Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Friday, July 04, 2008

I can imagine Frida Khalo . . .

I can imagine Frida Khalo
at the 7-11, at 8:30 pm,
before the stars are fully out,
just standing there, checking out
cold rows of Dos Equis in the cooler or the
blistered pizza barely warm on a summer night,
clicking her red fingernails on a torn LOTTO ticket.

She would come into that space,
trailing incense,
earrings touching her shoulders,
jasmine flowers in her hair,
her swirling long skirts covering a limp,
her fingers marked with red
and green and yellow oil paint,
her wide red lips
and dark eyebrows marking her dangerous,
seditious, revolutionary. Her sorrows
fall away in jolting lines of color.

I know this:

I would stand silent behind her.
I would not give away her phone number.
I would hide her canvases.


  1. dangerous, sedicious, revolutionary --- very evocative imagery throughout - i reall saw this so clearly with your words!!!

  2. I thought I knew her, until that last stanza. Why is she so evil?

  3. Anonymous7:28 PM

    Thanks for your comments. Susan, that last stanza is probably too cryptic and was hard for me to write as Frida Khalo is such a larger-than-life figure (rather like Springer's reaction to Eric in your latest blog). But awed as I am by Khalo's talent, those two lines in the poem say I would like to protect her -- from people who hurt her and from her own sadnesses that informed her art and ultimately pulled her to suicide. I don't think Khalo is evil as much as fragile, yet her art reveals strength, perhaps because she could "see" herself as no one else could. Hope that helps. Beth

  4. Anonymous4:51 PM

    have always enjoyed frieda... her life, her art.. her love...

  5. Sparkle & shine! I love this poem and the drawing and the wonderful imagery. I know for sure you could be trusted too.
    Saw her retrospective with my daughter in Minneapolis earlier this year--blew me way, away

  6. Anonymous7:32 AM

    Thanks for your notes. We organized a family reunion around her exhibit in Philadelphia in April/May this year. Crowds of people every day, but to see her work at every stage of her life was breathtaking. Funny how the Sunday Scribbling prompts call forth what I love! Thank you all for reading.

  7. Anonymous10:55 PM

    This is great info to know.