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By Denise Liddell Lawson
In this collection of poems about desire, Lawson constructs a series of love letters through a surreal collage of compressed images. Inspired by the palimpsest principle in H.D.'s work, many of the poems overlay existing texts. Multiple voices enter through dialogues and interviews from sources as varied as voir dire between judge and jury, an Inquisition Register of Cathar heretics, Bronson Alcott's Conversations with Children on the Gospels, and Plato's Symposium. Contingent Ardor beckons, eludes, retreats, returns and-miraculously, mysteriously-makes a halo over lover and beloved, mother and child, the eye and the world.
From "Camera Obscura":
the Cathars believed everything lives
with its opposite;
the living shelter the dead,
and the dead encircle the living. The dead,
feeling the cold at night, light
fires from the embers of the living.
And the living
look at photographs.
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