Chapbook 5.22


eBook N/A

A collection of poems and photographs based on and inspired by the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Deck published in 1909. The poems are as eclectic as the original tarot cards, the message running through the backbone being, quite frankly, take off your rose-colored glasses and face the music. The poems read almost as a conversation with the cards, themselves, rather than with the reader, giving us a sense of intimacy and voyeurism, a glimpse into the tableaux in the author’s history that represent the scenes from the individual tarot cards. Vivid and daring, in-your-face and all-knowing, these poems are some of this enigmatic wordsmith’s finest to date.

· Poetry and full-color photos
· In stock
· Published by Alternating Current
· 4.25” x 5.5”
· Saddled-stapled, laser-printed chapbook
· Heavy cardstock full-color cover
· Full-color printing on white paper
· 60 pages
· First edition released December 11, 2012

Also available at University at Buffalo Special Collections Library; Buffalo, New York
Also available at Babbitt’s Books; Normal, Illinois
Also available at Brown University Library; Mark Sonnenfeld papers; Providence, Rhode Island
Also available at Oscar A. Silverman Library; University at Buffalo; Buffalo, New York

Prose Contents:
  • Plastic-Coated
  • Made in U.S.A.
Poetry Contents:
  • Collectibles Show (in this new economy)
  • THIS is NOT feeling something
  • Billows & Hard Science
  • Hail! I bring you roll-ons and a Lady Schick!
  • Supreme Apologetic, final verse
  • The Lovers
  • The Chariot
  • the time between my lighting a smoke off the Eternal Flame, and the Master Sergeant intervening (entered in exhibit for the Defense)
  • Marketing Stairs
  • They broke him on the wheel
  • Coffeyville, Kansas (Human Litmus Test)
  • All that we are inside
  • Standing by the Sarcophagus in the Tomb of Napoleon
  • You’re Wastrel-ing My Time
  • The Fountain of Time, as photographed
  • Mountain Lake Sanctuary, Florida (holy war)
  • In Praise of Venus
  • Fifteen seconds after “oops” (moon goddess disc)
  • The Mud of Eden
  • God’s Someday Undead
  • My Thesis
  • Silly baby do a mad dance! (GUFFAW)
  • You’re Under Passion, Sugar
  • The world as destroyed by Mike Judge
  • Why wizards and monsters have might (Sociology)
  • The deepest shallow waters
  • Lorado Taft’s Fountain of Time (Washington Park, Chicago)
  • The Fountain of Time, Chicago (secondary perspective)
  • Taft’s “Fountain of Time” (peripheral vision)
  • If The Fountain of Time in Washington Park Were a Painting
  • Maximum Mills Theorem

About the author
CEE is a failed short story writer, failed novelist, and failed playwright. In the early 2000’s, he developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, forcing him, by 2007, to fall back to the shorthand of poetry. Over 600 of his poems have since seen or will see some form of media. He has been printed in such diverse publications as bear creek haiku, Jerry Jazz Musician, Children, Churches and Daddies, Tales of the Talisman, The Storyteller, Barbaric Yawp, The Iconoclast, Poiesis, and Dreams and Nightmares. His poem, “It’s An Old Story,” received a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2009.

CEE is the author of 17 chapbooks, including 12 times 12 equals Gross, Und ihr Habt Doch Gesiegt (You Have Finally Won), I Am Not Sydney Carton, tomB Baby (with Hot Robert Toddy), and Gunther; and has been included in the international mailers of Marymark Press.

Notes from the author
It’s been my contention, and from the beginning, that one can write a poem about anything; all one must do, is to be able to take the focus in question, make the necessary free associations, then transcribe these with a kind of ‘creative accuracy.’ In this, a poem is a sort of telegram in its construction. What it may inform us is something else, again.

VOX ARCANA places the structure provided by the ancient tarot, each universal contained therein, then asks us each—me, as I wrote the poems, you, as you read them: What do You take away from This? If you were given a reading, it would be open-ended, often subjective. It isn’t like a psychic or sensitive is reciting some Alphabet of Your Mind. Maybe no one can successfully do that. If anyone can, you can. What you read in VOX ARCANA are the specifics culled from the universals within myself. As the tired buzzphrase goes, “Your mileage may vary.”

As for Jessica, our cover model and guide, I chose the Two of Swords from the Minor Arcana, in part due simply to the blindfold. We are told in Western culture, “Justice is blind.” This, I’d contend, is because Man metes it. As indicated above, only we, each as individuals, see inside ourselves. What blindness we suffer, we with volition choose, like a blindfold, to don.