SF&D | Short, Fast, and Deadly April 2012 | [Place Marks]
ISSN (print) | 2163-0712 ISSN (online) | 2163-0704 Copyright ÂŠ 2012 by Individual Authors | All Rights Reserved
Joseph A. W. Quintela | Senior Editor Sarah Long | Poetry Editor Chris Vola | Chapbook Reviewer
Published by Deadly Chaps Press www.deadlychaps.com www.shortfastanddeadly.com DCsf&d2012 | 4
Cover Photo | Into the Wreck SF&D | i
iii | Note from the Editor iv | Theme Nicolette Wong | The Bathroom // Mark Reep | Collegetown // Al Ortolani | Hawk on the Practice Field // Al Ortolani | City Council Hires a Cannon // Jenny Rossi | Rooms are // Maryanne Hannan | Only the Dog Knows // Anthony Marshall | Waffle House After Hours // Robert Cantrell | Decomposition // Michelle Holmes | Oncology; Room 121 // Leah Givens | Neighborhood Pool // J.R. Fenn | The Clocks and the Sea // Alex Pruteanu | Terminals A, B, and C Are Without Power // Ray Scanlon | Vocational Education // Ray Scanlon | Hectocotylus // Bruce Harris | Away from Home // Guy Yasko | Kai Tak xxiii| Featuring Lisa Marie Basile | Statement // Lisa Marie Basile | Photograph // Lisa Marie Basile | Castle Montjuic // Lisa Marie Basile | Mother & Father // Lisa Marie Basile | 38° 7' 0" N / 13° 22' 0" E // Lisa Marie Basile | Oceans // Lisa Marie Basile | Barcelona // Lisa Marie Basile | A Heritage xxxiii| Prose Amber Decker | Point and Shoot // Uzodinma Okehi | Tomb of Kings // Uzodinma Okehi | And yes, I know only Sikhs wear turbans // Uzodinma Okehi | Gold-bowelled cities // NARDO | Pontificating Pope of Dope // Jenny Rossi | Red Morning, Sailor’s Warning. Red At Night, Sailor’s Delight. // Ray Scanlon | Camp Myles Standish xli | BlackMarket J. N. Mulcahy-King | Coprolites // Bruce Harris | House Hunting xliv | Poems Ronald Steiner | Time Out xlvi | Views Chris Vola | (re)View of TAKE OUR PICTURE AS YOU SLEEP by Justin Rouge // Joseph A. W. Quintela | (inter)View with Prudence Groube
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Joseph A. W. Quintela | Note from the Editor
The [Place Marks] issue hovers at the confluence of stillness and motion. The resting page serves as its place while its ink marks are evidence left by the motion of living. And we (poor fools or stalwart adventurers?) are the ones who have come between these two great forces. This is one view of [Place Marks]. In the artist statement preceding her feature section, Lisa Marie Basile gives us another view, one that looks at [Place Marks] as a code within the body, a site of both haunting and discovery, a sensual enfolding of identity and land. Her linguistic journey is to, from, and always place. Her cartography expands the meaning of both map and life. She is the explorer but she is also the explored. Whatever your view of [Place Marks], it is clear from the enthusiastic response to this phrase that the marked body and the marked place are themes that resonate deeply with writers everywhere. We received more submissions to this issue than ever before in the history of SF&D. And so I present to you the April issue: marked, mapped, and deadly.
New York | April 2012
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[Place Marks] Nicolette Wong | The Bathroom // Mark Reep | Collegetown // Al Ortolani | Hawk on the Practice Field // Al Ortolani | City Council Hires a Cannon // Jenny Rossi | Rooms are // Maryanne Hannan | Only the Dog Knows // Anthony Marshall | Waffle House After Hours // Robert Cantrell | Decomposition // Michelle Holmes | Oncology; Room 121 // Leah Givens | Neighborhood Pool // J.R. Fenn | The Clocks and the Sea // Alex Pruteanu | Terminals A, B, and C Are Without Power // Ray Scanlon | Vocational Education // Ray Scanlon | Hectocotylus // Bruce Harris | Away from Home // Guy Yasko | Kai Tak
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Nicolette Wong | The Bathroom
Some puppeteer is having devilish fun with me. Open the notebook to numbers sliding off the page: my love in a tub of crimson water, long cuts for signals disrupted through the airwaves. Trade her arm for mine in one aimless sweep. How do I ring her now that she's plodding toward the end, alone in a foreign town? It's been an hour. It's been years. I jerk before a blank page. I spill.
