Room to Play

Lisa Pasold produced this chapbook with green cover with the stamp of spades in each corner (difficult to see – it’s black on dark green). Its title appropriate to its cover is green as the three of diamonds which immediately sets up a delightful cognitive dissonance with the cover’s illustration. I like the tale of the origins of this chap book. She won at roulette!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

so that’s how i initially got involved in the small press…i took my $320 of roulette winnings and spent most of that money on paper & printing & staples, and then my long-suffering gambling partner and i spent several rather lovely hours folding and trimming and stapling chapbooks on the kitchen table. those 21 poems about blackjack, titled ‘green as the three of diamonds’, had found a way into the world.

Mine is number 25 of 200 with a three of clubs tucked into the front. And it’s treasured not only for the gambling imagery but the luscious gardening metaphors in “the moon — life to you is a dashing bold adventure” which enticingly begins

knight of parrots, valet of roses, you leave
traces of pomegranate
on our lips, you read all our futures as trumps
(it doesn’t matter what bets we lay down)

That’s always read as parrot tulips by me.

And I must simply face the possible curse of copyright infringement and present in toto “card tricks (2)”. It will resonate with anyone who has balanced cards to build tower or house.

your father built card houses

not a metaphor for anything

steady handed, he worked every night
through the suites, beginning always
with clubs

the uppermost storey alternated
diamonds and spades

the buried hearts in interior infrastructure

and at the hospital, you
watch his fingers

(motor control)

you had brought
twelve packs, those cards that are
disposed of after any given night
bullet hole punched through the pack
(nothing leaves a casino intact)

windows you had planned to tell him, imagine
they’re windows
build me a house

As her father built houses, she builds castles.

And so for day 1632

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