On Ingrid, Another Collaboration

As some of you know, my dear friend Ingrid Martinez-Rico suffered a terrible automobile accident just over two weeks ago; a dump truck (the official vehicle of Southwest Florida) ran a red light, likely going over 50 miles an hour, and striking Ingrid's car, plowing it into two other cars, and pinning it to a palm tree. The most significant of her injuries was head trauma (she also had a cracked vertebrae, a bruised pancreas, and a broken rib--remarkably few injuries for this kind of accident), which was complicated by Ingrid being without oxygen for about fifteen minutes.

She's no longer in a comatose state, but now a state of "unconsciousness," meaning that she's very close to awakening, and so we're all hopeful about her recovery, which will be a long, difficult process, but she has such strength and so many people have been giving her and Craig, her husband, and their children Victor and Cassandra such support.

I'm bringing this up because I have collaborated with Ingrid in our Entangled dance last fall, which I posted about earlier, but I am also working with a visual artist in another collaboration. Carol Rosenberg is a figurative artist, working with nudes of a certain age--her work is stark, even minimal, but the attention to the light on the body is amazing. In a painting (or charcoal work) she'll have multiple images of her subject, with various studies of feet, hands, back, and then she'll include one image of a self-portrait. I'm partaking in a project on Sanibel called ArtPoem, where poets and visual artists create artistic responses to each other's work. For Carol's work, I will be writing a poem, I think, of studies of Ingrid's feet (I have messaged them, while Gerri has pressed them into various Yoga poses, with Ingrid responding by pressing into other kinds of Yoga poses), and I'll be including a fragmentary self-portrait along the way. I hope to post this early next week . . . .

But thinking of Ingrid, I will now follow with a dress poem I wrote for her almost two years ago.

Dresses: Ingrid, 1966

I hold the sawtooth-framed photograph,
a two-inch square black and white, while
Ingrid, you hold your mouth in an oh,

waiting for me to see how you look
like your daughter Cassandra, then, all
fragrant mop-haired and girl-frocked,

the flounce of your skirt poufing
with Spanish wind. And it’s also your mother
you wish me to see, she kneeling to you

and facing full to the camera, a woman
arrested in two directions. Ingrid, I confess
I did not pay attention to your beauty

for once, not this moment, not that moment
in the past. I could not even see your
dress, but only my male-tilted idea of it,

even now. I saw only your mother’s
white purse, a patent-leather and gold-
buckled affair, a purse good enough for Anita

Ekberg to remember to retrieve at the club
after dancing with that man-goat American
Frankie Stout in La Dolce Vita, a purse

too gauche for Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy,
but not too crass for Jacqueline Kennedy
Onassis, which once opened would

smell of mink oil, ambergris, lipstick,
and Bilbao, which once opened would
bounce on a spring, like a woman’s laugh

after a man’s too forward, too direct
word, and then would quickly snap closed,
no, no, no, and laughing still.


Thinking of you this morning, and now, thinking of Ingrid as well. May she continue to improve.

Great poems, too!