: a poem : by cheryl quimba, is surely the tiniest *dusi/e-chap to date. it is darling and easily held in hand, the markings of this little chap illustrate that a diy book need not be elaborate or huge but it can still be pretty and have its own unique appeal and of course quality poetry. cloth-covered with a simple 2-stitch binding this little book put me in way of Angria as well as my own childhood bookmaking experiences. quimba's :little poem: will definitely adorn my shadowbox in its tiny glory. I was also pleased to find yet another chap created by thinking a bit 'outside the box'. such a small book certainly attests to the art and creativity as well in the bookarts. the :little poem: itself is like a micro-ballad --ecapsulating a moment where music surely is:
Into the welding room came crashing another heartbroken belted man, bearing a record of another man, but with no record player.
from cheryl quimba's little poem * a dusi/e-chap, 2006
In such a tiny endeavor, the chap is roughly 1" by 2" and consists of 6 pages, the writing must be precise, no word in such a space can falter, and no word does. Such a small form captures such a small yet large momenture, and one so beautifully executed.
I am happy to report two things: I have received my first package from Qatar! and the contents of which are a fabulous poetic montage poster by the poet Elizabeth Workman, a poet who Dusie first aquainted me with. if poets aren't rockstar/pin-up artists, well then this poster-chap surely is testament to the fact that we should be recognized as such! this is a gorgeous piece put together by Elizabeth Workman as well as the visual artist, Barbara Campbell and art&designer layout master, erik brandt. I am impressed on so many levels, but the first of which I must admit is the design and visual aspect as well as poster size and layout, the vision of which is surely no-other but impressive and will soon adorn my livingroom walls!
many small histories mixed with a map-like cartography and documentation inform Elizabeth's poetry, spare but hauntingly beautiful.
I don't know too much about Elizabeth, but her expatria address and fabulous creation via the Dusie Chap projekt/kollektiv have surely acted as impetus, as well as daily reminder in its chosen display, in this way to keep an eye on her future work to come. The 'e' aspect of poetry today is amazing that we can all find each other and share our work together in this way. Digressing a bit from the central focus of this piece, but the web too acts like a kind of fulcrum or mapping, providing further space for interogation, discovery as well as pure excitement in the goings on of poetry today, a most decidely 'new victorian' era in way of correspondence and prolifergy of letter-mailing, no?
Black minds. A municipal undertaking Work Progress Administration it widen Sick White Magic. Engraved, segregated. Second Ward (a) Negro Elementary Also grab it known as "annex". Invasion. Lady Eleanor she show up she herself Dedicate the Segregated surgery On the 1925 dilapidate Dilate the pupils "New Deal" White Avenue
* "Everyone looks the same in a coal mine." Utopian impulse, intentions bested by accretion Of time. The same old new deal, "other half" and have-nots. Can't tell slavery slant. *
A poetic sequence alongside a series of black and white photographs taken by the author, a poetry and investigation of place and surely what also makes the young poet. Excerpted here is the first poem in a series of 12. 'Can't tell slavery slant' seems a direct echo/response to Dickinson, where there is no room or time-notwithstanding for seeing slant, but only as what it is. This restrospective does this, illuminating a small town, in the wider scope of so many small town America's, and the change of/in the post-segregated south, and its inhabitants and the suprising ability to produce music or the music of and in the line in such places for those of us who are so searching.
Here is the poem which places the title, HOW MANY OF YOU ARE YOU?:
How many of you are you? I told you, you should see where I was sitting To see the show. This is it, sunlit, straps, nest, and bottle. Apocryphal window, But oh it certainly is true. "And Also You" watches the Power Plant Consumes poison for the venom of dawn. Protect Nature charged with ions Enfolds with flood of bats. I left some food for you to share In a white container to the far right. Encircle and become left. There's a mattress to crash on too, Blotted with sun and one question: How many of you are you?
And, How Old Is It? takes to task the presumed witnessing of an old tree, and where reverberations are still felt over a 100 years later, where, 'the/ Tree surrounded. Stuck condition. Civil War is/ Circular looking glass, it's made of guns and/ Cash and of industry. The ground it soaks the blood and does not care. An energy that/ Is itself, unconditional condition
This is an interesting series which also includes other text in way of a letter detailing a strange and compelling dream of a Captain William Porter Wilkin of the West Virginia Cavalry written in 1863, to his wife presumably still on the other side of the water.
