Mudlark No. 54 (2014)

Intervals of Sun Almost Black
Meredith Stricker

Intervals Of Sun Almost Black weaves García Lorca’s life, his torture, killing and disappearance by the Spanish Fascists in 1936, with the streaming of current daily life and news. It’s been a work-in-progress since our invasion of Iraq ten years ago, which I entered with Lorca as my constant companion.

The poems explore wild love, grief, the specifics of policy. Taken as a whole, they are also a kind of interrogation of paradise, asking if our efforts toward an exclusionary heaven are another version of hell. The work also enters the nature and texture of ink, as a kind of living force or animal or conscience. There is the force and vulnerability of ink vs. inc as well as the unpredictable undertow of ink: “Eros takes every created form / even a pebble.”     

I am committed to engaged cultural practice; the material in these poems has taken form over the years scattered in Orphic fragments as part of an art installation, in artist book forms, paintings, drawings and manifestos exhibited at the Berkeley Art Center and paintings at the Monterey Museum of Art, as well as publications in journals.   — MS


dear silence
everything that has black sounds
my paradise is a field
if I get lost

Acknowledgments: In earlier and often quite altered versions, the series “dear silence” was chosen as a finalist for The Iowa Review Poetry Prize; “is it possible to know the pain someone else feels” appeared in Mistake, selected by Rosmarie Waldrop for the Caketrain Press chapbook competition. Poems in “everything that has black sounds” appeared as part of a longer series in the journal Ekphrasis. “The Well,” in slightly altered form, appeared in 20 X 20 (London). Other elements of “dear silence” were also part of the mixed-media artist-book Ink and installation by the author, exhibited at the Berkeley Art Center.

“I am grateful to the editors, curators, and readers involved in these exchanges and for the mysterious ways the materials keep shifting and mutating into the wild.”

Meredith Stricker is a visual artist and poet working in cross-genre media. She is the author of Tenderness Shore which received the National Poetry Series Award (2003); Alphabet Theater, a collection of mixed-media performance poetry from Wesleyan University Press (2003); and Mistake selected by Rosmarie Waldrop for Caketrain Press in 2012. She was awarded The Iowa Review Poetry Prize for 2013, and her work was chosen as a Distinguished Entry in 2013 for the Campbell Corner Prize at Sarah Lawrence. Her poetry and mixed media work have appeared in Conjunctions, VOLT, The Volta, The Iowa Review, Epoch, Drunken Boat, Ploughshares, Five Fingers Review, and elsewhere. She has mixed media work in the current Web Conjunctions and a new sequence of poems, “Hazardous Materials,” in The Iowa Review.

Stricker works in visual poetry collaborative, a studio that focuses on architecture in Big Sur and projects to bring together artists, writers, musicians and experimental forms.

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