i so wanted to touch the canvas

"Rosa Parks" think that is my masterpiece so far... paint not yet dry...

“Rosa Parks” think that is my masterpiece so far… paint not yet dry…


“i’ve never been in one” i say
like i’ve never been
inside a flower/ dandelion seed/a piece of artwork

but basquiat’s sneakerprints are strewn all over it
a monsoon?
maybe —
—————-if you compare the density

i talk to the gallery guy
“they say there was no other artist
who abused his own work as much as he did”
he nods
after rescuing me
from tripping over a thousand swiss francs heavy sculpture
“goodness” i gasp “haven’t seen this–
&just curious” i ask

“how much is that basquiat painting?”
“it’s not for sale” he says
“to give you an idea though – that one over here by him’s three million”

in more than one way he was in the eye
of a monsoon,
thickdRoPs//dReads, cuR
ling //hisSing snakes

“i’ve never been in one” i say
“so i can’t judge”

&yet i trust
they reveal more than they cover

“Rosa Parks” the gallery owner says
“so is it about her? 1955?”
&we don’t know for sure but

this is how a monsoon starts


“you refuse to get up?”

*driP dRop

“if yes, i’m going to have to call the cops //have you arrested”


Rosa says “you may do that'”


&you can’t understand
your own word any more
as rain buRsts
the streets&

it poured cats&dogs
on the first day of the bus boycott

“i didn’t take a pic of the one by basquiat” i say to my husband
miles&hours later at the basel ART
“dunno if we find the way back to that booth”

“i think i would” i bite my lips

though the character of a monsoon
is never bi-directional
“let’s consider this” i say

&walk towards the exit


at dVerse we’re writing “monsoon” today


36 responses to “i so wanted to touch the canvas

  1. Sounds like you found a special painting – to have that much of a physical response upon you. I would hate to trip over something I might have to pay for. lol. Nice energy too when you are talking about the artist. His sing snakes made me smile. Interesting correlations with Parks as well. I would hope I had that kinda strength, in the moment.

    • Quite the evocative painting you added as well. Nicely layered. The stays, the white and black circles, some Xed out. Her prison number. Me likes very much.

  2. What impressions you get from his canvas. I have never seen any Basquait, but i have to say they look impressive. I like how you connect it to those events that seems as real today as they ever did before.

  3. I had to ‘google’ Basquait. Interesting how sometimes an artist’s style really draws a person to it. Sad to me that such a talented artist died so very, very young… After reading what you said about the gallery guy saying no one else abused his art as much as Basquait did, I can’t help think of the abuse that B did to his body as well. His artwork lives on though, and if only he had realized its value… A thought-provoking poem, Claudia.

  4. Not sure I’d ever want to experience a storm, or actual cats and dogs raining on me lol some paintings can sure speak to the viewer

  5. I’d love to see Basquat’s paintings. They seem full of the storm of the civil rights movement and social justice issues. Nice that you write this poem in the wake of the senseless murders in South Carolina. I like how you mix the idea of a monsoon with the ideas behind his paintings. Great write as always Claudia.

  6. You are a political painter with words and images, Claudia! Well done! I’m not very familiar with Basquiat’s paintings but you capture some of that collage verve and splash of colour that I associate with him. And of course the little drop turning into a monsoon of an idea whose time has come – love that analogy!

    • I love your description. Political painter. Basquiat’s work is remarkable. I think there were a few films made about him. He was filled with talent and trouble. I miss him here on this plane.

  7. Your painting IS a masterpiece. I adore it. Wonderfully done, Claudia. And I always enjoy your conversational poems. This one especially. A timely painting given recent events. We are still stopping busses and trying to make the world just. Sigh.

  8. Yes, a single drop might trigger off a monsoon. Some big upheavals started with a little action. I love your painting, Claudia! It is very, very good. You are the one who should exhibit her works. Who knows, this could be the start of another monsoon. Smiles.

  9. Now I am curious with basquiat painting—with this imagery:

    he was in the eye
    of a monsoon,
    thickdRoPs//dReads, cuR
    ling //hisSing snakes

    Love how you made this theme personal to your passion for painting Claudia ~

  10. Great title. I love textured paintings.

    This is my favorite line: “inside a flower/ dandelion seed/a piece of artwork.”

  11. So many lovely references. Basquiat, Rosa Parks, our history. I love how you always put a piece of your passion for art in your work. I learn so much about you from these poetic journeys. A joy to read.

  12. I like the hopeful yellow in your Rosa Parks painting! May we be caught in a monsoon of positive action, whether that’s sitting in our rightful place or painting a masterpiece!

  13. The poem depicts your wonderful passion towards painting.. and creates an awe-inspiring atmosphere of monsoon as well 🙂

    Beautifully penned 😀

  14. Yes, that monsoon definitely started a storm of change and washed away some of the evil. Your words and your painting are breathtaking. I had to look up Basquiat and view his work and life….so very sad, such incredible talent.

  15. This is how the monsoon starts – I love the effect. I don’t know much about Basquait, but the intensity you created here – is beautiful.

  16. Interesting use of Basquait’s art. Monsoon rains have a cleansing effect, as Basquait’s art attempting to reveal deeper truths in social contrasts.

  17. The reference to Rosa Parks and the comparison to how a monsoon starts…perfect comparison. What Rosa did in that bus might seem, to the unobservant, to be a small thing, but like those first drops, it started a monsoon.

  18. Rosa Parks was such a remarkable woman, and I am glad you didn’t just paint her but you also wrote about her & that tragic experience she had that surely struck the whole world. The relevance you make with the theme today & the events of the past are so rightly captivating, you rebel in such creative way using the style in painting & in words that to me appeared to be so graffitish. Thanks for the poem!

  19. Ah.. Monsoon of change always inspiring by first drop of human sweat.. tears.. and blood.. to fire a storm.. holding back arms of folding close and same.. when flood gates open.. rains of more do come.. water holding hands together.. change of Monsoon is season now..:)

  20. I loved the way you built that special rapport with the painting. I love Basquiat’s work. Obviously, I became acquainted with this art after I saw the movie based on his life. 🙂

    Greetings from London.

  21. Thank you …you introduced an artist I didn’t know….you have made a great impression with your words…