Thursday, May 23, 2019

in a dark wood

As I was revisiting my plump series and the accompanying collages, it got me thinking about magic in my work--the fairytale kind of magic. I've always considered myself a writer that wanders into the supernatural ever so often (seen in obvious places like the Resurrection Mary poems of archer avenue, the ghosts of the fever almanac, many of the things that happen in girl show.  Even my more grounded, autobiographical work goes there frequently--salvage has it's urban mermaids, for example. even  major characters in minor films is populated with ghost and haunting mentions.  It's probably too many horror movies and books in my upbringing, and, of course, hysterical since I see myself ultimately as a skeptic. 

But my more fairy tale oriented work seems to have a more everyday sort of magic happening.  About 20 years ago, when I first began writing anything that was of quality, I turned to fairy tales quite often--Rapunzel, wicked stepmother stories., Little Red Riding Hood. My book of red project was about the latter, and my first attempt, for reals, at an artist book.  (though you could argue my junior year Scarlet Letter book was the inadvertent first.) It was followed, of course, by my longer project, the shared properties of water and stars, which was loosely based on Goldilocks and her three bears, told through math problems, but was more a riff on a certain suburban angst than about the fairy tale itself.  plump, of course, being the most recent example. 

I think becuase they are ingrained so much in the human consciousness, it's hard not to fall into them sometimes.  I've been working on my "artist statement" series of late, and there is one poem about mothers and daughters that touches on fairy tales and writing

"Fairy tales tell us that the daughter must die.  Or more often, the mother.  Light softening to violet and then the red from all that blood.  No one could tell who was bleeding more until the prince freed us from the castle."

Sometimes, even when I am not writing about magic, I sort of am. 

for a little more discussion on fairy tales & my work, read here...