Thursday, February 04, 2021



About a year ago, in that weird before time, I was finishing up a short series of prose poems devoted to Renaissance "dog-girl" Antoinetta Gonzalez and her portraitist Lavinia Fontana.   When lockdown struck in March, it sat un-edited for several months as I toiled to get writing again and ultimately moved onto other things.  It was a fun little series, even harboring the title of my animal. vegetable, monster manuscript and is rather central to that book, which deals so much in considering the artist as monster and monster-maker.  When I finished the first draft of the larger book, I set most of pelt aside, intending to maybe create a zine eventually after I was able to place some poems in journals.  I sent them out in a round of subs, but only Rogue Agent was kind enough to bite, so mostly they've been gathering dust since mid last year. I finally had some time to get them in order and into bookish form.  Consider them in their fur lined, paint smeared glory as a little valentine to fend off the cold. 

Part of a family of court performers known for their talents, humor, and  the fine covering of hair that enveloped her, her father,  and her siblings. Antoinetta captured the fancy of a princess and became, according to history, her dearest friend, though it sounds like she treated her more like her pet.  I first caught wind of Gonzalez in The Monstorum Historia and decided to dig a little deeper, thus the seed was planted but it took a few years to materialize.  In that research,  I made another interesting parallel discovery.  Her likeness was recorded several times by Lavinia Fontana, the royal  portraitist, who is regaled as the first-ever female painter to produce nudes.  The series sort of goes back and for between them..the artist and the subject, the watcher and the watched. 

Writing history is a strange thing, and that's perhaps a subject for another blog post,  Until then, you can check out the e-zine version here