Fine Arts

Only Blue Body — A Poetic Journal

The book reads like a poetic journal, as if a different day in the life of one person

blueRosalynde Vas Dias’s book Only Blue Body proved to be an amazing read, thick with images. Each line stands on its own, as it should, and draws a picture in the mind.  Sometimes subtly like water colors blending into each other, defining connecting images. Other times in full stop of a portrait painted in oil.
As complicated as the placement of words in the title poem is, it didn’t stop me being fully enveloped by the story of what appeared to be a wondering mind in a classroom. I found myself imagining a woman being an anchor, her body bound, and blue. I was transported into the narrator’s world and didn’t realize I left my own body until the line, “Can’t get back in….. But trying.”
Being that the title of the book is the very first poem, I wondered if that was all this read had. That thought was soon dismissed. Rosalynde constantly transforms the micro to the macro and vice versa, giving waves of compact explosions of emotions in such indirect ways I had to breathe a bit before each poem. There were times when I thought, “I am about to slip into something dark,” but then had to hold back a laugh like in the case of the poem “Silent Defense.”
The book reads like a poetic journal, as if a different day in the life of one person. Filled with self-exploration into imagination (“Drawing the Self Portrait”), being the subject of someone else’s imagination (“Night Work at Jeff’s and Model”) and small portals into her intimate self (“First Beauty Lesson and Standing on the Sea Wall”), be prepared to swim with flying rhinoceroses, zebra finches, paper wasps and a horse that could be a grackle.
For just a taste of what you may find, here is “Wood Cut:”
At work across the room, he was silence—
            a book closed upon itself ,
but like her
made of lines that curved: the curve of his body
              Over his work,
The muscle of his carving arm, tensed, active.
Between them, a barrier,
               not material.
As if he lived within a mirror
Working backward,
             putting images into the wood.
She looked for him there
after the work was done,
                the bench vacated
the prints hung to dry…
was this evidence? Wood curls,
a roller blackened with ink.
And once, a jolt more backward:
             The made thing—
octopus, rooster, elephant,
and a face. Human. Her own face
             the too-large nose, mouth, eyes
into one dimension distilled,
unmade from herself—swoop of inked line
              dark lip
eyes without light
speeding away from the source —

but what source