red jacket

Red Jacket #1; mixed media on canvas, 22 x 28 inches, the string series continues.

Red Jacket #2; mixed media on canvas, 22 x 28 inches.

Red Jacket #3; mixed media on canvas, 28 x 22 inches.

* * * * *

These three paintings accompany my prose poem called Red Jacket (below). The paintings will be showing at Studio 330 into the month of May. Have a good Easter weekend, everyone!

* * * * *

Red Jacket

Fukushima says the City is ruined. At the very least it’s poorly. At the very least it’s under wounded weather and broken systems; beneath blotted snow the City has turned Drained Green, Dead Yellow, Rinsed Tin. Making me nauseous. The curtains stay closed. I say: take me away from this.

My red jacket calls to me. All my life I wanted a red jacket like that – something from a foreign catalogue with a hand-stitched tag that says


Something so exclusive that it defines itself, that it’s its own thing.

I lay it out on the bed.

You can’t wear that, Fukushima says.

My posture curls, little breasts tippling. I know he’s right. I know the bottom has fallen out of the red-jacket market. I know the time – the time of picture-only Italian magazines, the time of flimsy women wrapped in bowl-sized, bug-eyed sunglasses, the time of willful blindness behind helmets of convex burnt umber – has passed. It’s done. I know the deal has busted and the moola moved on, and now the Root Blacks and Coffee Moths are here to ruin the party, to sit in the back and brood over the lack of cake. People brace themselves, dress for bad news. We can take it, they think. We could all do with a little honesty.

COLOUR: RED JACKET. Can’t you see it? Can’t you see our future? It’s its own idea, its own self-contained, self-defined volition. It says

Heroes with badges, morning romantics and fashionable imperialists. Doomed hunger, wet appetite. Passionate schemes. Look smart, charge right in.

Or maybe that was the past. I bought the whole package. I bought in at the height of the red-jacket bubble. The colour was Now or Never.

Pestilence and ruin, Fukushima says. A bubonic flag.

The red-jacket market depreciates by the day. How low can it go? Part of me wants to pack it up, board it over, bury it in a crate. Have a service in the back yard.

The war’s over, Fukushima would say, taking away his flowers. We both lost.

We could say sayonara to the flair of the pirate, the élan of the businessman. Goodbye to all that, and thanks for the excitement. I loved it, it was gorgeously empty and it was over far too soon.

I lay my red jacket on the bed.

It is: a red jacket on a bed. It floats there, looking lost. It has the shaped memory of my confident body. My adventure body. Fukushima should know – Mr. Quick Hands. Mr. Let’s Just See.

I can think and plan and save. I can stretch. I can twist. My spine knows long arithmetic, my shoulder blades look like fins.

Fukushima, my blood-dotted ghost, says nothing.

I sit down at the edge of the bed, in a doubting slouch, and wonder on Straight Blue, and on Concrete Sun Grey.


  1. Love it! Love the paintings! Love the story of the red jacket. I have always had a thing about red coats and red shoes(I think the shoes things goes back to seeing the Ballet Version of Hans Christian Andersons the Red Shoes when I was a kid). My printmaking prof/friend did a series of ginormous(7x8 feet) monotypes of women in red coats which I just was in awe of. This is so exciting! Great work!
    p.s. I don't follow trends so if I could find a red coat with a hood(see-that goes back to Little Red Riding Hood) I would wear it until it feel apart so if you could, please keep a sharp eye peeled. Hope all is well with you guys and peanut.

  2. I don't know what it means, but I know it is beautiful, that thing you do with words.

    beautiful isn't the right word.



Post a Comment

Popular Posts