//for Len Kuntz//
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Mark Reep | Collegetown
1 You kids, he laughs, unhumbled by their careless grace, cute boots, body language of deterrence. Chasing with a slow lens a who the fuck are you look, a predictable gesture blurring out of frame. 2 On the bridge, a girl with a set face reaches through the suicide fence, picks at an Ithaca is Fences sticker. Now sheâ€™s kneeling, digging with both hands. Kids looking, looking away. Nobody stops.
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Al Ortolani | Hawk on the Practice Field
The edge of town is not squared, its carpentry wearied, twisted as milkweed in January, each season tugged by gravity, dissolved by rain, blown by wind. Change is built on conflict, the smallest bulb, blackened by freeze, buoys the tulip above death. It screws through the packed dirt. The hawk on the goal post leans tentatively towards the field mouse in the uncut grass; the dagger of wing, the clench of talons.
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Al Ortolani | City Council Hires a Cannon
Tonight, I went running, following the sound of the starling cannon, fired from below the trees at Lakeside Park. Above Jefferson Street starlings circled in growing flocks. They swept the tops of the elms. The gun pounded, growing louder, less familiar. Starlings rose and fell with each report, pushed to distant trees by a force they could not fathom. I ran through puddles from the eveningâ€™s rain, the reflection of the sky splashing beneath my shoes.
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Jenny Rossi | Rooms are
emptier without you not in a horrible way I have a man who sublets my chest cavity in the summer
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Maryanne Hannan | Only the Dog Knows
How to go blank on a dime. This one balks, though, every time we walk past a certain patch of woods. Perhaps a body buried there or itâ€™s a coyote coupling ground, we joke at dinner. We'll never know, sip Yellow Tail Noir. Seek our own oblivion.
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Anthony Marshall | Waffle House After Hours
Petals lives in a trailer park in Hopkins. She complains about Mexicans playing Tejano music too loud and waking her baby at 2 am. Petals works late to avoid her boyfriend and his goatee. She wants me to go to Waffle House with her after work for a patty melt. She grabs the blue waistband of her sweats and pulls them up and just a second before she releases them I hear her panties snap against her fair skin.
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Robert Cantrell | Decomposition
The rubbery faces of the animatronic carolers are so decomposed; the last human features remaining are their forever-frozen-mid-blink ceramic eyes. I wipe the blanket of dust off the top-hat clad gentleman’s left shoe with my sleeve… that green crayon mark I made as a child is still intact, my pilgrimage is complete. I inhale one last whiff of nostalgia as the ancient Christmas memory of the mechanical choir flashes through my mind…then finally, crawl back out the hole in the boarded window.
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Michelle Holmes | Oncology; Room 121
Milk sours slowly, sweet. Her sheets still smell of it. Nobody notices but he is 2 and poured his cup. A wet bed stays warm a while.
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Leah Givens | Neighborhood Pool
Slip out of water, exhausted, into drenching sun. Four-square on the blazing concrete, if you're brave and ready for the slapped rubber ball twisting in beside you, behind you, anywhere within the taped-on lines. Return the punch or else. Spend hours, hone the whap-spins until your palms shout red. Don't care. If a ball is coming at you, you defend. The rush is its own reward.
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J.R. Fenn | The Clocks and the Sea Listen to me. The clocks on the walls fall to shatter around you. It was like that, she says. “Period.” No, he says, it wasn’t. “The glass on the floor, the hands all broken.” I say the sea fills the house, you float with the split detritus of clocks; water rises to the brim. In sum, the whole thing is a dream. He disagrees. She says no. You’ve forgotten. “It’s a lie, it all happened, and no one was left.”
