"The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors"

 

"Kept"

Margaryta Golovchenko

Margaryta Golovchenko (she/her) is a settler-immigrant, poet, critic, and academic based in Tkaronto / Toronto, Treaty 13, and Williams Treaty territory, Canada. The author of two poetry chapbooks, she is completing her MA in art history and curatorial studies at York University.

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"'The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors' responds to Marcel Duchamp's The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) (1915–1923).

"'Kept' draws on elements of Alphonse Mucha's commercial posters, particularly "Biscuits Lefèvre-Utile" (1896) and "Bières de la Meuse" (1897).

     until she is nothing more

     than a heap of blooms

     for her own funeral, becoming

     petals if squeezed hard enough.

     What comes pouring out of her can easily 

     be mistaken for sap 

     by those who came 

     without invitation, now watching it drip 

     down their hand and gently caress 

     the fingertips, mistaking self-preservation

     for a warm greeting.

     There is no excuse to the violation

     no          even          despite          although 

     as somewhere right now

     there is a wedding dress coming undone 

     taffeta and mesh

     and the whole nine yards

     of bandaging, bandaging, bandaging.

     Behold the solution to dull predictability 

     in an array of digestible forms, faces, an evident typology 

     that ends with the eye, a gloss of minimal effort.

                    Find yourself 

     in the glimmering colours, smears of pastel and the occasional curve of a letter, 

                    bright and eye-catching 

     like a bite that takes a chunk of consciousness with each glance. This

     is our glorious present

     which constantly shifts, readjusts, 

     sheds a couple feathers and peels off a layer 

     when it withers out of fashion. A stable 

     ecosystem of the infinitely and eternally

                    the what is based on preference.                         Here 

     there is such a thing as ideal chocolate and everything 

     is measured in rivers: flowers and liquors, the proper hair length 

     for a quick escape should the need be pressing, 

     not that you would need nor want it.

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