Category Archives: Art

Friendship

I wrote another poem inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s short book, Letter To A Hostage. At a time of genocidal fratricidal war in Ukraine, it’s hard to talk about friendship across enemy lines. But some of my friends have family on both sides of the war. Many people in Ukraine do.

From Yana Hurskaya's Odesa photo series, with poetry by Savanna Reid
The picture is from a striking Odesa photo series from professional photographer Yana Hurskaya @Unsplash.

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Filed under Art, False controversies, Poetry

boundaries

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December 17, 2021 · 12:30 am

Pedro Linares

I discovered Pedro Linares through a recent Google doodle recognizing his work. The festival of alebrijes captured in the photo above shows just how vibrant his legacy is today in Mexico. A contemporary and collaborator of both Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, this Mexico City native invented a form of papier-mâché figurine – they are named after the refrain chanted by mystical creatures in a fever dream he experienced in 1936.

My first encounter with the artist very fittingly led to a lucid dream of my own, and I wanted to commemorate that connection with his imaginary world by writing a poem about one of his fantastical creatures. Here is that short poem, inspired by a rabbit carved by one of many Oaxacan workshops continuing the alebrijes tradition.

dance rabbit, dodge and prance
move those ears, toss your feet
handstand – saffron haunch, green
foreleg, tessellated
blue breast, long face, dark dreams
nothing stays as it seems
– run rabbit, dig deep, lie
to save your alibi
but run, hide, never sleep
dance, dive, whirl and leap
tumble counterclockwise
brown electric night skies
“alebrije” – hear that?
dance rabbit, catch the cat

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Filed under Art, Poetry