Marisol Baca – Personaje

Marisol Baca featured image

Marisol Baca


{After the painting by Remedios Varo}

Remedios, when I look
at your torn garment of canvas
when I read your painted ribbon
stretched across the cosmos
am I making a real friend?
Or am I making a fool
of myself?

I see you are like me
So often I am alone
You never found the place to belong
in-between the forest and the town
in-between the river and the road

There was a cloth apron
my mother hung around her neck and shoulder
I would like to use that apron
como un velo
behind a curtain so thick
no words can hurt me
nothing can penetrate

How does a child learn
to believe that things will change for her?

Remedios, if I found a vehicle in the fog of the Central Valley
If I float down the San Joaquin river,
Will the river make me sick?
Will I find the mechanical abstraction that is your boat?
Is the fog hiding a town swept away beneath a wave?
This river recedes before a jealous forest.
This river opens like a throat and tongue.
This river ends
detrás de las cortinas.
You swallowed that town and all of its people
all of its quaint buildings and private parks
They reside inside you
—are parts of you.

Remedios, when the river ends,
will I catch you riding
on a path beside the ash trees and the river?
You will be riding the sixteen of wheels
lejos del bote de maravillas mecanicas.


Marisol Baca’s artist statement:

Over the past 15 days, I have been writing a poem a day. This concentrated workload allowed me to sit face-to-face with poems that I have been wanting to write for a long time— stories that I have wanted to investigate for a long time. It was a difficult thing to do, but the right time to do it. These poems are about exploring the work of a favorite artist of mine and finding out more about my family history. The first eight poems are interrelated and are about the surrealist painter, Remedios Varo. Her paintings evoke wonder and curiosity in me, and I love them. The second set of poems deal with stories about my great grandmother and her sisters. There are some stories in these poems that I have been thinking about for a long time, maybe even years, and have not been able to write until now. Last week I had a dream about my great grandmother standing at the entrance of a doorway telling me to go ahead and get it done. So I did.

Personaje, 1961.
Oil and Silver / Cardboard Sheet.
© All Rights Reserved 2015, Remedios Varo.
For any use or reproduction of the work, please contact vegap.

“in eights // octaves”
El Flautista, 1955.
Oil and Nacre Embedded / Masonite.
© Copyright 2019.
For any use or reproduction of work, please contact vegap.
Cat. 127-El-Flutista-1955.

Published by jeffersonbeavers

Jefferson Beavers is a multimedia storyteller based in Fresno, Calif. He works at Fresno State and enjoys volunteering in the community.

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