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My Dim Aviary

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-1625579584
ISBN-10: 1625579586
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 62 pages
  • Publisher: Black Lawrence Press (November 15, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1625579586
  • ISBN-13: 978-1625579584
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,564,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 2, 2017
New York poet/artist Gillian Cummings is a graduate of Stony Brook University (BA, English) and of Sarah Lawrence College's MFA program. Though she has appeared in many collections and anthologies MY DIM AVIARY is her debut book. Composed of prose poems she offers the following note on the opening page of her book: ‘Who was she/ Sometimes referred to now as Miss Fernande, she it thought to have lived in Paris in the early 1900s, modeling for the photographer Jean Agélou, who produced erotic postcards of her image, and possibly – there is a mysterious jail record – working as a prostitute. Some identify her as Fernande Barrey, the wife of Montparnasse artist Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita. Others say she was Fernande Olivier, mistress of Picasso. Neither of these assumptions can be proven. Fernande remains a mystery. And so, for a while, I inhabited her – ‘

What fills the pages of this brief but transcendent body of prose poems is a taste of Paris, of erotica, and of the flavor of fin de siècle France. Gillian’s work must be read in its entirety to appreciate the scope of the character’s life she inhabits, but a single poems offers the flavor.

The missing among us, the vanished girls, speak as damp shadows under stones, cool and mossy and still, a silence like God’s. A key, a small key, forbidden to use, keeps the chill of blood in the cellar, a stain that won’t rub off with sand or pumice or the frenzy of hands to hide what the body knows: heavy hang the apples engorged on broken boughs. I called to my sister, Let your vision be our prayer, let horses trample earth hot with speed to cancel this fever gonging soundless in our temples.
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