The biological and the mystical elements of creation converge in Laynie Browne’s Roseate, Points of Gold. The book, made up of three parts – Diary of an Ocean Mistress, Lunations, and Beyond the Chequered Chasm – revolves quietly around the subject of creation in the manner of a double-helix. Each poem within those parts is a sequence, and each movement therein pivots on a phrase from the one before. These movements undulate between key images to render something like what Jean-Luc Godard feels Velasquez achieved: He drifted through the material world, penetrating it, as the air and the dusk. In the shimmering of the shadows, he caught unawares the nuances of color which he transformed into the invisible heart of his symphony of silence….Space reigned supreme. So in Browne’s Points, space enables the lyrics to evoke the coming to being of one’s own communion with the text.
To say this text is about something in particular would be to discredit the fact that the text is an action, and not a stable action fixed within itself, despite whosoever might be reading. Even within the title, there is no stability: the point changes color over the course of only four words. In movement, in the act of creation, there is no stability, only the points of light one is lucky to catch:
No ladder is wider than imaginary substance. She asks patiently, from a safe distance of three moons, counting the night by measures of water, why must pain be sewn into the tapestry? In asking this, brocade spilt from her lips in the place of language.
This mesmerizing embrocation of one-hundred-and-five pages luxuriates in the texture of words. Points utilizes the opacity of certain textual gestures to anchor its illuminated moments in a fog, then it soars right into a new means to dazzle.
Plunging straight in with no time to radiate before being swallowed, she dreamt she heard bleating exceed silver bells. After the crest of the wave which dwarfed a lighthouse, is a chasm between the resent and former action. Her hands have begun to marble. The concentration of an arbitrarily large mass in something approaching a point. Until then she is parted from all time. The dense glowing corpse of a sunlike star.
Points is a slow book, a book to whisper aloud, a book not for getting immersed in but for commingling with a day’s events. Browne – a magnificently hardworking and accomplished poet who populated the majority of the last decade with book-length releases – and it is radiant to witness her mastery of those nuances of color. She says nothing can be translated / from the blood channels and that movement segues into a sleeping child. Consequence gathers in the throat as the book disembarks on its petal-shedding symphony, and we are left encircling a white sea. For a model of how to exact a spell, for poetry as one of the elements, consult this illuminated tapestry.
Publisher: Dusie Press
Kari Larsen is an assistant editor of Anobium. Her chapbook, Say you’re a fiction, is forthcoming in the summer of 2012 from Dancing Girl Press. Updates on other publications can be found at Cold Rubies.