CHRIS MANSEL Reviews
The Art of Exporting by Cristina Querrer
(dancing girl press & studio, 2011)
“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”
– Anais Nin
"I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you."
– Frida Kahlo
“.and at night/she stands there by her window/ no matter how far the sea.” That is a quote from a poem entitled, “Cartographer” in this fascinating collection, The Art of Exporting by Cristina Querrer. It’s a great place to start with a book that concerns itself lyrically with the sea, with a bursting of history, or as Ms. Querrer writes in the poem, “Off The Grid,”
Hear the fullness of life in your chest--
The pop and sizzle of your synapses
When the symphony composes itself before you.
Welcome it all between your toes--
What we once knew so well.
Love fractals, prisms, dandelions.
One can imagine fractals shaping the notes, turning every life experience into a subtle piece of music, not unlike Arvo Part’s piece for Benjamin Britton. You can easily read Quantum Theory into this poem and the rest of the book if you were so inclined. As Ms. Querrer writes in “Poem to a Dead Sister,” “Do you want to know/ Where dead sisters go/ Even when they are alive?” This beautiful poem finishes the book, but does it? Aren’t we all particles after death? In this case, learning the art of exploring?
There are so many wonderful poems here in this small chapbook. So much tenderness and sorrow but beautiful lines of hope, the “Fullness of life in your chest.”
There is another factor in The Art of Exploring that will attract your eye: the deft photography of Tiana Madison, Ms. Querrer’s daughter. Her work graces the cover and amidst the poetry inside. Like I said, there is plenty of good content here.
A word about the book itself—the book is published by Dancing Girl Press, a publisher who only publishes women writer, artists. Go to their site, www.dancinggirlpress.com and see and read about the great work they are doing.
Chris Mansel is a writer, filmmaker, epileptic, musician, photographer and a permanent outsider for some reason. He is the author of While in Exile: The Savage Tale of Walter Seems, Soddoma: The Cantos of Ulysses, Ashes of Thoreau, Interviews and two books of photography entitled, No Burden and Ahisma. Along with Jake Berry, he formed the band Impermanence who released one album, Arito. He releases music under the name dilapidation Impromptu who have released four albums. His writing and reviews has been published on the web in many sources including The Experioddicist and Galatea Resurrects.