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Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Part of the "Dusie Trove" was this interesting 2" x 2" "book" that extends the definition of a book (e.g., to my eyes (and perhaps to my eyes alone) the feather bespeaking the notion of "wings of a prayer" as a book, like a poem, can be a prayer ...).  It's not just a story but book art!

It's not titled by its creator, Susana Gardner, but for purposes of this post, I'm going to title it SHE...for reasons that I hope will be obvious below.

So, when you untie the pink yarn around the book and first begin to unravel it, the book reveals the first "page" to be:

There is a pencil, an even smaller book with blank pages within this fold, and as the following detail shows, a URL address:

And what do you know?  Guess who's blog is noted in the URL address?  Well, click on it:  Yep, that's Moi primary blog where I post the results of playing poker with the poetry angels (all fallen, of course).  If you look at the detail above, you'll see a make-shift folder, too, where strips of the URL are enclosed, as if one can take one to give to others.  In other words, to pass the word about the writings of this person who pens THE BLIND CHATELAINE'S KEYS, which is where goes.  I won't go into the very long conceptual underpinning to my blog, except of course to note the gender of "Chatelaine."

When you unfold SHE further, you will see a page that contains a quote from Muriel Rukeyser,

What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open
--Muriel Rukeyser

Then when you go to the next page on the other side of the above, you will see a poem I wrote from I TAKE THEE, ENGLISH, FOR MY BELOVED (Marsh Hawk Press), my book that was released at about the time Susana made SHE:

Here's the text of the poem, in case it's not clear from above image:


Part of mortality's significance is that wars end.
Yesterday, I determined to stop watering down my perfumes.
Insomnia consistently leads me to a window overlooking silvery green foliage—tanacetum argenteum—whose species include the tansy which Ganymede drank to achieve immortality.
Once, I could have been tempted.
But to be human is to be forgiven.
The man in my bed shifts, flings an arm across the empty sheet—gladly, I witness him avoid an encounter with desolation.
Soon, summer shall bring a snowfall of daisies across these leaves whose mottles under a brightening moonlight begin to twinkle like a saddhu's eyes.
I can feel my hand reaching to stroke the white blooms as gently as I long to touch a newborn's brow.
By then, I swear my hand shall lack trembling.
I am nearly done with homesickness for Year Zero.
This is my second-to-last pledge: insomniac thoughts understate my capacity for milk.
This is my last pledge: I will not drink until all—all of you—have quenched your thirst.

When you unfold the above page, by the way, more blank pages fall out:

The pencil, the blank book, the blank pages inserted along with references to a woman writer's blog ("The Chatelaine"--which I will share I define as not necessarily a chateaux's caretaker but its other definition of "keeper of keys"), the Muriel Rukeyser quote, a poem regarding "Helen" from the male-centered Greek myth -- do not all of these combine to offer implications about de-silencing women's "truths"?  That's just a general interpretation, of course.  What's smart about Susana's approach is the lack of didacticism and the offering, instead, of several ways in which the combination and recombinations of her material can hint at or reveal stories that women can tell.

So where shall we "shelve" Susana's book?  Well, why not on one of the Star Trek chairs inspired by innovative designer Eeno Saarinen -- because I suspect that what's also relevant to Susana's project is a voyage into the (still) unknown:


  1. this is exquisite all of it.

  2. Glad you appreciated it, Rebecca, and just lovely to see you here,