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Critical Crows

2021 / Dobbin Mill papers, mica, graphite, charcoal & pastel

With Michael Joseph

Over the course of a rich correspondence, the writer & special collections librarian, Michael Joseph, has sent me numerous poems. "Critical Crows” so resonated with me that I asked him for permission to develop into an artist book. Now complete, it awaits a variation of its design for a Dobbin Books small edition.

Focusing on the metaphor of avian punctuation, the book block became a series of beak & wing-like sequences, which the reader must move through before uncovering the text, hidden under a flap at the back. As Michael mentioned in his response to the book: it “mocks and befouls the text, assuming the mischievous role and character of the crows…”

Critical Crows by Michael Joseph:

Perhaps, those silvery crows  

that stalk beneath my lines,  

will take sudden flight 

 

and cluster above my capitals, 

raucously mocking their brittle serifs, 

cawing crossly from margin to margin 

 

and stanza to stanza,  

so only a dissolute bird  

could make sense of, or stand it, 

 

filling the air with spifficated laughter 

and fouling the better angels of my page 

with irrepressible, bilious rage.