Fresh from the atelier of Kristina Marie Darling and Carol Guess is X Marks the Dress: A Registry ($15.95 Gold Wake Press), a sharply tailored collaborative volume in which a wedding narrative unfolds, or rather folds up and flies away. In noirish prose poems, footnotes below blank pages, lyric poetry, definitions, and erasures, the authors make a new creation from the fabric of love, desire, and custom. Though we had hoped to have both writers with us this evening, Ms. Darling will not be able to attend. Carol Guess will more than ably present their work. She is the author of eleven books of poetry and prose, including Tinderbox Lawn and Doll Studies: Forensics, and is Professor of English at Western Washington University, where she teaches Queer Studies and Creative Writing.
Here’s a page from the registry they’ve created—
Your girlfriend licks sugar off the rim of a crystal shot glass. What happens to the wedding gifts if a marriage dissolves? Before, it was easy to send thank you notes: white scented paper, matching envelopes, & dark green ink. But now you’re changing in the bathroom, unbuttoning the shirt I bought for you at some Labor Day sale. Soon I see you all pale blue in someone else’s designer dress. I’ve undone the little clasp on my purse, searching for gift receipts. Sweetheart, your new bride is waiting in her mud-stained car. The husband I remember wouldn’t look back.