Mud People, No. 13

Mud People, No. 13 (2019). Acrylic on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

She was a cat, and an electric eel, a shapeshifter with magnetic, iridescent skin. She walked on high heels as if she wore sneakers, and was as elegant in jackboots as glass slippers. She moved into a room and moved the room. She could sing, boy, could she sing, like the bells of St. Mary’s on Christmas Eve and she synced with the music of her mind all day and all night so that every step, bend, lean, was heart-rhythmic. She had money, it seemed, some or just enough, she was beholden to no one, her own singular self, a prophet let loose from a god that had died and left her to minister on her own terms. She didn’t have a halo but she sometimes glittered.

And all the while, she was hiding behind her made up face, afraid, or unwilling, or just not bothering to show anyone the underneath. The girding of her persona was both organic and manufactured, a hybrid of desire and experience. An architecture and facade that she built and tended to everyday. A functional space that worked beautifully. Craft and curb appeal. Now as I see her working her way through a crowded bar, she turns and meets my stare and I feel a vital heat. Her being radiates along the tendrils of face paint that spread from her eyes like solar flares. She is all fire and music now, the syncopated conflagration threatening to tear us both down, but she will survive, because she built herself to survive this. The silly interludes of this and all other vignettes do not diminish her. She will disappear one day into the stardust, unchanged and unchanging into eternity.


-Danny Grosso

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