• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 04
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Bag Lady Pastiche

An enduring fixture on a multi-colored cellophane, city collage, the 21st century Madonna clutches a canvas book bag, reflects on yesterday’s sunrise, seeks disparate solutions to society’s cancer. With dignity and grace, she lifts the metal lids of Dixie-dumpsters, deftly skirting through the trash like an archaeologist, discovering treasures—remnants of a throwaway lost world—artefacts, buried in youthful debris.

Abstract memories, recaptured, collected and arranged like a Smithsonian exhibition, become addressed individually with monologues assuring her past a place in the present before the former slips from her visage forever, without acknowledgement or recognition.

This woman who owns the streets, parks, and alleyways clings tightly to her cotton home—a bedroll she carries by her side: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Regardless of season, she invites people to cross her most recent threshold, swept clean with a counter brush, hanging like a medallion around her neck.

Wearing her closet as proudly as Inanna, Queen of the Heavens, she absorbs the odors of smog, subways, factories, and the streets, reminding everyone she's the city's child—its messenger, its product. After blessing all children and potential benefactors, the bag lady's cryptic phrases and gestures anoint pedestrians with her pain, yet in return, they offer her only stares and consternation.