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Alex Pruteanu | Terminals A, B, and C Are Without Power
What has happened? The interrogatorâ€™s superior was a bureaucrat with a comfortable second layer on his stomach and a mustache. His scuffed, brown shoes were imported from Prague. What has happened? The bureaucrat had hurried down into the basement after the horrific screaming had suddenly ceased. The orders were for the interrogator not to exterminate the subject. What has happened? The interrogator walked around the apparatus and jiggled wires helplessly. Did you kill him? The interrogator jiggled more wires. No, sir. Terminals A, B, and C are without power.
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Ray Scanlon | Vocational Education
For St. Patrick's Day practice, Jeff boiled us one of his excellent corned beef and cabbage dinners. After, rather than old dead Shakespeare again—Hamlet stabs Polonius; Ali empathizes: “How awkward!”—Gram uses a deck of crisp Bicycle playing cards to teach the grandkids, as fans of politics and Dilbert might agree, something useful instead: building houses of cards, clock solitaire, Klondike, and other card magic.
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Ray Scanlon | Hectocotylus
Hanging out with wine after a day of low-key camaraderie at the sea-shore, how pleasant to reprise sniggery junior high days and read that the male octopus has a special arm, a specific one of his eight that's evolved into double duty as his sex organ. My own quest for the facts of life cracked open when I discovered the last vowel in penis isn't â€œu.â€? The dictionary definition didn't help much, but now I had the key.
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Bruce Harris | Away from Home
We do things without thinking. Things like blinking or typing. We put our fingers in the “Home” position. But if our finger positions were off by one, we would be out of sorts. We’d write something like this: Qw si rgubfa qurgiyr rgubjubf. Rgubfa kujw vkubjubf ie rtoubf, Qw oyr iye dubfwea ub rgw :Ginw: oiauruib. Vyr ud iye dubfwe oiauruiba qwew idd vt ibwm qw qiyks vw iyr id aiera, Qw;s qeurw ainwrgubf kujw rguaL
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Guy Yasko | Kai Tak
I. She soaks her chopsticks in tea before she eats. -- Why? -- Hepatitis.
II. I went up Victoria Peak the day she left. I watched planes crawl across Kai Tak's runways. From across the bay, they seem too slow to fly.
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Lisa Marie Basile | Statement // Lisa Marie Basile | Photograph // Lisa
Marie Basile | Castle Montjuic // Lisa Marie Basile | Mother & Father // Lisa Marie Basile | 38째 7' 0" N / 13째 22' 0" E // Lisa Marie Basile | Oceans // Lisa Marie Basile | Barcelona // Lisa Marie Basile | A Heritage
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Lisa Marie Basile | Statement
Place is identity; when you haunted by some place, you are haunting yourself: what about that place brought your ghosts out of you? You are branded, stamped, a map drawn out onto your vein and skin. Did you ever wonder why the hell you speak the way you do? I know I do. Why you throw your hands in the air when you’re in love? Why you dig into the earth frustrated, trying to get the world to take something terrible out of you. Why you are sick in the first place. Your DNA did it to you. So, what’s in there? What country is in there? How does it make us who we are? Am I my mother’s blood, or my father’s? And when I feel like one, which is it, really? Am I who I see in the mirror? Why do I look like an orphan? The answers are in the roots. You have to go to them. Did you know you even traveled with ghosts? For so long I wanted a warm country with warm people; I traveled to where the language felt like home. I had started reading Spanish poetry years ago from its translation and then in the Spanish itself. I found a home, a warmth, a kindness in the language. I began to learn it, and it shaped me. I went to Spanish-speaking countries in love with the language; it is like I hunted for secrets in each place, lifting up the rugs and going into their oceans and decoding their people. I wanted to find out what it was about the language; the fluidity? The sound? I found that it was the poetic nurture it provided when I found it. Who I was then needed something; it found it in that sound. I found myself in Cesar Vallejo and Marosa di Giorgio. I found myself in words and conjugations I didn’t understand. I felt confident speaking. It was that I was delocated. I was not home. I was lost in life (and still am sometimes) and found a mother, a breast, in the language. I followed the language to locations
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around the globe, and found parts of me; what I was searching for, why I needed the foreign – and most importantly, what I was running from. For me, to be haunted by a place is to be haunted by yourself. You are a map, a country, a mountain – all in your DNA and identity; to struggle with your identity is to be unfound. You will be haunted until you decode how you were made and confront it. In these works I try to uncover the places that uncovered me; I try to find my ancestral secrets. I try to analyze the locations and their histories in a hunt for why I am who I am. Most of the time, I find the answers somewhere between the page and looking closely at myself when I’m out of my own element. Then, that’s when the places follow me and I have to find out why.
