Linda Griggs

Eat Crow

griggs_eat_crow21952 Aunt Faye invited the couple from downstairs to diner. The wife brought a kind of pie Aunt Faye had never tasted before. Aunt Faye politely complimented the wife and asked for the recipe. The wife said it was a private family recipe and that it wasn’t given out. Aunt Faye made pie after pie until she’d duplicated the recipe exactly. Then she invited the wife over again and fed it to her. The wife ate it and didn’t say a word.”

Hot Dog (He Was Real)

griggs_hot_dog1Cousin Sylvia and the orderly were called in. The elderly man had pulled out his catheter again. Sylvia said, “I’m sick of this. The old pervert just wants you to play with it and him on public assistance. Every time he costs us taxpayers $10. Well, I’m not going to waste another catheter.” She washed the dirty catheter with alcohol, rinsed it, powdered it and pushed it back in.The orderly started laughing and said, “If I hadn’t seen you do it to a white man I wouldn’t have believed it.

Suddenly Last Birthday

The night before my birthday, my Barbie disappeared from my room. She appeared the next afternoon at the party resplendent in a dress of pink cake and taffeta frosting. We were enraptured. She was a Goddess, a Princess, Developed. She was the most glamorous thing wed ever seen. She was everything we wanted to be. Then we ate the dress off her.The night before my birthday,
my Barbie disappeared from my room.
She appeared the next afternoon at the party resplendent
in a dress of pink cake and taffeta frosting.
We were enraptured.
She was a Goddess, a Princess, Developed.
She was the most glamorous thing wed ever seen.
She was everything we wanted to be.
Then we ate the dress off her.

Communion Ruminations

griggs-_communion_ruminations1Cousin Sybil’s playmates at Ruby Baptist had gotten caught in the 
supply closet eating the communion wafers and drinking the grape juice.
 Forty-five years later she was still aghast as she told Cousin Judy the story.Unconsecrated host in a supply cabinet is not the body and blood of 
Christ. The playmates were guilty of theft and perhaps gluttony but…
no transubstantiation, no sacrilege. Cousin Judy said, Well, I didn’t dare tell her that at Ruby Presbyterian 
we just let the kids have the leftovers when communion’s done.

We don’t use any special wafers. We just use Bunny Bread. It’s the best anyway, 
better than Wonder or Sunbeam.

 You know, we got this new preacher last year and he wanted something
 more, you know, formal looking than cut-up squares of Bunny Bread. 
So he went to the Communion Committee and asked if they could come 
up with some kind of little loaf for him to bless and break. 

So Viola Outen volunteered to make homemade bread and set aside some 
dough to make a little loaf. Well, after doing that for a year 
she got sick of it. Viola said, I’ll tell you what. That is just 
too much work for one little loaf of bread. If you need something 
just to bless and break, I’ll give YOU a Pop-tart.

Artist’s Statement

Having grown up in Oklahoma and South Carolina where story telling is treasured, it is only natural for my paintings to include text. Each image incorporates a family story with implications about class, race, death or gender politics. Some of the paintings incorporate art historical references in their composition. Puns frequently connect the image, the composition and the text. The darkness of these stories is lightened by the relaxed wit and wry humor characteristic of rural Americans.

The Dutch still life paintings that influence my work traditionally contain a moralizing tone. My paintings contain more of a demoralizing tone. All of the stories in these narrative, game and ontbijtjes or laid-table still life paintings are true.

Suddenly Last Birthday uses the background of Las Meninas to emphasize the princess reference. The title refers to the Tennessee Williams play about a cannibalistic event.

The composition of Eat Crow is based on Goya’s The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. The title refers to the American colloquialism for humbling a person. The black and white crows are called Pied Crows.

Linda Griggs received her MFA from Hunter College and her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her solo exhibitions include Hampden Gallery – UMASS Amherst and Carolyn J. Roy Gallery. Group shows include the Wustum Museum,the Leubsdorf Gallery – Hunter College, Cuchifritos, Abrazo Interno, UMASS, Vox Populi/American Fine Arts, 80 Washington Square East Galleries, the New York Public Library, Albany International Airport Gallery, the Matzo files, Bullet Space, Gahlberg Gallery at the College of Du Page in Illinois and galleries in Philadelphia, PA, Tennesee, Ohio, Virginia, Connecticut and New Mexico. She has received fellowships from the MacDowell and Millay Colonies and grants from Change, Inc and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Her work appears in the collections of JP Morgan Chase, Peter Klein/Obac Corporation, Ann Partlow/Earthrise Capital, and others.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of eight books and chapbooks, including This Visit (Blazevox, 2015), How to be Another (Cervena Barva Press, 2014), and State of the Union (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2014). Her ninth book, Heisenberg’s Salon, is available now for pre-order from Blazevox. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, and Verse Daily.