Some thought it cheeky, but others endearing, two women wearing the same thing, with one arm pulling close a shoulder, the sides of their touching hips swooshing as they walk barefoot along the beach, ponytails skipping behind like ecstatic puppies. Soft as a cool summer pillow, or grating like the canvas of a palm used to work, the sensuousness of Raw Linen.
It’s been a long road. Each terrace is a milestone, a relief to my thighs, my back, an artificial landscape that’s been here so long even the island accepts it as natural. Row after row, sweet smell of tobacco drying in the sun, hemmed in by prickly bushes that tear my thin trousers. It helps to imagine the road as a fast flowing river, blue with little white caps carrying me along. I feel at home detouring up and down the rows, trickling like irrigation ditches that come and go with the barely perceptible seasons. I want to stop at the white roofed buildings, see if they might have something for me; to eat, a place to lay my head, maybe forever. It might be better than anything over the hill.
Peggy painted over Terraced Tobacco, it no longer exists. I felt compelled to post it because the verse the painting inspired, its blue road, the long white roofs, the horizon over the hill, speaks to me, puts me walking through my vines and lateral acequia ditches in Taos, always on a journey, even when at home.
She’s a faithful old girl, yawning for the dentist, with a Bondo facelift and dentures fashioned out of parts from broken down Soviet refrigerators. On every street clubs of men tinker with their cars. Artists make brake pads and solenoids in their living rooms. The hood comes down. A puff of blue smoke, and like magic she smiles and runs smooth as factory new.
From Cuba, An Adventure in Image and Word, Paintings by Peggy McGivern and verst by Peter Stravlo, Abend Gallery, Denver
Shutters are mainly open and wires crisscross in front of four stories. A mother sings a love song and scrubs her family’s clothes. On a floor below a boy ties his tie, dons a green jacket and red hat before skipping down flights of stairs to meet up with friends. A warm breeze turns the pages of a book while a girl does her homework, wondering how she’d get to school without her pony. On the ground floor men gather each evening to discuss how to make the parts they need to keep the Austin Healey running.
From Cuba: An Adventure in Image and Word. Opening reception tonight, 5-8pm Abend Gallery Denver. Paintings by Peggy McGivern and verse by Peter Stravlo. I’ll be reading tonight.