Oz & Frida Kahlo's Ghost

I finish my manuscript then disappear from the blogworld for 3 days. One day was Christmas shopping, one day was submitting my manuscript, and one day is today. So, I'm back.


Last night on the way to a poetry workshop, I was complaining to two of my good poet friends that I haven't been writing, but then I thought-- Wait, I've been writing. (I was bringing a new poem to our workshop!) And I've been revising (see above post, I just said I completed my mss). Not on a daily schedule or every day, but I've done a lot. I think because I haven't done it in a 9-5 way, it doesn't seem as if it happened. It's sort of as if my writing time has become Oz, a hazy place, but a place where I'm sure I've been. Now, just to get those ruby red slippers for proof.


Warning: Dream post--

Speaking of Oz, I had this dream where the word came into play...

In the dream, I was staying at a residency for poets who wanted to write novels (Peter Pereira had just been there a week before me) and Ted Kooser was coming to my studio at night to see what I had written. When I explained, I wasn't able to write anything and that I had spent the day doing research, he called in a woman writer named Cici to talk with me.

When Cici arrived she was very distracted. When I asked her what was wrong, she said she was afraid of Frida Kahlo's ghost. She took off the Frida necklace she was wearing and put in around my neck. Frida is an inspiration to me and I was thrilled to have the necklace. When I turned it the pendant with Frida's photo on it, it was inscribed "Oz."

If I were to interpret this dream, I'd say that 1) it was created from my concern I've been wasting too much time lately (and the ex-Poet Laureaute is going to check up on me).
And 2) that there's nothing to be afraid of, our minds are Oz and they can be filled with flying monkeys, ruby slippers, or Frida Kahlo's ghost, it all depends on what we want to make of it.

It also tells me there's a few yellow brick roads I need to follow...


On my walk this morning, I started thinking about a children's story I wrote, submitted twice, then sort of abandoned in my computer files. I'm reconnecting with it today. I think I'm reconnecting with a lot of things today. I hope you are too.


By the way, if you need a writing prompt today, write a poem called "Frida Kahlo's ghost" or one that uses that image.


  1. This past weekend I went to a large exhibit of Frida Kahlo's paintings at the Walker Art Center here in Minneapolis. It was remarkable, needless to say. Most of the paintings were familiar to me from the many reproductions I've seen over the years, though this was the first time I'd seen any of her originals.

    Some things that struck me about the paintings in general: the somewhat muted quality of the colors in many of them; a certain -- I want to say -- flatness of texture (not highly brushstroked or layered, but more of a varnished or lacquered surface, but not glossy or shiny, if that makes any sense); and, I was surprised by how small many of the paintings were, even some of the fantastic mural-like images with much going on in them.

    The work of many painters draws me into the painting -- I look at a Van Gogh olive orchard, and I immediately find myself walking in the orchard, feeling the sun, hearing birds, etc. Kahlo's images on the other hand seemed to me almost to step out of the paintings, to become life-size presences in the room with all of the other people in the gallery walking around looking at them.

    The exhibit also included, in one gallery room, a large number of photographs of Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and their many friends, from over the course of her life.

    I got there early which was a good thing, because I got in without having to stand in line. By the time I left an hour later, the line was long and there was a sign informing people it would be a 20-30 minute wait to get in.

    I love the writing prompt of "Frida Kahlo's Ghost," though having seen several dozen of her paintings a few days ago, a mere ghost might come as a little bit of a letdown. But will see.

    Actually, last night and today I started on a poem, so far just a couple of fragments, that started with a random glance at a picture of Virginia Woolf on the cover of a book about her (actually a picture of the book cover, in the current issue of Bloomsbury Review), and immediately came to me the image of her drowning -- so maybe Virginia Woolf's ghost.

    Cold here now, 9 degrees when I got to work yesterday morning. No snow on the ground yet, but supposed to be coming over the next few days. Ghost time, for sure.


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