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Hynes & Shelton & Ouslander – Nov. 14

Maureen Hynes, Jordan Shelton and Erin Ouslander traded art and words. Jordan shared this piece, entitled “Jobbs: Typographic Portrait,” with Maureen:

Jobbs_typographic_Portrait copy copy In response, Maureen wrote this poem:

The New Calligrapher

You learned calligraphy from a Reed College
prof who taught the power of pen & ink,
how lettering can adorn labels & lists & the scrambled
thinking of an undergraduate essay. Cherish daily
beauty into our lives is what the former monk
showed you. The meditative quiet it takes
to scribe a perfect serif on a perfect letter,
the hush of the days before the printing press.
Fill in daily practice grids with k and h, c and g—
never stop until they are beautiful.

How seductive the alphabet is.

But how differently you used the letter-world, jamming
80 fonts into a box & projecting them onscreen.
Tantrums & cancers, yearly inventions & unstoppable
wealth. How far you travelled from the black & white
of roundhand script & the unrolled scroll.
Hand-held elegance, yes, earbuds blooming in every ear,
every eye cast down to a shining screen. Strange new
addiction to the typographic world.

* * * * *

Maureen shared this poem with Erin:

To bring people back from the dead

Treeless where the dead
and dying wait, so
take something made of wood –
an acorn, a scroll, a laurel
crown. A thorn. A handful
of oolong tea.

Songs and prayers are useful,
a copious supply of water.

Walk a dowsing stick over every fissure
in the earth, wait for the wobble.
Scribble messages on small pieces of white paper,
tie them with lengths of Eurydice’s string
and push them into the crevices.

Carry a bamboo cylinder to listen for
the slow faint beat of the hidden heart.

Protect your hands and feet and eyes
first from the cold, then from the heat
you’ll encounter in pulling the dead
out of their torpor. Cover your eyes
with phoenix feathers, wear leather-cuffed
work gloves, steel-toed boots.

A helmet with a phosphorus head lamp,
it will be dark.

Feel the feeble wind of your certainty
grow to a tumult. Await their cries and
leaps that welcome the return
of sunlight.
That outside chance.

In response, Erin made this photo assemblage, entitled ” Sticks and Stones Will Heal My Bones”:SticksAndStonesWillHealMyBones


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