Join us on Monday August 2nd (19:00 - 20:30) for the virtual launch of Kali Richmond's pamphlet 'Gradual Reduction to Bone' with special guests Nora Blascsok, Elizabeth Chadwick Pywell and Lucy Holme-Roberts.
A Sky Full of Strange Specimens is an exploration of restraint and freedom, and emotional upheaval and uncertainty. The surreal title of the pamphlet comes from a line in my opening poem, which tells about a great storm in Ireland in 1839, where entire houses were blown away, and there are storms and tremors to be found throughout the pamphlet.
Gradual Reduction to Bone probes the animal of us through the exploration of living entities, the repeated looping of time, the dogged wounds we inflict on our environment, and the creation/destruction duality.
Imbued with a contemporary-gothic atmosphere, crows float elegant in rigor mortis; pregnant vegetables strain to burst; mother shifts from deity to monster to mortal; invasive species invoke spectres; plants sooth metamorphic incantations. And bones – be them fractured bed frame/dismembered paw/spine of ancient chestnut/Earth’s ribs cranked open/a child’s snapping as she falls – dwell beneath the flesh of the pamphlet.
After the Eruption
there was beauty of a kind that could not be easily
perceived from the ground. Those fissures of terror
were the craquelure glaze on the ancient vase
forged from earth, finished with fire. This land too is fire
kissed. Only nature remains. Not the bucolic green
of over-worked fields, nor their sensible grids
corralled by barbed wire. But the reaching of fault
lines, spider fingers of Mother, the flute of rising
song, the falsetto of combustion, the release of drawing
unconscious, unleashing convulsions. Nature
as in ochre, as in umber, as in charcoal, as in iron,
as in mushroom, as in ossein, as in bark, as in leaf
mulch. Ruination so rich it gifts mouth-
to-mouth nourishment. In the stolid blink of her eye
the embers teem with life, life as even we know it.