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Lisa Marie Basile | Photograph
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Lisa Marie Basile | Castle Montjuic
What does a castle look like when it is young? stuttering/stunning. My baby, I am patiently waiting to devour your moat/mouth open wide.
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Lisa Marie Basile | Mother & Father
I am a black-haired sparrow from a white-haired nest. Who, inside me, was blessed at the sacrament of my birth?
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Lisa Marie Basile | 38° 7' 0" N / 13° 22' 0" E
I was born of some where's water, maps slid out beside me, forcepped. In my mother’s arms the odor was salt and something foreign.
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Lisa Marie Basile | Oceans
A drunken cartographer makes oceans regret themselves. Who does the Adriatic belong to? Not me, not you. The same is true for the body.
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Lisa Marie Basile | Barcelona
I wear the ephemera of a city long after the leave. if I ask politely (offer up many of my bones) o, when can I return?
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Lisa Marie Basile | A Heritage
your geographied face>your bones the bones of the Trojan horse>Jesus tucked under the folds of knees>you came from a town of lemon trees.
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Amber Decker | Point and Shoot // Uzodinma Okehi | Tomb of Kings // Uzodinma Okehi | And yes, I know only Sikhs wear turbans // Uzodinma Okehi | Gold-bowelled cities // NARDO | Pontificating Pope of Dope // Jenny Rossi | Red Morning, Sailor’s Warning. Red At Night, Sailor’s Delight. // Ray Scanlon | Camp Myles Standish
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Amber Decker | Point and Shoot
Six months her husband has lain cold in the ground. She paces the house, wears a path from the white-tiled kitchen to the living room window. She uses the fancy new camera her daughter gave her to take photos of the bus stop girls outside in short skirts, their white teeth flashing in the sun like the tails of deer. The boys stand close by, new muscles bursting like wet fruit through the tight skins of their t-shirts, fingers cocked like pistols in the belt loops of their jeans, ready for action.
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Uzodinma Okehi | Tomb of Kings
More often than not you need just one friend . . . And yet my pal Valdez was like the stand-in for so many inseparable friends, and between us both it was as if weâ€™d done every dirty job, as if we toiled then slogged for years beneath ground, only glimpsing the world above as that barely visible glow.
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Uzodinma Okehi | And yes, I know only Sikhs wear turbans
Like those Hindus I worked with on 8th avenue, the same as with everyone I came across in those days . . . My problem was that I was as average as the rest, and yet I underestimated that even the average man has his stupendous dreams, a fact which often jumped right up to sting me in the face.
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Uzodinma Okehi | Gold-bowelled cities
And how many nights were we down there fantasizing about lives fulfilled, watching that glow seep through the cracks? Which is what I mean when I say I pulled oars in the galleys of longships, or rather, that I slaved in the service of dreams. That hand over hand, I once did toil in the tombs of kings.
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NARDO | Pontificating Pope of Dope
Pontificating Pope of Dope donâ€™t blasphemy me. Mistakes rage as I lay me down to sleep. Dreaming of soft-shelter-subliminal twilights dangling over my head. Two times I fell...till death due us part. A cacophony blaring in my head to pull, protect, protest and prevent my slide-down-illustrious wings to the mother sky earth. The sun slid down me. Iâ€™ll say it again. Pontificating Pope of Dope...lay your waste upon me.
