Psychopomp Magazine Winter 2015 - Page 24

She mopes for four days, decides to abandon the project she’d been working on and start a new one. She is pissed at The Tarot Reader and pissed at herself for thinking she could make a wish that would come true. She decides she wants nothing to do with justice or injustice, realizes it’s extra shitty that people expect that from her because she is a woman and because she is black, so she moves further away from received reality and what is, into the world in her mind and what could be but isn’t.

The first figure in her new project is The Tarot Reader herself, perhaps to incite The Tarot Reader, perhaps to indict her. She paints the portrait in the Samuel B. Dixon school, which is recently closed and already becoming gutted. She puts her Tarot Reader there to encourage people to make art, not trash. She keeps looking over her shoulder, expecting the unicorn head to appear and smile or yell or hand her another card. The artist makes her to scale, in a way. In reality reality, The Tarot Reader wasn’t much taller than the artist, but in the artist’s reality, she was ten feet tall with breasts under her loose-fitting robes.

The next night the artist does a dog-head woman in the Depot. After that, a dragon-lady near-but-not-on Heidelberg Street, which is an eyesore. Her dragon-lady is not the commonplace hypersexualized dragon-lady, but a woman as a dragon or a dragon as a woman—it is hard to say.

Act III: Climax

The Tangling

She does the Leopard Woman with the Leopard in the parking garage for the zoo, and this will become one of her most famous and most divisive pieces. As she shades in the eyes, a candle catches the highlights, and the artist makes a stifled noise in her throat, thinking she is caught because by then she isn’t even thinking about The Tarot Reader anymore because she is absorbed in her project and she is evolving and her subjects are evolving, the Leopard Woman appearing to be the precursor to the Leopard itself.

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