Monday, March 31, 2008

"My Fingernails" by Christopher Fritton

'My Fingernails
Are Fresnel Lenses'
Christopher Fritton
2008 ISBN 978-1-934513-06-4

David Michael McNamara, Publisher
P.O.B. 911 Buffalo, New York, 14207

This small square, four inch by four inch, handmade,
or at least partially handmade, hand sewn, with great
attention given to the arrangement of verse done by
letterpress and fine papers contribute to a sense of
value. the book, ‘My Fingernails Are Fresnal Lenses’
becomes a gift, giving us, the general public, a
chance to untie the wrapping. the verse presented in
such a way, that there is an anticipation; you will
be pleased with the poem.

Having worked many years in print shops and paper
store, I appreciate the care given to how the poet
wanted to present his chapbook. There is a marriage of
earlier printing techniques. The red cover symbol
denotes the red lettering of an Celtic illuminated
script or medieval decorative design. The cover paper
is also reminiscent of a paper used and still made for
eighteen century multi-signature books, a laid paper,
which means you can detect a line impressed within the
paper. The letterpress is still in use today, but
mainly, for very special use or occasions. When you
run your fingers over the surface of letterpress you
can feel the indentation. This all lends to the
subject matter of the one poem, joining scientific
investigation with memory and more.

“…the light I make is chemiluminescent. The
chemicals are bodies. Light has no body, but
chemicals can be measured. They have detected light…”

Despite the relationship of chemicals and body, the
poem, for me, is about love, memory of love, human
love explored to it’s minute details. Love can be
explained anyway a poet chooses. Love still shines
through, whether because of the function of the brain,
or because we are emotional creatures, and that, being
emotional, is also connected to the brain; I refer to
the individual choices we make to love or not to love.
Christopher Fritton gives us a kiss; he gives us all
the thoughts perceived by him, behind a long kiss, an
intimate kiss. He whispers in our ear as only a lover
can. We are privy to something special. We alone, are
the only ones to ever be loved in this new way,
everlasting, evermore, that has ever been, that will
ever be.

…”I hold my hand next to your head
and my fingernails near your ear so you can hear…”

Perhaps the poet did not mean what I insist on seeing
in this poem. Light is more than material or light is
not material, or light emanates from the material,
whatever scientists discover, or have discovered, this
poem shines, on; what I call a love poem.

Irene Koronas
Poetry Editor, Wilderness House Literary Review
Reviewer, Ibbetson Street Press

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