Chalcedony is a character in one of my unfinished stories. She loves her boyfriend with startling intensity, and she has big problems with him, too. She began writing songs in April, 2004, and put pressure on me to get her words on paper. I followed her bidding. This became an intriguing adventure, though it felt odd to be writing someone else's words. Many of Chalcedony's lines came across as placeholders for more involved thoughts. Journeying into the songs one enters a fluid and energetic universe I didn't know exists. Does this place emerge from a deepening relationship with my anima? If so, one wonders if a similar universe exists for everyone. The poems do seem to express more and more of what something, maybe my body, holds dear. At times I'll act purely on knowledge of the poems, because they feel more compelling than so-called reality. Chalcedony's world seems more interesting, more powerful, and, ultimately, more real.
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Clive Matson arrived in NYC in 1960. He quickly fell in with the Beat Generation - his first event was a reading where he met Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and Diane di Prima. Herbert Huncke became his second father. Diane di Prima published Matson's first poems. He returned to school and earned his MFA in poetry at Columbia. He has taught more than 3,000 workshops nationwide, and his how-to text Let the Crazy Child Write! (New World Library, 1998), honoring the creative unconscious, is being used by a number of groups around the world. Matson co-edited, with the late Allen Cohen, the anthology An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind - Poets on 9/11 (Regent Press, 2002), which won the 2003 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles National Literary Award. His seventh book, Squish Boots (2002), was placed, amazingly, in John Wieners' coffin. Chalcedony's Songs, a series of chapbooks is his current enthusiasm, a passionate, erotic and spiritual voice evolved from the Mainline poems. Mostly Matson writes from the itch in his body.Review:
I'm one of those people who never reads the preface, and it took me a couple of references to breasts to realize my perspective was definitely skewed. Back to the preface and... ahhh.... I love how this archetype, as Matson describes Chalcedony, pulls the poet into a lower world of her own deeper wisdom, an initiation almost, into the ancient rites of love, magic and expanded consciousness. Matson s mind can't fathom the wild ranges of her awakened senses, and so she has to drag the poet there with images and tastes and smells. I love the story about how Matson couldn't resist her. Some of Chalcedony s First Ten Songs has the exalted flavor of Rumi, who is one of my all-time favorite writers, using the tangible flesh of sensuality to describe the incandescent Mysteries. Lines I especially loved were: You think you can put your heart back in your chest and go? I'm eating you with strawberries. I'm sipping you...Yes to the love buried in a thousand thousand languages. Do we need bigger holes for our eyes? ...God loving you with both her hands. (which is really what this collection is about, to me) This is the nothing behind the nothing from which everything arises. (... and what more can one really say?) And finally, Sink into the lullaby flowing between us deeper than a thousand rivers. That's what Matson has written: a lullaby of mystical musings, salted (as it should be) with the grit of the mundane and the human: blackheads and pores and cleaning ladies' knees. Great juxtapositions, daring journey. --Cynthia Moore, Berkeley, April 2008
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Book Description Minotaur Press, 2007. Pamphlet. Book Condition: Brand New. first edition. 36 pages. 8.50x5.30x0.30 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 1879457709