Thursday, October 2, 2008

Three Little Bigs
~From Rope-A-dope Collaborative

~Review by Editilla O'rilla d'Aphasia
The Tao begot one.
One begot two.
Two begot three.
And three begot the ten thousand things.
~Tao Te Ching
Just ain't alot ya'can say about Zen now is there, eh? HA!
But, still, we try and such is the Joy and Life of Art for yer oh'so humble Editilla. It is one of the few things these days which begs me pause, breath or a second thought as arguably the last thing I have to keep the hellhounds at bay...
--disrailed Post Apocalypse NO.
Fine Art speaks for itself for me.
She takes care of fools and errant troubadours.

The picture above may not be quite "Life'sized" though the Books thereof are truly so, weighing in at perhaps 1/2 oz in toto, and 4 1/2 X 3 1/2 inches...
about the size of a cigarette case.
But, then again, how "big" does an expression have to be to carry "Life" or reconnect us with our reality? The smallest thing we use as our singular identifier used to be the Thumb Print. Now each of us can be had for a nano's ass, all the way up to Steven Hawking's diagram of Universe as a four dimensional manifold, which looks co(s)mically like that famous Zen Thingy: o
Hence, the idea of printing and publishing a book run "Thumb'sized" has always struck me as novel.
(Sorry, couldn't help that one:)(Foot In Mouth Disease)
But to show my own hand here,
I wash them every time before handling one of these...
--Gorgeous ...Little ...Darlings.
They are Hand Made. They are a Sight To Be Held.

What, Friends, Is A City?, by Mark Yakich,
is printed, as each member of the tryptic, in an edition of 96.
Y'all better hurry then and call these folks at Rope-A-dope...
(--as such wondrous pieces of work won't wast wong!:)
Small vineyard, High Quality Vintage. Gourmet. Vajra Diamond.
This edition of 96 is for 8 poems, which are placed 4 to a section, which itself (each section) is folded together as its own book, and hand bound.
These are contiguous placements that unfold in such a surprising way to give just 4 poems, their own of 2 Books in 1.
Nola Book Fair bookmakers of course know how this works, how the design and structure, the physicality of a Book --when so ingeniously applied-- will hold and present and preserve 1 Word as well and informatively as if it held 1000 words. But, it just delights Editilla to no end like opening a treasure puzzle.
Of course you will just have to hold it to feel the Author's name impressed on the hand silk screened covers. Just Beautiful.
But Mark Yakich's writing inside speaks even more so.
Here is one that grabbed me like a wrench:
After one draws a hundred
bodies from the river one
knows what all bodies look
like naked: it's not bone
here, a kneecap there.
But what if
you've never
a body?

The Painting, by Kate Schapira, paradoxically continues Rope-A-dope's 96 Unfolding of Literature. Paradox, the twin sista of Irony, in that The Painting is a Book. That is what I want to ultimately present here: each of these books and everything from their makers is A Work of Art on its own.
However, unlike so many "Pretty Books of Poetry" these works would not exist without the marrow they carry inside
which makes bleeding real.
In this, these bones are some of the prettiest I've seen dance.
Only this time the Book folds out into 5 squares to lay as an equilateral cross upon which to read the 4 poems hung there.
I just like to sit and look at the damned thing!
It has this regal deep purple inset sheet at each end, set in an off gray/blue cover which is itself impressed with designs and a simple color drip as if something bizarre spilt across it from the inside...Hell, I really have a hard time describing an Artifact which is so goddamned beautiful. Natural sensuality happens all over da'place in New Orleans in the blink of the eye on a sideways glance, but to think of these books as Made...
--just leaves Editilla speechless.
They speak for the damned and the blessed Sinn Féin.
Get Down! Get Back Up Again!
Really, I wish I could play music like this:

like age, alteration and handling
the painting as blue and pink smears
as women, men and trees, dresses and baskets
as series of visits or payments
as mustard and dark brown smears, later

as wall of the room that doubles
as bed and cardtable room, folds,
reopens, divides

Case Fbdy. by Kate Shapira, actually holds enough poems for a Table of Contents: 16. I saved this one for last since we know something of cutting up words (albeit where talented people use a scalpel Editilla generally goes for a chainsaw:) And, I have a link to another favorite Book not like this but much older and along the same lines: A Humument by Tom Phillips.
I recommend y'all read all about what he did, but the coolest thing for me was taking a rather stolid, misogynous, racist, effete Victorian novel and transforming it into a completely different way'mo'betta story... --by covering each page with a painting and leaving open to view only certain "randomly" chosen words to tell the tale. Really something lemme toll'yaz.
Here in Case Fbdy. Ms. Shapira states:
"The titles and some of the language in these poems come from a found page of text from a medical journal
or a book of unkown author, title, or date
(but presumably published after 1887)."

Weellll that about says it all, eh? HA!
Editilla always hangs onto any book which gives me a word to look up on the first glance. This time the word is: Fluctuant.
While one may think they know what a word means, I've learned with all things Rope-A-dope it behooves one to check it out.
(And Everyone Loves Medical Journal Stuff Right? Riiiight!:)
Kate Schapira knows how to use a scalpel:
At intervals
Coughing removes the streaks

on linen, replaces the blood.
If you were to. Rings, fluctuant,
are essentially chronic. In
sight of. Your held. No
room. There'll be no scar
to see. Procedures are
uncertain, syrups are soothing,
the doctors are very local. At intervals
the pin holds you to it and rages
in you, and reminds you. You're
in. They're sure. You will.
The table, covered in oilcloth,
will make a complete recovery.

We hope to have let this Fine Art speak for Itself here.
They did not ask me to do this "review". And like any good friend or fine thing, I can not recall how or where I ran across
Rope-A-dope Press. But, Editilla wonna toll'ya one thing:
we hope you all run your finger across them too. Soon.
I could go on and on about the Talent and Technological Dexterity behind these amazing these little books.
Why don't you all just check them out.
Gotta be the cheapest Book Shipping around.
Thank you so much to all the Authors, Artists and
Bookbinders of Rope-A-dope Press.

Thank y'all,
~Editilla O'rilla d'Aphasia