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Monbloom (Ramon Monegal)

Article written for, and first published in CaFleureBon.

Portrait of dana's mom holding dana, overimposed on her own mature self. Direction, photo, and collage by dana

If I could carve

A tree hollow

In the chest of my beloveds

I would crawl in it

And sit in it,

Me in them

And the beloved in me,

Like a family

Of Matrioshkas.

(Wednesday, Mar 5 by dana.

Part of “Songs for Their Sleep”, a poetry journal of pregnancy)

Wildflowers. Photo by Laura Evans with treatment by dana


Parascheva was fast, loud, and inattentive to what village protocol demanded of her. Left pregnant on the brink of WWII, she birthed and raised her daughter, Anastasia, without a fuss, and short of a husband drafted to the front line (who was growing, as an escapee from a prisoner camp in Odessa, his own storyline of infinite randomness). Much is not to be said about Parascheva; neither was she handsomer or handier than others.

What she was, though, was happier, as if the sun always shone brighter upon her humble hut. Animals thrived around her; strangers lost found shelter with her; her garden (in name only, as she never tended it) exploded with blooms like she was some old, happy which pushing life out of everything she touched.

Anastasia. Photo treatment by dana


Anastasia was married very young and found herself mothering Cornelia soon after. Her household—her domain, ringing with the rhythms of her sewing machine and buzz of bees cradling the old lilac trees. Tied to the ground but elevated through the most random penchant for naive rhyming, Anastasia kept her hair done and her garden exact, blooms pushing correctly through the carefully-worked soil, healthy and proper and each knowing its place.

Detail of digital interactive poetry art by J.Piringer. Photo treatment by dana


Cornelia, unlike her lineage, lives in a town, where water is running, logopedy is a thing, and blooming happens on windowsills many feet in the air. Within cement boxes atop one another, she lovingly brings words to children who don’t have them, much like she did with her own Dana long ago: back bent, attention intent, and eyes beaming with so much light it pushes through and breaks the silence.

Monbloom by Ramon Monegal. Photo and treatment by dana

If you have ovaries, you are born with all the eggs you’ll ever have- should one or more be destined to become another, they’ll have been in you since before you were born. Every grandmother, thus, is carrying their future grandchildren while they’re pregnant, bridging time in womanhood like a continuous song of collective memory.

Monbloom, too, is a bridge. Built in arches sprung across perfumery eras and levels of depths, it manages to be at once classical and fresh, grandiose but simple, intimate but universal.

The first nose is intensely aromatic, like the perfumey infusion of an afternoon of garden work: oily herbs, slight sweat, fleshy flowers. What follows is the smoothest transition into (warm) earthiness, smoky, fulfilling, and resolved, which gives way, further still, to an enveloping, atemporal, almost animalic creaminess. And there it stays: life force in all its glory, reigned by a tuberose covering everything tuberose in the same way my she-tribe took words from naive rhyming all the way to CaFleureBon.

official notes: labdanum, tuberose, musk, patchouli, oud, ylang, jasmine, osmanthus, neroli, cedar

other perceived notes: vetiver, cumin, ambergris, suede, tonka, dirt, vanilla, tar

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