Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The Remarkable Carolyn Srygley-Moore, In Print At Last
(Full disclosure: The blogger holds no fiduciary interest in Tjgrszmk, nor does he serve as public relations agent for Ms. Srygley-Moore. He admits to being obsessed with Ms. S-M's poetry, and with considering Tjgrszmk Publisher Marilyn Basel a transcended being of immense superpowers. [Well, OK, Marilyn's going to publish a chapbook of mine later, maybe I'm a wee bit prejudiced. But still.])
Seems like it's been not quite a year since I discovered Carolyn Srygley-Moore's remarkable poetry on Facebook, and wondered why the hell she wasn't world famous already. This woman does not merely give us singular and astonishing poetry on a regular basis, but writes three or four remarkable poems every single day. Scary, almost. It may seem presumptuous or self-absorbed for her to name-check Plath or Rilke, but in Carolyn's case, her work is just that good. She's had some poems in online journals, has a short YouTube clip of a reading, but had not yet published a chapbook.
Enter Marilyn Basel of Tjgrszmk Publishing. Marilyn made it a personal goal to see multiple chapbooks of Carolyn reach the light of day. The first of a series, Memory Rituals: An Army of Suns, hit the streets at the end of February. Not only did Marilyn judiciously choose from Carolyn's prolific suite of poems, her ordering is careful and well thought out. I'm not going to sample at length from the poems because I want you to buy the book, but let's look at the opening poem, Contingencies, and its passage:
now. & now, I am to crouch, animal
scraping my poetry from the walls image by image.
flower, broomstick, snail shell, slug.
In the middle of the chapbook, I return again and again to the poem of couplets called Knuckles, White, and to the simple stunning poem on the following page, Fear Dissipant, that ends:
The sun is bright on the backs of my hands, like anchor.
I have never thought of the sunlight as an anchor, rather
Strings pulling the balloon past the tree line.
Some of Carolyn's poetry is frightening, tough-going in memories of madness and violence, but she is very redemptive and joyful by nature (she even subtitles one poem Is It A Healthy Plath You Want). Well, yes, since you asked, and Carolyn is a healthy angel.
Marilyn did a loving job of hand-assembling and stitching the book. She wisely chose to end the collection with Once Upon a Time I Was a Sleepwalker. I'm not going to excerpt that poem because you need to buy the book.