The pictures throughout, all seem bleak and wanting, do add in this way to the whole piece and this is also where the young poet comes in, turning ordinary experiences and daily secretings in such places from the realm questioning and inquiry toward the philisophical, one small town becomes so many small towns, where 'Confectionary keystone/ is epicenter, is more'
Paul Klinger's chap uses the form of erasure for PJ Bailey's "Festus", Signed Even as a Waiting. This is one of the smaller chaps, about 2'3"
The form of erasure can be found in the works of Ronald Johnson, Lucas Foss, and Tom Phillips, and now multiple others, though I am fairly certain I have seen prints of victorian texts with this form utilized as well. The form of erasure (literally erasing or blacking out text). I really like and appreciate this form, which is perhaps the strong predessor in way of all things flarf-- but what I find interesting about works like Klinger's erasures in Signed Even as a Waiting, is that the poet works with an original text of poetry (vs. spam) and it is not automatically generated, but a kind of poetic meditation/collaboration (at least on one part) and channeling of the original work to find the 'work within.' The last issue of Dusie also featured some of Klinger's erasures, and here he also cited his process:
A note on the process of Fescue :
I made a lexicon of Victorian (obsolete) words in the poem, and used those to help cut my own way. The lexicon helped me plot a course through each page, as well as establish certain patterns. I was definitely inspired by Ronald Johnson and his attention to Milton's poem. Johnson paid very close attention to the frame of the page, the skeletal aspects of typography.
I chose P.J. Bailey's Festus as my source because I wanted a disorganized text. Festus was perfect because Bailey kept adding to the poem all his life, doubling its size. What I wanted to do was override the frame of each page by forming tighter texts, far away from borders, which figure largely in Johnson's radi os. The lyrics all make gestures to what the page was, but unlike Johnson's poem, mine is not encapsulating or overarching. I am inside of the typography. In that sense, it becomes invisible.
This is a darling little shadow-box sized chap as well as an interesting take on poetries (past and present, oneself as well as the other/self) in its intelligent intertextual renderings. I've done pieces similar to this, but upon reading Signed Even as a Waiting, I am inspired try my hand at it again, if not dually 'collaborate' and perhaps do some erasures of other erasures even, now that would be a collaboration!
Receiving Betsy Fagin's chap, rosemary stretch proved to be a wide-eye opener, for me, in way of DIY chaps. The style is quite simple and seems to imitate the idea behind Japanese book-binding techniques as each page is actually two (though actually 1), as the pages are folded with the outside on the inside of the binding which is side-stapled. Does that make sense? This means that publishing is actually a lot easier than it often is in practice, in way of paginating, wasting reams of paper in desperated pursuit of page order (ahem, others may see what I'm saying when they get my chaps). So, I repeat, first page, fold, on the second side of the fold is the 'second' page. A truly genius idea!
I was also quite amazed at Betsy's ability to whip this book out as it was one of the first I received, oh Betsy, I so covet your nesting and obvious prolific & creative state!
Anyhoo, to the chap and the innards of this lovely,- rosemary stretch - works for me on many levels. As I read it I am tempted to read it twice, and then a third time, along the left column and then the right, as well as in an interpolative sort of fashion, and it works, Oh,- and it works the reader, I like to feel worked a bit as I read and wonder the various possibilities toward textual interpretation, etc. This is also a series, which I think everyone must know by now, my favorite kind of form as it continues and is not at all (thank heavens) poem-a-page weary ---projecting the reader outside of the box or frame..so to speak.
And as for - rosemary stretch - the stretch could be as in time, no? the latin meaning of rosemary being, dew of the sea, and water does seem to highly influence this work:
all memory carried, good. praise it. I thank the drinkable, activated. your talk. your life.
raining separation walls, barriers downbreaking. rivers become oceans, redistributing.
strengthening people of body bless this carrying and blessed, be purified. water the world:
Nile the Potomac Jordan the Hudson Tigris the Isis-- Euphrates,
you are my Seine. embody, begin. downrain prayers my everywhere, my water, pray I are all.
day every water for pray. I faucet your talk. your life. praise it. thank I drinkable, activated.