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Jenny Rossi | Red Morning, Sailorâ€™s Warning. Red At Night, Sailorâ€™s Delight.
Ruin on my hips made attractive by the promise of twilight between my legs. Invariably someone will notice soft twilight is a red morning. Too late. I am a pirate! Arr! I will steal everything.
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Ray Scanlon | Camp Myles Standish
In our early teens, nearly every summer day my friends and I bicycled to some place we'd never been. One was Camp Myles Standish, street after street of ghost-ridden barracks, abandoned to the crows and three raucous boys. A startling artifact of World War II, it served POWs and myriad GIs. We were born just five years after an enterprise of overwhelming scale, and our parents had made it almost invisible to us.
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J. N. Mulcahy-King | Coprolites // Bruce Harris | House Hunting
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J. N. Mulcahy-King | Coprolites
HYPOTHESIZED SPHERICAL CLOUD OF COMETS THAT MAY LIE NEARLY A LIGHT YEAR FROM THE SUN. THE DUCHESS OF WINDSOR. COUTURE MEAT DRESS. DENDROCYGNA BICOLOR. THE FULVOUS WHISTLING DUCK. THE SUN REINSTATED. STOCKHOLM SYNDROME. EVERY HEART STOLEN. ZINC LINED BASKET. COSBY SWEATERS. HOMEMADE AMATEUR TEEN. BOSNIAN WHISPERS. AGREEANCES AND COMMANDS. THATCHER’S FECUND HOLE. ABORTION RAMPAGE. DEAD BABY VIAGRA. SEALION PENIS ELIXIR. GREAT CHINESE REMEDIES. SEXY VERA DRAKE HANDS. THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN. SUPER NITENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM. CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA. SUB SAHARAN AFRICA. THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT. THE BARRY FAMILY OF TWIN FALLS IDAHO’S PERSONAL FAMILY BLOG “THE CUTEST BLOG ON THE BLOCK”. “CREC QUE NINGÚ ENTÉN VERITABLEMENT LA MECÀNICA QUÀNTICA”. THE FUTURE, Comma after future
//written with words excerpted from various Wikipedia pages and the Berry Family Blog. Author’s note: A coprolite is fossilized animal dung. Coprolites are classified as trace fossils as opposed to body fossils, as they give evidence for the animal’s behaviour (in this case, diet) rather than morphology. The name is derived from the Greek words κοπρος / kopros meaning ‘dung’ and λιθος / lithos meaning ‘stone’. They were first described by William Buckland in 1829. Prior to this they were known as “fossil fir cones” and “bezoar stones.” They serve a valuable purpose in paleontology because they provide direct evidence of the predation and diet of extinct organisms.  Coprolites may range in size from a few millimetres to over 60 centimetres.//
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Bruce Harris | House Hunting
One house, and only one, riveted my attention. The house was so large and so rambling that a regiment might be hid away in it and no one the wiser. A splendid park with fine old timber surrounds the house. I shall stand behind this holly-bush and see what I can see. There was one wing, however, which appeared not to be inhabited at all. ”Who had the house before you?” “I don’t know that. But I can tell you that this is about the richest house in London.” Omne ignotum pro magnifico.
//written with words excerpted from the “The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge”, “The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier”, “The Musgrave Ritual”, “The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place”, “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”, “The Adventure of the Three Gables”, “The Naval Treaty”, “The Stockbroker’s Clerk”, “The Red-Headed League” from Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle//
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Ronald Steiner | Time Out
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Ronald Steiner | Time Out
Bones Fractured in fights alight the tunnel to your kisses and screaming you knock.
