an artist a day keeps the doctor away

Rough draft

Letters from Frida Kahlo

1.

Dear disabled artist,
do not busy yourself with apologies
there are no pigments that hold sorry
as well as they carry your anguish..

Do not be sorry
for your pain,
the rancid flesh of your heart.

They will war over your body,
Death, a spectacle of flowered braids.
They will dream away the crippled Commie,
the lame baroness of Marx manifesto
and they will keep the brow

like a lifeline, the valley in the pulse.
Vitals, the hair on my face was no accident.

2.

I was never an artist first,
the hurt came, a puberty
of shattered hip and pelvis,
the sheared womb,
the surgeries a monthly menstruation

to put me back.
As if the able body was my default
as if the gimped child in me died that day
they wanted to resurrect a normal woman,
pieced together from a doctored ideal.
The accident was a puberty, a marriage, a eulogy
the phoenix birth of artist, still it burned.

3.

Promise to Create, damn it. Dear
crippled child.

Give your ailment a name,
coerce the devil until you find yourself a twin.
Embrace the misery as bitter tequila, burn
your ears, adorn your head and take them prisoner.

Hold your captives
Cactus needle close as lovers
and remember your power.

4.

Always paint in bed,
your pajama spine like chipped china.
The hue comes monsoon season;
leave the damage splattered sheets
remember to make love in puddles.

Your prosthetic is lingerie,
withered muscle an aphrodisiac
your facial hair a weapon.

Dress Tehuana to hide the backbrace,
keep the cane close by, the derby handle
a small consolation of a lover’s hand.

Paint your portrait 50 times,
write the same poem over and over
until the page is dark and ineligible with ink,
take your photo, smiling full tooth and lipstick glow;
Create the masterpiece you’ve always needed,
but never apologize for your pain.

2

“I lived among otters once for a month. Well I sulked - River and I, we had this big fight…”

This definitely happened. River and Eleven go at it because they can’t agree on where/when to the land the Tardis for their anniversary and, aside from not being able to decide on how long they have actually been together for they collide with the freshly built Empire State building three times in a row (because of the dimensional shift) and then River calls Eleven a puppy, or something of that sort and he doesn’t find that funny and she gives him a spanking and leaves him at some intergalactic sandwich bar and he hitchhikes to some God-forsaken planet that is basically ruled by otters and he learns to speak otter (so he says) and he doesn’t shower or anything and lets them wear his bow tie while he reads Jane Eyre and eats onion grass and then one day River shows up with the Tardis and Eleven doesn’t want to leave and River lets him keep a pair of otters and the four of them fly away into the time vortex.