Chapbook. Prose Poetry. 5″x5″, 32pp., perfectbound. May 2012
Limited, numbered edition of 100 copies
responses to Dollyland
“If Dolly the Sheep opened a theme park, Hero could outfit the House of Horrors with verses such as these…. In this place, we are the beast, we are the faulty construction, we are the ones supplying the wool against the cold night and we are the ones choking on how much we swallow….”
–MEGAN BURNS, SOLID QUARTER
selections from Dollyland :
Never was it a question of not. A beached beastscape, a great Cell agape – we entered it. We breached the teethy tunnel & what dumb light leads us we never. In & in & we dare not note what muck marks our hands, what holds us by the tongue. What turns us inward we know not, only that as we went the hold more holds & more until to draw limb from It grew harder still, until we melded our each to other, our me to we, & moved as muscles do, pulse by pulse. Into the vasty deep & deeper still we moved toward what the light might give. Not for eyes, this light, but as for mouth or blood, a feed, & we grew fat on it. We swelled on our stem, pearly & new – & if we rent the flesh that kept us? We birthed a newborn light, a blooded thing: the Hand within our hand, the Eye within our eye.
Climbing Dolly we have always been. She loosed her ropey fleece & we scale the mountain of Dolly, the filthy fleece of Her bloodwarm & lumpish. Through the fleece of Dolly something circulates. Something grows. Dolly is budding. Carbuncly with lambs the body of Dolly. They bleat & bleat. We scale the mountain of Dolly & the budlings Suckle at our fingers. Always the fleece beneath our hands, the cover & covet. They draw blood, their blunt lamb Mouths. Over Dolly they foam, & She yeans & yeans, cleaving. Some are budding & some are falling. Off the body of Dolly they fall & some catch on the wind like spores or seeds, sailing away on their fleece. My dolly watches them go. Once she too flew from the body of Dolly. Below us the dollys wriggle over the earth, white as maggots. I cannot remember a time when we were not climbing Dolly always. Below us the dollys devour the white Wounds of the earth.
When I was a Seed, says my dolly, the world passed through me. Now my dolly fractals. Hook in hand, my dolly tats herself into lace, doily by doily. Doily by doily she laces the land, dropping them behind her step & step, & in the holes the world buds. In a hole my dolly found me slumbering. Slumbering in a hole my dolly found me dreaming of piston & plunder. She gnawed me down to gum, gnawed the moss from off my skin. I shivered & she dipped me. She dipped me in the woolen vat until I came out clean. When she saw my newly mug she grinned & then it was I saw in the mouth of my dolly the tiny doors open & open. Behind the doors in my dolly you can hear the voices of the other dollys. They whisper of beginnings in the wet chambers of dolly. In each Cell of my dolly they winter & whisper.
about the author
In addition to her chapbook with Tarpaulin Sky, Dollyland, Claire Hero is the author of Sing, Mongrel (Noemi Press) and two other chapbooks: afterpastures (Caketrain) and Cabinet (dancing girl press). She lives in upstate New York.
Poems from Dollyland have appeared in Black Warrior Review, Bone Bouquet, Columbia Poetry Review, Denver Quarterly and Handsome.
See also: Claire Hero (author page)
Claire Hero’s chapbook, Dollyland, reviewed at Solid Quarter
June 12, 2012 : At Solid Quarter, Megan Burns reviews Claire Hero's chapbook, Dollyland: "poems about that once dearly- beloved clone of clones, Dolly the Sheep, and if Dolly the Sheep opened a theme park, Hero could outfit the House of Horrors with verses such as these...."