As a lover/hater of all things pantoum, I was truly excited to read “Dawn” by C.S. Carrier.
The poem feels more like a procession than a beginning. Lines like “she’s splotched with porcelain” and “the rain pools in the turquoise ashtray” immediately evoke stillness, silence, inactivity. You feel the inevitability of the day, the stillness that marks the start, the coming that already feels gone as the poem’s “mouth poceeds through life.” Carrier uses the repetition inherent in the pantoun to create a kind of stalemate, a time that is timeless–four steps forward, two steps back.
What’s more poignant in this poem is the mention of Kurosawa (“Kurosawa presides over the cinema”) in the wake of current events in Japan right now. It feels like a dedication to the past, a rumination on the “what was” in the “will be” of the earthquake’s aftermath.
I decided to go with this vague, wistful feeling when designing the ephemera. I found some lovely Polaroids taken by Jeremy Pettis who graciously let me use the photos in this piece. (Polaroid’s, to me, a always muddled in their own Polaroid-ness–much like pantoums always jilted by their very pantoum-ness).
The final ephemera is a procession of pictures with each (repeated) line of the poem scribbled underneath. If you like, please consider purchasing a subscription to issue #6 (only 7 left!).