Logo, MacQueen's Quinterly
Listed at Duotrope
MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 13: May 2022
Prose Poem: 532 words
By Lorette C. Luzajic

The Psychic

—After Salvador Dalí
  1. The last orange blossoms of summer. Their soft perfume. The day’s bright blaze gnaws at Pilar’s eye sockets, oblivious to the shield of her massive dark lenses. She nibbles nervously at carmine talons, pacing the environs of the museo. The forensic team is inside, with the artist’s legal team, excavating evidence of her future, digging up proof of what she’s always known.

  2. She can see it in her powder mirror, clear as the day overhead. She retouches her lipstick again and again, partly so she can look at him over and over. The truth is written all over her face, obvious to anyone. To everyone.

  3. “Dame thinks Dali is her daddy,” says one dude to the next. “Says her mother had an affair with him in ’55 when she was a maid at a fishing villa.” They are working the pulleys to remove the block that entombs him, one and a half tonnes of cement. “She says she is Dali without the moustache.”

  4. “We’re digging him up for that?” asks the other. “Thirty years later?” He adjusts the tension of the rope, checks the position of the mechanism. The forensic scientists are waiting in the wings for the body below. “No rest for the wicked.”

  5. “The Dali Foundation considers the exhumation performed on Salvador Dalí’s remains entirely inappropriate.” Official Statement to the Press.1

  6. A tight-lipped woman in white and latex gloves tsk-tsks to herself, overhearing the banter of the labourers. She is a scientist and lifelong Catalan. Her home is adorned with intriguing sculpture and she has a Salvador print in her collection. Never in a million years would she have guessed her job would lead her here. She is not a psychic, after all, like the woman who claims to be his bastard daughter. But she knows enough about the eccentric painter’s legendary devotion to his wife Gala to assume there were no other dalliances. For Gala, there were many. For Dali, he loved only her, even watching her with her lovers.

  7. María Pilar Abel Martínez, clairvoyant. She puffs away at her packet of Ducados, one after the other. She paces past the yew trees circling the estate, the red tower and the egg sculptures. Thinks of the castles she is claiming, the hundreds of millions of dollars of his art. All this will soon be hers.

  8. If she was psychic, she would know the DNA will soon spell out her lunacy and greed. But she will continue her claims even after, to save face, to appease the delusions of her mother who told her these tales, to insist on certainty beyond science. If she knew the future, she would know she will have to reimburse the state later for this spectacle. That her own daughter will be found lifeless a year from now on a plaza bench, age 39, reasons unknown, just down the road.

  9. They pull him up, take clippings of his fingernails, hair, and two bones, for a reading.

  10. “The moustache preserved its classic 10-past-10 position,” declared Lluís Peñuelas, secretary-general of the Dalí Foundation, with some glee, after.2



Publisher’s Notes:

1. Statement by Dalí Foundation appears in “The Mustache Is Intact: Inside the Surreal Overnight Exhumation of Salvador Dalí’s Corpse” by Naomi Rea in Artnet News (21 July 2017); link retrieved on 7 May 2022:

2. Quotation by Lluís Peñuelas appears in “Salvador Dalí’s Remains Exhumed, Revealing A Perfectly Arranged Mustache” by Colin Dwyer at NPR (21 July 2017); link retrieved on 7 May 2022:

Lorette C. Luzajic
Issue 13, May 2022

is from Toronto, Canada and writes prose poetry, flash, and other forms of little stories. Her work has been widely published in literary journals and anthologies, including Gyroscope, Free Flash Fiction, Bright Flash, Club Plum, Red Eft, and Indelible, among others. Her story The Neon Raven won first place in a writing challenge at MacQueen’s Quinterly, and her work has been nominated multiple times for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Her most recent of six collections of prose poems are Pretty Time Machine (2020) and Winter in June (2021). Some of her works have been translated into Urdu.

Lorette is founder and editor of The Ekphrastic Review (established 2015), a journal devoted to writing inspired by art. She is also an award-winning visual artist, with collectors in 30 countries from Estonia to Qatar. Visit her at: www.mixedupmedia.ca

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Two Must-Read Books by The Queen of Ekphrasis, commentary in MacQ-9 (August 2021) by Clare MacQueen, with links to additional resources

Featured Author: Lorette C. Luzajic at Blue Heron Review, with two of her prose poems (“Disappoint” and “The Piano Man”); plus “Poet as Pilgrim,” a review of Pretty Time Machine by Mary McCarthy (March 2020)

Fresh Strawberries, an ekphrastic prose poem in KYSO Flash (Issue 11, Spring 2019), nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize

Copyright © 2019-2024 by MacQueen’s Quinterly and by those whose works appear here.
Logo and website designed and built by Clare MacQueen; copyrighted © 2019-2024.
⚡   Please report broken links to: MacQuinterly [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡

At MacQ, we take your privacy seriously. We do not collect, sell, rent, or exchange your name and email address, or any other information about you, to third parties for marketing purposes. When you contact us, we will use your name and email address only in order to respond to your questions, comments, etc.