Suzanne Duchamp-Crotti – Ariette d’oubli de la chapelle étourdie (1920)

Rochelle Hurt
| Memoir


mixed media on canvas


[i didn’t know he had a sister is the wrong thought. nonetheless it comes to me. so does the husband, ferried by the double name. a crossroads. pleasant to think there’s room for two in marriage. Woolf buried Judith Shakespeare at some cross-roads where the om- nibuses now stop. the point had to be proved, sharpened like an arrow. when my sister married away her name entirely it was a wound. bad dada anyway. and what of eros? sometimes a man is a mask you would like to peek beneath. sometimes you can’t give back what you see. but Suzanne Duchamp married twice. here, a worthwhile philosophy: say he questions your aim by looking away—then place your bullseye close enough to prove him right. at ten, i threw a shoe at the wall next to my sister’s head. we were in the attic dressed in old wedding clothes. the shoe was a stiletto, carried by a dizzy rain-like rage. tiny stars bounced off every surface. no target i could see. rivalry aches differently when you know the future. Ida O’Keefe once said she’d be famous too if she had a Stieglitz. a beautiful family, my grandfather said to me every Christmas, pointing at my sister’s kids so aerodynamically. and where is your boyfriend? my grandmother made art only after she made children. Marcel had Suzanne write his name on a readymade: après Marcel Duchamp, it said. the little sister is the one who comes after, the older child is the mold. she poured her- self like cement into his studio and kept pouring till she hit the ceiling. oblivion in the thoughtless chapel. under a thumb is a web of want that spews glittering x’s over the painting—traces of her brush crossing it all out and out and out.]

Rochelle Hurt is the author of the poetry collections The J Girls: A Reality Show (Indiana University Press, 2022); In Which I Play the Runaway (Barrow Street, 2016); and The Rusted City (White Pine, 2014). She lives in Orlando and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Central Florida.

Frida Kahlo – Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair (1940)
the fury