Beauty is Convulsive

A few years ago I read the book Beauty Is Convulsive by Carole Maso which is poetry, biographical, novel, fiction, non-fiction and so much more. The book haunted me. The intensity of the feelings haunted me. At the time I felt moved and was learning how to intertext in a class.

In short, this was a practice my prof had us doing where we would write an author’s words and then our own through a rewrite or a response to those words. I practiced this a lot in literature classes and found myself much less intimated by the words of the greats. But I became more fascinated using it in my own non-academic writing.

This particular poem shared below was me intertexting with this book. It is odd in a good way because Maso was sharing aspects of Freida Kahlo’s life. She challenged my expectations of a book like this.  So by using Maso’s words I was able to better understand and not just understand but I better understood myself.  I took Maso’s sections I could relate to and they are italicized. I responded with my own related thoughts in plain font. At the time I was suffering from undiagnosed OCD and I can so identify it now. Anyway…for your reading pleasure.



I know, I know

Your words tell the story I long to hear.

Beauty is Convulsive

Fragmented Beauty

Elusive-fleeting beautiful one.

It is fleeting

Drawn to the swirling.

Live your life.

As it goes away


She dreams…

I dream.

3, 7, 9


I know, I know

Watching through the window just as a child

A need for an innocence of youth

Her extracted heart in her hands

Grotesque but alluring

Asked to believe those.

Assume those.

Revere those.

What are those?

Am I to assume, revere and believe that?

You paint the dead baby

I know

All dressed up no where to go

I know, I know.

Revolution is harmony

It is imperative

Everything that exists and moves…

To move or to go!

The elaborate stage of you

Helps to understand the elaborate stage of me


You are the mirror of the night

The thing I fear I will see

Looking with Hope

Alone but many

The garbage overflows with a human heart, a hand.

My garbage is my own creation

Bunch of aperitifs!

A fool can see

You sanctify your pain


paint it

with care


with utmost tenderness

you watch and tend it.

I know, I know.

The heart-

extract it

Take it from me, it isn’t there

the pain-

isolate it

it remains

How to paint feeling

Observer and Observed

How to write feeling


(  mother)?

I don’t know why-


She breathes on the glass

And draws a heart

I don’t know why-

There is hope

She dreams and dies a little

Hope she doesn’t see the way I see

A made up thing.

3 7 9


Anything but-

I know, I know


never forgetting…

Beauty is convulsive or not at all


Cut off your head

Cut off my heart

Your tears are nails

Pricking me in the soul

Shatter let me shatter along with you a little

A little free

I know, I know.




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