14 April 2015

First Class Literary publishes "Victor Stitches"

Victor Stitches as it appears on First Class Literary's website.
Huzzah! My Frankenstein-inspired poem is up and running at First Class Literary Magazine. Check it out!

First Class specializes in poetry and prose that can fit onto a single postcard, which makes for some lovely, quirky, fabulous works. 

I found out about them through Poets & Writers, and set to work on writing once I perused their site. I highly recommend them, for both the joys of reading and writing

I had a lot of fun with this submission. I knew I wanted to not only write another haiku, but to also make it into an art project so the image would work together with the words in the poem. 

I took a somewhat-yellowed postcard from a collection of Yoshitomo Nara's works that I got from MOMA in 2006 and altered it. As much as I like the postcard collection, there wasn't a single piece in it that I felt would correspond with my poetry. So I ended up fabricating almost the whole thing myself. 

I used Bidloo and Lairesse's Ontleding des menschelyken lichaams... as the main image for the front of the postcard. I tried to find anatomical drawings from the 1790s (when Mary Shelley's Frankenstein takes place) but for whatever reason, when I typed "18th-century anatomical drawings," 17th-century artwork kept coming up instead. Ontleding des menschelyken dates 100 years earlier at 1690...close enough, I guess? 

Cell phone pics of the original sewing--wasn't 
sure if it would hold up traveling from 
Ohio to Minnesota but it did!
When I submitted my poem to First Class, I told them in advance I was going to stitch directly into the postcard. Originally I wanted to sew the phrase "Victor Stitches" but that was waaaaay too ambitious. I ended up printing the title directly onto the front of the card, using the German Latin font from WaldenFonts so it reads "Victor Stitches."  

As far as actual sewing goes,  I settled for some pretty accent stitches on certain parts of the muscles, using gold metallic thread. Then, to reinforce the postcard (and to make sure my flimsy printer paper wouldn't rip), I glued the modified postcard to a second postcard, then sewed the outside sections with black thread (so it would look kind of like a book cover). Voila!

As for the poetry itself, it follows the rhythm and syllabic pattern of a standard haiku (5-7-5), and as for the inspiration for the specific phrases I chose, I ended up picturing Victor Frankenstein reciting the phrases, albeit the Frankenstein from Showtime's "Penny Dreadful." (Yeah, my inspiration comes from books and television. How original. Hee hee!)

I enjoyed putting together this entire project. Please hop over to First Class Lit to give it a read, and I hope you enjoy it, too!

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