Amy Dennis' poetry has appeared in more than a dozen Canadian literary publications, such as CV2, Event, Queen's Quarterly, and Prairie Fire. Most recently, Amy's poetry was nominated for a National Magazine Award and a Random House Creative Writing Award. In the fall of 2009, she moved from Burlington, Ontario to Wales, U.K., where she is completing her Ph.D.
Joyce Wieland's Water Quilt may be viewed here: http://www.ccca.ca/history/isaacs/isaacs_seen/works/pages/14_quilt.html
Joyce Wieland (Canadian, 1931-1998)
The Water Quilt, 1970-1971
Fabric, embroidery thread, thread, metal grommets,
braided rope, ink on fabric, 121.9 x 121.9 cm
Art Gallery of Ontario, Acc. no. 66/23 OR Acc.#76/221
don’t even breathe she said swear to me keep
secret what her hell-dad in her hell-house undid
how his sweat skin bittered
salt-thick don’t breathe
any of this and I listened
her voice was trapped panic
in a sharp bone house
too small for a flying bird
and when she couldn’t find words
her shoulders curved inward
in order to crush the wings
her misted optic stones
shifting never lingering on
one thing too long never
to even me who’d seen
her re-shape with shaking
tanned hands how he moved in
the thin air she had to let in
her pink lungs
an orange sweater
worn to her knees her teeth straight she
smelled clean like grapefruit and chlorine she
Think of him
with the tongue, with the unexpected
A photograph fragmented. An omnipotent
He is the thick swelled vein
on the back of an amaryllis petal,
a river frozen
taut with current.
His heart in a darkroom
a rat scampering,
Overexposed, a rat scampering.
Solarization, white flashes
her heart in a dark room
taut with current, a river frozen.
On the back of an amaryllis petal, she is
the thick swelled vein.
Dream a photograph, fragmented.
An omnipotent eye.
With the tongue, with the unexpected, think
of her. Lee
The poem ANATOMIES (CIRCA 1930) responds to Man Ray’s photograph Anatomies, c. 1930.
The reference to solarization as “a rat scampering” is explained below. It is still debated whether Lee Miller or Man Ray deserve the credit for discovering solarization.
In the various interviews she did many years later, Lee Miller claimed she was working in Man Ray’s darkroom developing some negatives when a rat ran over her foot. She screamed and turned on the light. Man Ray immediately turned it off, and in an attempt to save the negative, dumped them in the fixer. To their surprise they found that a clear line surrounded the figure of the nude on the negative. The effect delighted Man Ray who then had to set about learn all he could from this lucky accident so he could replicate it at will. Lee Miller, who worked very closely with Man Ray, also used the technique in her own work, which became a hallmark of their artistic association.
-- Anthony Penrose, Lee Miller Archive (online)
Man Ray's photograph Anatomies may be viewed here: http://www.usc.edu/schools/annenberg/asc/projects/comm544/library/images/328.html
milk spilled your skin sun burned a blank canvas
white tea puddled wrist weakened again
liquid drop liquid skin fixed
casein arrests pigment shellfish seeping
memory: safe bloody cave