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Fall Book Preview: Mary’s Dust

By February 8, 2017 Books, Music No Comments

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing details of our upcoming fall books.

Our first book we would like to share with you is a new full-length collection by Melinda Mueller, Mary’s Dust. This book contains thirty-two poems on different Marys through history. Using a wide variety of inventive and traditional forms, it is a meditation on exposure and concealment, pleasure and pain, and of course, language, as women create their own identities on their own terms. It’s a great honor to bring out a second book by one of Seattle’s most intriguing writers.

We’ll be presenting this book with an audio download that includes music specifically commissioned for the book by Seattle genius (yeah, that is what the Stranger says and we agree), Lori Goldston. This new composition will premiere on February 23 at the Chapel Performance Space and is being recorded live, so you too could join us that evening and be part of Mary’s Dust.

Here’s one of the shorter poems in the book:

RADIUM
Marya Salomee Sklowdowka: b. 7 Nov 1867 – d. 4 July 1934

As, in her native Poland, the ember-colored
fox ignites the stubble field it streaks across,
ignites even the noonday dusk of the forest floor.

As, toddling into her parents’ long-ago garden
after dark, and crouching beside a lantern there,
she cried out: Look. The ants. They have shadows.

As religionists rummaged in the body for its soul,
that ant-shadow, which might “be shown on an X-ray
plate as a lighter spot on the darker shadow of the bone.”

So she fractionates the soul of pitchblende,
and having pent it in a glass vial, gazes into
its blue dazzle. And it gazes into her, being

the abyss Nietzsche warned of. And ransacks her.
And ignites her bones to ash. Heaven doth with us as we
with torches do. Nor will she lift from it her hands.