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FROZEN HEATWAVE by steve dalachinsky & Yuko Otomo


by steve dalachinsky & Yuko Otomo


Collaborative poetry

Frozen Heatwaves rises from the page as a score of joyous originality. From first reading, I was drawn through the text in its entirety. Color, shape, and line build a fresh and potent linguistic surprise from artists I have long admired. Deftly composed and mutually responsive literature by these two masters reveals poetic collaboration at its finest.   -   Sheila E. Murphy

If we begin at the beginning we begin with chapter 35, in which the physiology of the central nervous system is illustrated by an image of a placard, with the word "America" typed on it, stuffed into a toilet bowl, and we think to ourselves "ok, so that's why it's called frozen heatwave." But we are easily misled and clearly mistaken. "If you see something / say worker" it says on page four and I say "workers, plural" -- one who wrote the non-italic lines, another who wrote the lines in italic, another two who edited and published the book, and a reader. There are five of us here, now six, since you have joined us. Thank yous all around. The first collage (page 11) repeats the phrase "the physiology of the central nervous system," adds a cut-away view of a Rubik's cube floating in interstellar slash neural space, where the inside meets the outside, the infinitely small meets the infinitely large, the rubber meets the road, and the cut fish climbs a graphic lattice to rejoin the cut worm, who over two hundred years ago had already forgiven the plow. A severed head meditates sleepily in the lower right-hand corner. The disembodied brain levitates beyond the first false frame. If you were in New York City between March 21 and July 23, 2017, you could have seen the Lygia Pape: A Multitude of Forms exhibit at The Met. Steve and Yuko were there. What is she saying? asks the poem. In the video at The Met website she doesn't say a word. "in the book of creation / an echo simply becomes / a spider-shaped balloon / to textualize the mystic narrative / of our birth." As a single balloon must stand for a lifetime of thinking about balloons, so each citizen expressed, in the attitude we chose, a complex of attitudes. Collage #2, page 25: the heads of Steve and Yuko floating in a neural roadmap. Now we are beginning to understand. The Frozen Heatwave is a training manual: How To Teach Your Brain To Fish. White wave-patterns on a black background. Wheat planted in a cylinder grows up into a kneeling brain. A muscle promptly and entirely pentagonists. The ghost of 'lectricity howls in the bones of our face. "You write what you want / I write what I want." Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction. April 15 - August 13, 2017. MOMA. Collage #3, page 41: A constellated spiderweb-map of the third eye. A brain is a folded serpent. Peripheral vision dripping letteral snakespittle: sa / ons / in. / of / [seasoning] / of / on, / [ironing] / ng / w, / ed [winged] / [wedding] / or- / al [oral]. "non-objective / doesn't mean / formless." "& then [page 47] waiting an hour / in order to arrive in AMERICA / to get into the golden toilet." Collage #4: physiology of central nervous system again. Quasi-calligraphic space-glyphs writing the visual cortex.   -    Jim Leftwich

Excerpt from postscript: This is a collection of free-wheeling improvisational linked poems written by steve dalachinsky & Yuko Otomo in a collaborative process. Non-Italic lines indicate dalachinsky’s writing and Italic lines indicate Otomo’s. The front cover collage and all four collages inside the book were done collaboratively between dalachinsky and Otomo. Together they visited art exhibits during the summer of 2017 and found inspiration for this book.



ISBN 9781938521379



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