squirrel by Arturo Bordalo
Renunciation is realizing that nostalgia for life’s vicious cycle is full of shit:
the waving grass, intermingling with a rich profusion of wild flowers, the most beautiful sight I had ever gazed upon;
our own dark environment, where our only companion is the smell of our own sweat.
(One option beyond these two seems to be the attempt to organize and defend the new sphere of civil society not as mediation but as an end in itself.)
If it had ever become ‘necessary’
(I can find no other word)
to strengthen the central supporting column without too much enlarging it or adding to its weight,
no better formation than this spiral could be conceived,
and an almost exact parallel to it occurs
in the air-tubes or tracheae of insects
and the water-tubes of plants.
Although a prisoner’s internal experience
(the smell of his own sweat, her own dark environment)
may be close to
or identical with
that of another person suffering severe pain
or a stroke
or phantom limb,
it is, unlike this other person’s, simultaneously being externalized:
waving, intermingling, a rich profusion.
Ignorant what to do, he is stupefied;
he neither lets go the reins, nor is he able to retain them
(life’s vicious cycle: full of shit)
nor does he know the names of the horses.
She forgets that she is talking to listening children; she lives with the fairy folk,
or the kings
and beautiful ladies, whose adventures she narrates,
a consistent, enduring effort to create or shape events
to influence the relations of the public to an enterprise,
Father Arnall’s low and gentle voice:
I wanted to amass information against the enemy we were capturing on the battlefield.
In the fire of the visiting sun their faces shone like the faces of children lit by a golden lamp,
The most beautiful sight I had ever gazed upon.
They began as useful and practical goddesses who cared for springs and wells and cured disease and foretold the future.
Archaeological excavations of sites thousands of years old have revealed bodies that show signs of medical attention:
broken limbs that have been set,
wounds treated successfully.
Relief is not complete cure, and may proceed from different causes:
a few preparatory experiments,
a panegyric upon modern chemistry
useful and practical goddesses.
produced when thin slices of material are placed between two polarizing plates,
have been used to investigate the structures of many natural objects
battlefields and wells.
Nature is abundant, but Grace is not abounding.
The book says so.
It is the best of those of your poems that you have let me read.
All that I could do was to wait until the tide was at the highest,
keeping the raft
with my oar
like an anchor
to hold the side of it
fast to the shore,
near a flat piece of ground,
which I expected the water would flow over;
and so it did.
Eviction can be contagious that way.
So I have to watch it–be its eyes.
A consistent, enduring effort
Is it about faith or is it about grief?
Well, you’re the detective, aren’t you?
[with gratitude to the original authors, from whom I beg indulgence for the theft and for the occasional tweak for scan and sense]
©Melinda Rooney, 2017
Meredith Brown proposes a repurposing of monument pedestals with her photo ‘The Future’:
Meredith Brown writes: Max is my first and only child. He’s 18 months old. I’ve been a Baltimore City School teacher for 14 years. I’ve been taking pictures for 7 years and started at the local animal shelter photographing adoptable animals. My husband Kevyn and I own The Dog Chef Cafe in historic Mount Vernon in Baltimore, MD. https://www.thedogchef.com/
©Meredith Brown, 2017
Thai Artist Carves Meticulously Detailed Carvings Out of Soap Instagram A very long tradition is being carried by Thai artist Narong together with his complex carved soaps. Finely carving out complicated patterns in the medium that is soft, he’s able to attain designs that are incredibly complex. Soap carving has a long tradition in Thailand, […]
Gray’s Anatomy meets an embroidery habit originating in childhood; commissioned by my mother as a gift to a friend who’d recently had heart surgery
Susan Bass Marcus
I was in my second trimester, carrying my first child. We called the fetus ‘Thumper.’ Sex undetermined for I was pregnant before the perfection of ultrasound screening. Imagining this little being in me, twisting and twirling, pushing out and pressing down, I’d talk to her/him, play classical music AND rock, and exercised for both of us. By the beginning of the last trimester, I’d enrolled in a sculpture class. Feather rock looked like a manageable medium. A roly-poly happy baby emerged as I chiseled and rasped away at the tufa-like stone. Although our daughter lives more than 1000 miles from us today, the sculpture remains with my husband and me.
Susan Bass Marcus is a native Chicagoan who makes her home in the city’s South Loop. In 2015, she published her fantasy novel Malevir: Dragons Return. Her stories have been published in After Hours Magazine (print), Bewildering Stories (bewilderingstories.com), Horrorseek (http://www.horrorseek.com/home/horror/darkfire/ficarch.html), and Fictitious ( http://www.fictitiousthejournal.org/). This is her second featured post on Recycled. Her first can be found here.
©Susan Bass Marcus, 2017
Susan Bass Marcus
Puppet artist, fiction writer, and former museum professional Susan Bass Marcus has made more than 100 puppets, most for performance. She incorporates found material, she says, because ‘paint, canvas, and other art supplies cost a lot. Besides, it’s more fun to re-purpose stuff.’
Like an alchemist, or a magical character in a fairy tale, Ms. Marcus makes gold from straw, jewels from stones, treasures from trash. She recycles.
Susan Bass Marcus is a native Chicagoan who makes her home in the city’s South Loop. In 2015, she published her fantasy novel Malevir: Dragons Return. Her stories have been published in After Hours Magazine (print), Bewildering Stories (bewilderingstories.com), Horrorseek (http://www.horrorseek.com/home/horror/darkfire/ficarch.html), and Fictitious ( http://www.fictitiousthejournal.org/).
Featured Image by Edward Gorey
Last year I decided to cut up a book called ‘Misunderstood’ by Florence Montgomery. I then rearranged pieces of it in a set of ten poems (artwork, really) that spoke to my situation at the time.
Robin Cracknell is a photographer and writer living in London, UK. His work has been widely published and exhibited including, notably, Eyemazing Magazine, The Michael Hoppen Gallery in London and a solo show at Sous Les Etoiles in New York. A selection of his notebooks is featured in the acclaimed 2014 Thames and Hudson publication, ‘Photographers’ Sketchbooks’ with further work from his ‘Childhood’ series in Thames and Hudson’s ‘Family Photography Now’ published in 2016.
Robin Cracknell’s work is in various private collections internationally as well as The National Portrait Gallery in London, The Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Fundacion Privada Sorigue, a museum of contemporary art in Lleida, Spain.
‘…we are all recycled. Other people’s genes.’ -Ayala Hecht
The image is a section of a plate glass sliding door after it was struck by lightning.
Sam Florsheim is a writer and photographer. He lives in Wisconsin.
©Sam Florsheim, 2014