on this episode of squid’s endeavors in artland…

For those of you that read my blog on a (semi-)regular basis, then you’ll remember that I’ve been working on a piece for The Fiction Project.  For those of you that follow my Twitter feed or follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I sent my piece in on Friday.

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So.  The Fiction Project.  Completed.

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Yay?

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I promised pictures (I’m always promising something, it seems), so without further ado (oh, come on!  more ado!  ado ado ado!), the bestiary of unnamed friends:  a travelogue.  From front cover to back cover and everything in between.

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The front cover.  Nothing terribly special.

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Some nice paper (hello, paper habit, how I’ve missed you so!).

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Nifty scrapbooking placard things.

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Hand-written title (there’s a load of handwriting in this thing, just to warn y’all).

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Obnoxious pink embroidery thread for binding purposes.

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Typically garish, ugly (in a good way) squidness.

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And, then?  The interior cover.

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*bum bum BUUUUUUUUUUUUUM*

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More nifty paper, but there’s the beginning of the narrative (sorta).

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The block of text is the definition of “bestiary” and reads

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bestiary n. pl. bes-ti-ar-ries

1.  a medieval collection of stories providing physical and allegorical descriptions of real or imaginary animals along with an interpretation of the moral significance each animal was thought to embody.  a number of misconceptions relating to natural history were preserved in the popular accents.

2.  a modern version of such a collection.

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The wee plushie ninja in the corner is our guide through all this craziness.  Just call him Virgil.

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Once the page is turned, this is what happens.

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In case it’s hard to read (I’ve got kinda sketchy handwriting sometimes, and I have the original notes and can totally blow the picture up to ungodly proportions), it says, without the formating:

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Once upon a time

[always the best

way to start

a story]

I

awoke

to

find

a little creature

[let’s not kid–

it looked like

a plushie-ninja]

sitting beside

my

head

and he said to me,

[Come with me

if you want

to live]

“It’ll be

fun.

I swear.”

He blinked

[plinked]

“Come with me.”

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Yeah, I like my L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E poetry.  What of it?

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Upon opening the panels of the books, the next part of the narrative is revealed.

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This all reads linearly as

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and I said “Yes, I’ll go with you, Alice.  Down the rabbit hole we’ll go.  Go to a land which is unseen by all.

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The note on the squid’s head reads

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this is me  I’m a squid  don’t ask  it doesn’t make any sense least of all to me  xxoo, ‘Trie

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And, then, after all of that, is the full panoramic view of the unnamed friends in the bestiary.

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I’ll save you all the individual up-close images, but I will give you what the words say.

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Starting with the dragonfly-ish critter and moving down and around.

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They are tiny (it’s relative) blobs of hot air, dirigible of dragonfly elegance.  Pretension is their stock and trade.

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They, ginormous in their iteration, glide through mangrove swamps filled with slinking crocodilians.  They prey upon the unsuspecting denizens, enveloping them in their yearning, bilious membranes.

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Down the tower, it reads:

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architecturally unique

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a living building

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a stone’s conception of time is so different from (h)ours–measured in milenia rather than moments–cricket-reduction means so much less ( like Eos’ mate).  Just another half-inch tectonic shift.

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The owlets read:

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grown-up in collective of frog-eyed complacency–to eat, eat, eaten, to be eaten–hiding in plain sight (unobservant though it may be)–feathered, leafy immobility helpless in the forest–spitting venomed wit at any who pass

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The blob-y blurp reads:

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*blurp*  *blurp*  *blurp*  *blurp*  *blurp*  *blurp*

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a bottom dwelling creature bound in parasitic symbiosis with fungoid ground owls–protections and food all in one with nary (a squirrel upon my face) any reciprocation–a polite than you as it is ushered out the door.  Again, exiled from violet grace.

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The pheasant-head springy sprong reads:

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Like Byatt’s “The Thing in the Forest,” these creatures literally move through their environments–slinking, slithering, pulsating, and subdividing.

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Like cellular mitosis but with pain.

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Yet, do we know that there is no pain in cellular mitosis?  Do the mitochondria scream when they remember that they once belonged to another entity?

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There are worlds-upon-worlds at the micro-level–how can we know?

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Maybe this little creature is but the unrecognized mitochondria of another, larger being.

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The tree stump reads:

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from the 100 acre wood  echoing “I’m alive” like the last unicorn (just go with the Kenny Logins cum Peter Beagle reference) like the last cry of the last ugly one-horned mule (so Legend made it’s way in too).  A 100 acre wood can do no more than grow, be cut down, be devoured, and fade out of memory, remaining as a remembered meal in a fungoid body.

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Up above the tree stump is the cloud sheep; it reads:

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the long lost (and misunderstood) brother of vegetable sheep–a bestiary staple–floating serene and separate, an alien never to be touched or interacted with–just gazed upon in silent wonder, autobiographical interpretations forced upon its cloud-docility.

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And the stymie, crawling up the tree stump’s side, reads:

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Up the tree down the tree waiting for its wings to grow (all sparkly and light–fairy-like in the way they shimmer) up the tree and down the tree isolated and alone all its friends have abandoned it in the mangrove swamp (really they were eaten–fed to–the bilious wings, a sacrifice to old gods with even older motivations–Jokey Smurf’s renditions of Seven.)  all because it was a little late to develop.  How sad.

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The back interior cover–

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Please note, replete with werewolf.

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The back back cover.

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More pretty paper.

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And that is the bestiary of unnamed friends:  a travelogue.  *bows*

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It, along with the rest of The Fiction Project pieces, will be touring the States and will be joining up with the tour in Seattle on June 10-12 (Poetry Jen, this is for you!) at the Form/Space Ateller.  The show will be at the Hyde Park Art Center July 14-17 all of my Chicago-land peps!

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Now!  To collapse somewhere squishy.  This was the longest post ever.  *collapses*

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