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Chris Vola | (re-)View of TAKE OUR PICTURE AS YOU SLEEP by Justin Rouge // Joseph A. W. Quintela | (inter-)View with Prudence Groube
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Chris Vola | (re-)View of TAKE OUR PICTURE AS YOU SLEEP by Justin Rouge
“What belongs/here, really?” asks Justin Runge in his subtly heartbreaking, anthropomorphic road-trip-in-verse, TAKE OUR PICTURE AS YOU SLEEP. Car piles, air force bases, and motorcycle jilts offer a secret weightier than the most intuitive migratory species, and the sad part is, we might only catch a scent before it’s gone: “without /a honk,/you break/formation,/pass me/and gather.” Even frostbite needs a memorial.
//TAKE OUR PICTURE AS YOU SLEEP by Justin Rouge can be found as an electronic chapbook at Gold Wake Press. Weekly chapbooks reviews by Chris Vola are posted to the SF&D facebook page//
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Joseph A. W. Quintela | (inter-)View with Prudence Groube
Prudence Groube was one of three authors invited to contribute to the first trio of chapbooks created as a part of the A5 series from Deadly Chaps Press. In A5, the creation process takes the form of a 30 day one-off between an artist/poet and a blank sketchbook. Her contribution, You Are Not Here, is an imaginative exploration of multiplicity, loneliness, and persistence executed in the playful style that exemplifies both the A5 series and Prudence’s larger body of work. She and project curator Joseph A. W. Quintela had a quick rendezvous on Facebook for an SF&D style Q&A. Joseph A. W. Quintela: In your own words, can you explain the A5 project and your own book in the series? Prudence Groube: I consider the A5 project like a virtual meeting/collaboration between 3 artists otherwise remote from one another...kind of a chaotic exquisite corpse--the works inevitably interact when taken into consideration as a set--but these interactions are controlled solely by the work and the reader - the artists having surrendered the control and intention of the work to participate in a larger whole. JQ: A larger whole…explain! PG: I’m currently into the idea of the "virtual" presence in art...so A5 was a fun exploration for me. Relationships built between artists and writers without physical presence, just the conceit of working in a 20 page blank sketchbook linking us -
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how does that affect self-perception, communication, and actions? JQ: Well, how did it affect you? PG: In "living" with my little white book for a month it became a sort of "confidant": inviting a much greater degree of personal honesty into the work. Talking “one-on-one” with my A5 booklet, I would put down the usual convenient tools of PRODUCT-ion that can be prevalent in day to day studio work. This allowed less finished ideas to spill onto the page and see where they might lead without needing to arrive at a final destination. I feel as if my A5 is a candid snapshot of what my internal studio looks like - if you wanted to understand the where/how/what of MIMACHAN - the A5 is where to look. JQ: And what do you see when you look at it? PG: What I did find a little confronting about seeing the work in reproduction was how simple it really is. Not in terms of technique necessarily, but how, when stripped of any artifice, how simple and universal the driving themes of my work are: love, relationship, confusion, communication, hope. I used to want to be more political as an artist, as if that would somehow make my work more socially essential. With the increasing complexity of disembodied society and politics, I’m starting to realize that simply being human in my work might be pretty essential after all. JQ: How’s this for a virtual exercise: if you were going to be stranded on a desert island and could only take one notebook and either a pencil or a pen, which would it be?
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PG: The only pencil I can draw with: my pentel graphgear 1000 0.5mm. I hold its sleek and perfectly weighted balance in my hand and it reminds me of a silver bullet. JQ: The A5 series touts the importance of play in art and poetry, and your work certainly seems created in a playful mode. What do you think is important about play? PG: Play is willing entry into an alternate space with alternate rules. Play allows for "not knowing": for active relearning, safe risk-taking, and ultimately (I hope) for positive growth and change. If something can be considered as not so serious, less intimidating, "not real" - then it becomes more approachable-allowing us to look at something that approached directly might be perceived as too BIG to change or deal with. JQ: Last words? PG: Have a sense of humor! It's also meant to be fun.
//You Are Not Here by Prudence Groube is available in print from Deadly Chaps Press along with the other two releases in the first A5 series trio: Memoria, Memoria by Rachel Eliza Griffiths and SkinMag by Douglas Kearney//
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