The Princess Loses Her Way, Strips Naked, Steals Money, and We are Thrown Off-kilter
La Casa Batlló in Barcelona by Antoní Gaudi, Summer 1981
We walk by la Casa Batlló (mejor que Disney, verdad?) to buy bread, cheese, olives. Antoní Gaudi’s blue tile castle dreamworld soars high in Barcelona’s sky. Fish markets teem with what else but fish. Sunlight sparkles a façade curved by membranes, skulls and bones, our insides turned outside like so many red roses offered to the princess. She sleeps a forever sleep behind wooden casements, wavy doors, flowing arches. Not leaning out of a window, not unravelling her golden tresses. She hasn’t yet learnt not to trust the dragon, its fish-scale back, undulating ceramic spells above a magic temple. Later that night la mujerona in a bar describes in painful detail her sex change operation (Ay, qué dolor!). We listen, we party, we read poetry – António Machado, Rubén Darío, Jorge Borges. The princess awakens, transformed into una pasajota – fed up with empty promises of religion and la república, she appears on a red-tiled balcony, smoking, drinking, dancing naked. She pockets our money and disappears, still naked. The dragon in hot pursuit. La Casa Batlló was our last stop, but it threw us off-kilter. Its dreamy spirals hold us hostage for one last visit, one last photo. We stare in wonder, kiltering, like ceramic eggs rolling toward the edge of a table.
"I am Joy Dubé, living on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada. I write poetry to explore meaning and to connect more deeply with people and places around me. I love words and many times I find I do not know the meanings of words until I juxtapose them with other words in a creative way. I try to give voice to a unique way of looking and feeling. Using art as a visual prompt is a challenge I enjoy."
The Ekphrastic Review
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