Staking My Heart
Conceived in the fantasy of a heretic sufficiently mad to pray, sing or laugh while being burned at the stake, my equations of magma, fire, blood, wood and transient flesh figure strongly as they weave around a delicate heart alive with worms and flowers only to rise as seven jeweled torches. My image of the Dark Goddess (in fact that of Hypnos god of sleep from the cover of a Swiss magazine, Du) was saved for twenty-three years to fulfil this role. It appears at the south pole of Jupiter. The stake and flowering ribcage, a naked Dionysian banshee, Kali in red and my own dreamy white anima girl are surrounded by monads that burst into organic forms: bird beaks, claws, fishtails, lizards, then skeletons of a fierce bear, chimpanzees and an elephant bird as the artist’s alter ego. Alexander von Humboldt looks on as Iowa City’s famous Black Angel spreads her wings in gracious acknowledgement.