. . .
This poem speaks to me on so many various levels, the water imagery, somehow evokes Catholicism, baptism, new life, etc. I am also quite fascintated with the strange yet stimulating negotiation of 'I' /'we' which seems to happen throughout the 'stretch', 'pray I are all.' vs. pray I am all...I is we/thus not so egocentric as 'I' is the voice of an 'us' which completely goes against the grain of the typical voice/speaker. And of course, 'Euphrates, you are my Seine.' echoes this again, Euphrates the river of course, Euphrates 'sweet water'/river of desire and Seine the river also playing on the German Sein / being as well as a seine being a fishing net.... I would like to think that the meaning does in fact encompass all, as it does in the terrific 'I'/'we' of Betsy's poems.
Sheila Murphy's chap was the first to arrive in part with Dusie's inaugural kollektiv chap-making /sharing project this spring. As a reader, I first came across Murphy's work at Faux Press a site I was very excited to discover with some equally fab e-chaps to peruse through and which obviously had great influence on this dusi/e-chap project.
So, I was pleased when poet Lars Palm submitted a response poem to Murphy's Sentences Finishes on the Others Lips, called 'on stealing lips' After this issue debuted, I was again happy to receive a collaborative contribution consisting of some wonderful Ghazals to Dusie3 by Sheila Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt.
In way of reading poetry, as well as editing Dusie online, it is most surely such serendipitous finds, regarding poets and their poetic works and projects of writers like Murphy, who really make it worth all the work.
Full-Figured Rhapsody is surely that, in both form and creation. A song seemingly epic fraught between relations, experiences time and perhaps even various existences which are the natural result of which. The language of which is both lyrical as well as challenging and depositing its reader into a kind of meditative/metaphysical state. Murphy's writing seems laced with a sort private symbolism which for me does not alienate but actually intrigues a totally different kind of read/ing. For me these poems do require some time. Don't let the chap aspect of this project fool you, this is one tough little selection, 21 pages, beautiful in its odd yet wonderful & invigorating use of English language and the poet's own relationship to her given page.
Beginning today I will start a daily posting in hopes to encourage discussion of the many chapbooks made for the dusi/e-chap book project. These are not reviews and are not meant to be read as such, though I hope to parcel my somewhat fragmented ideas and thoughts about all of these wonderful chaps here in a way which be beneficial as well as insightful. More importantly though I hope all those involved in the kollektiv project might take some time to come and stop by and leave a comment or even a line about the chap being discussed, thoughts, impressions, etc, or even just a hi, I received it! esp if private or list discussion hasn't taken place. This is also a good place for writers to ask questions, whether they be technical or creative, etc in way of the project or piece.
I have experienced many different thoughts and feelings during this project-- and especially toward the end of the month of May and now when many of us either just finished up our projects and mailed them or will soon--and the greatest achievement so far, I think is the remarkable sense of community and feeling of comradery in such a short period. That and all the lovely mail! I had forgotten how wonderful it was to get real mail and poetry no less! For me this time-based project was also impetus toward creating new poetry as well as thinking about writing in a totally different way...with the printing of which and binding in mind the entire process. I am so pleased with all of the beautiful and different little books I've received and see the manifestations of all of our interpretations in such an endeavor. Oh, and the soon e-publication very shortly as well!
so while I have been gone I have been doing something else that has kept me quite busy the last few weeks...creating my new chap for the Dusie Kollektiv project, which is an e-book/real self-made chap as well for those involved in the group project. It was great doing the side-seam stitching. Every single chap has a different cover, and all have handmade envelopes from the leftover 'mistakes'/scrap paper from printing mistakes, etc.
so, this all means that I can properly enjoy all the fab chaps I have RECEIVED as well!
My Dusie mail for today: Chris Rizzo's In the Quells. Very clean layout, can't wait to give it a closer look. More soon in way of mini-write-ups of these fab little books.