Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Palimpsest by Kristina Marie Darling

Kristina Marie Darling’s collection, palimpsest, is published by Patasola Press and the definition of the word perfectly describes its interior: “a parchment or the like from which writing has been partially or completely erased to make room for another text.” Darling is known for her footnotes, appendixes, glossaries and this collection includes the same wonders as previous texts. This collection also includes chapters to a story we long to hear more of. What I love about Kristina Marie Darling’s work is that it ultimately touches a chord in you while allowing you the space to dream up your own world that she’s created, it becomes personal and yet shared with the writer who is also an artist with words. Below I am happy to share a sample of her work:

From Chapter Two:

4. An early twentieth-century stage play, in which the heroine professed to see Zukofsky’s ghost in her intricately embellished teacup.
5. “I had wanted to bottle the cold white light that shone through the kitchen window. Soon every spoon was glittering in the little wooden drawer.”
6. She realized that her desire to entertain, rather than the physical presence of a guest, was the cause of her recurring dream.

Darling mentions Zukofsky, an American poet who pushed the limits of language, in the first line of this page. I imagine his image as being the inspiration to the narrator in Chapter Two and that his ghostly presence watches over her shoulder as she moves about her daily life, such as noticing the spoons glittering in the white light of the kitchen window and the ties to a recurring dream we don’t know about. Darling lets our minds expand to accommodate our own story line and I picture myself in my own kitchen thinking of inspiring writers while pulling open my own kitchen drawers looking for something I cannot find. I always wish to know more of the story that is in her own mind to see how her mind’s inner workings translate to these pages.

From: Notes on the Dagerreotype: Its Appearance and Origins

She remembered that the shutter failed to close. Then music. His cufflink catching on the hem of her blue silk dress.
Soon the guests began to arrive. Her sister arranging madeleines on the most intricately embellished plates.
The audience grew larger and larger. Yet his presentation of the daguerreotype was marked by unprecedented sincerity. Its lucid glass and painstakingly lettered inscription.
Within the room, an uneasy stillness. Her cold white hands. The phonograph spinning beneath a glittering needle.
She affixed the daguerreotype to her bedroom wall. Nights she thought of the mercury embedded in its luminous image.
That was when the room grew dim. The shadow of her dress spreading out across the wall. His image suspended in an inexplicable light.

The daguerreotype is defined as: “an obsolete photographic process, invented in 1839, in which a picture made on a silver surface sensitized with iodine was developed by exposure to mercury vapor.” I imagine a grand hall with a presenter and all the audience members riveted by this process being explained to them. I love how Darling captures small moments such as “sister arranging madeleines on the most intricately embellished plates” and how this describes the type of people who would come to such a lecture. Darling creates a romantic image with lines such as “the shadow of her dress spreading out across the wall” as the main character affixes “the daguerreotype to her bedroom wall.” It makes me want to live the scene itself and find the wonder and magic in it all.

If you enjoyed this brief sample, you may purchase a copy of Kristina Marie Darling’s palimpsest for $12.00 at:

Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

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