, and I love your story about finding this poem.

and for all their color, they feel unpainted

That is a gorgeous phrase, and I admire how in just a few lines, she moves from the fruit to the stars. Amazing. Thank you for sharing it.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this post so much. Frida is one of my favorites and indeed her life was pure poetry.

Loved the lips that have been over kissed line. Perfect.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

this is just a fabulous poem! the moon half full or empty - depending on your perspective...

10:49 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

Oooh, I love this poem! I need to read more of her writing!

10:50 AM  
Blogger FRITZ said...

Frida...and her joy and consternation of female sexuality...
Women are much jucier than men, no? We are like that fruit, containing seeds and pulp and red flesh within our glossy shells.

Lovely post, C. I think you've found a new fan.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

this poem feels like the second installment of the poem i posted today on my blog. remembrances of juicy life-filled things, when i am feeling so very dry. thank you for this, and for your email - i needed to hear all of these words today x

12:49 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Thank you for a beautiful take on "juicy". It's always nice to find art and poetry on other people's's hard to find the time otherwise to explore it these days...

3:48 PM  
Blogger January said...

Love that you melded the visual with the literal.

And the poem IS juicy. I like the poem's setup: the lush description of the flower in the first stanza, with its larger meaning in the second.

Thanks for sharing this poet with us.

5:40 PM  
Blogger mandyingals6462758897 said...

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9:36 PM  
Blogger bb said...

'The beauty of the hot pink gladiola
is almost too much
to bear - its color like swelled lips'
I love these lines, they are so erotic. I have many fuschias in my back garden and sometimes they look so explicit, hot pink, petals peeled back, their juicy insides just *gaping*, I am almost embarrassed for my mom to go out back and see them!
Thanks for sharing Renee Gregorio, another writer I have heard of for the first time through poetry Thursday. And you framed it so well with the Kahlo painting, which I've always found deeply erotic, menacing and, yes, juicy, too.
love bb x

4:58 AM  
Blogger Endment said...

What a combination of color and images!
What a delightful "stumble around Taos"
Hope you share more of your "stumbling" :=)

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Jeannine said...

Enjoyed the story behind your poem and the connection between the poem and the painting.


10:23 PM  
Anonymous katie said...

Oh this is such a great painting, and what perfect words to go with it!

10:52 PM  
Blogger AscenderRisesAbove said...

I think that I saw that it was the last painting that frida did before she died; almost that she knew it would be her last.

12:09 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

That painting is full much. I love the gauva. ;)


12:12 AM  

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