chance is that you wouldn’t even see the gap if no one told you

i look almost comical

&people stare at me

light summer dress,
tousled/undone from the ride
&short blue jogging pants
flash-peer at the seams, my biking gear–

the plan of action was to take them off
once i parked the bike at the museum
there were too many people in the park
&in the loo
the same
the last days of Gauguin
before his (no/not kidding) threehundredmillion US dollar painting
journeys to his owner

it’s the last chance of my yearly pass for the museum
the last sweat before a thunderstorm will break the heat

&maybe it’s the very last of everything//abit

i make my way up to the entrance
past the lined up crowd,
perfumed women with designer clothes & pink-flash lipstick,
men with watches for 10.000 swiss francs,
cigar in the corner of their mouth
&tourists with big cameras around the neck

sweat runs down my back
and freezes halfway as i get into the air-conditioned hall
Marlene Dumas
&sometimes you just know// before you know

the light touch of bird//dArk
brushing wings against my breast

drilling its beak into my chest
as i walk down the aisle
picking at my dress, a room with acts
i get turned on a bit// &fight it //it’s–

the presence of a weird emptiness
i cannot grab
other than Gauguin she’s still alive,
celebrating her success
with little noshes & a glass champagne maybe

i didn’t drink a sip of wine in ages
for a reason only i can know/a secret, stored deep in the tiny gap
in the right frontrow of my teeth that i have since my childhood
that i once wanted the dentist to correct

&today i’m glad
for all the gaps&chasms/pockmarks in my face
some only visible to me

i walk back to my bike,
on the way out brushing through a Basquiat book
a wave of near-intimacy, a sea
of color dripping
in my palms, the bird–
slides down

a pile of bowels, blood&feathers on the floor
as i take up my dress in a bunch, unchain the lock

&ride out
in the scorching sunshine


16 responses to “chance is that you wouldn’t even see the gap if no one told you

  1. You know, I dare say that you probably enjoyed the museum far more than though all dolled up, as I am unsure they are there for the art more than the occassion and airs. Ha. Dare to be yourself, pock marks and all. Being comfortable with yourself makes life all the more. And good on not letting the bird win. Smiles.

  2. I could see you, really see your soul in this one. Your love of art drenches any social demands of “proper” dress. Love your courage to walk in with your jogging pants on. I’m amazed at the monetary value of the Gaughan painting. And I like the line about maybe this being the last everything. But I loved it all and as always am impressed with the mix of words and images you use to imprint something beautiful in my mind. Have a great weekend!

  3. Wonderful post, Claudia! I have missed so much being ill and now can get back to viewing your site again. I have a gap but really you are beautiful just the way you are and such a gifted writer. No, people simply do not notice. Take care.

  4. I think Gaugin is smiling at you .. the once really appreciating it.. and you gave all the fancy dressed people something to look at as well.. Love the thought of grabbing that last opportunity (and I know what it means to look weird when off the bike)…

  5. This is perfect, Claudia. It takes so much courage to be oneself sometimes but I agree with other comments–you, no doubt, got the most out of Gauguin. And he would approve. I picture his play of color surrounding you. As for the gap–I hate the one between my front teeth, which is why for my author’s photo on my last novel I didn’t show my full face. Pathetic, huh? Time for a little self-acceptance. (and my parents had forked out good money for braces that the years undid)

  6. A wonderful journey into and out of art. Absolutely gorgeous. I loved your description of your bike ride to the museum and your fellow art lovers. I should you put that in quotation marks, shouldn’t I? “Art lovers”. 🙂

    Greetings from London.

  7. Go Gauguin! Enjoyed this visit to the art museum with you…blue jogging pants, gaps, sweat and all…you are a masterpiece, Claudia 😉

  8. It’s interesting research on the masterpiece…which one? who is right? ~ I can imagine your appearance! like the contrast in your poem

  9. “sweat runs down my back
    and freezes halfway as i get into the air-conditioned hall”

    Man, this is the BEST feeling—when you’re just about to die from heat exhaustion and then you step into some freezing cold restaurant or something. Perfection.