from The Fan Cycle: Mallarmé In Late Summer
Christy Sheffield Sanford
Orchestral sound, scintillating piano. Lulu, did you leave me
for a bright star? 16.8 light years away? Is the culprit
Altair – that hot, incandescent body rapidly spinning
in Aquila the Eagle? Does your lover live in a mass
of dust and gas, whimsically called the cloud of G?
The G-cloud. Does he touch you there?
The fan, refreshing breeze assistant, stirs a gust of air. Pushes her upward, a foot or so
off the ground – typical state when confronted with adoration. The fanatic, that faithful
attendant, dreams of favored status.
She raises and lowers her fan, exposes one blue eye, one green, a cherry painted upper lip,
full lips, tutta la frutta lips, Arcimboldo lips, lips of a thousand women on a tray. Would
you like a glass of Champagne? To accompany your amuse-bouche.
The fan is an implement of mass distraction. This we know.
Flip the guards open, whip them closed. Now you see me, now not. Plus the odd microcosm
of the accessory itself. When folding into the muck, in this endless poker game, raise-you-
one-and-double-cross, careful you don’t lose sight of
the early 19th century woman-hunter, rifle
slung over a shoulder, dead bird in hand;
boy and girl frolicking round a water pump,
like a Maypole, yelping dogs at their feet;
or the enchanting 1905 Duvelleroy creation:
French netting, now torn, embroidered
with feathery thistles in silver ‘n cream.
Tell me the story of just how that fan was ripped. And was your bedroom door open
or closed. In Georgia, we have laws about that.
Christy Sheffield Sanford lives in North Florida near the Atlantic Ocean. She has won an NEA in Poetry and is the author of seven small press books including Great Lakes (Map-Induced Trance States). Her digital animations have appeared in numerous literary magazines including Atticus Review (Poe's Purloined Molars) and Amp (Nadine's Shoulders in Moonlight). "Nadine" was also shown at the 2018 Electronic Literature Organization Gallery show in Montreal. Sanford was the first trAce Virtual-Writer-in-Residence. Some of her Web-based work is being archived at Washington State University.
About the work: “‘ ”
About the work: “‘ ”