Dragon Logic

Ahsahta Press, September 2013

As our material face-to-face world, threatened from so many directions, slips into potentially infinite virtual spaces . . . where have we gone? This slippage has happened suddenly, worldwide, and we do not know whether it renders humankind irrelevant, serves as an escape from apocalyptic problems, or is to be welcomed as a new direction for human life. For Strickland, poetry shares with mathematics and code a “proclivity for extreme semantic condensation within a formalized language structure,” and is thus her chosen instrument to track this enormous, increasingly invisible dragon-in-the-room stalking our time.

“Pointing us to new and deeply lyrical frontiers of feeling, like the power of entering into the body of a virtual macaw, Strickland shows how the ‘world of no attachment’ floats always nearby, with its ‘probe-less pen-less visionless light.’ ‘There is a zombie at the wheel,’ she writes, ‘who finds acceptable all risk (his flesh looks like mine).’ This is a book devoted painfully and beautifully to what is inside us—to how small, delicate, and ghostly we are.”

— Joanna Klink

“Stephanie Strickland’s dragons take dictation from myriad sources, contemporary and ancient. In the tradition of H.D.’s Trilogy, these poems build a palimpsest of figures, but instead of overlaying Ruth and Niobe, Eve and Tiamat, Strickland weaves them into a quipu that updates the Incan knot-book into a network of digital-age reference. These dense, ‘triply / dimensional writings’ in which we find ‘the cords’ code working in pairs,’ document mythology, mathematics, and electronic literature, bringing together strands and words in unexpected juxtapositions. Playful and audacious, these are poems of emergent meaning: our fingers on the knots bring them into being.”

— Amaranth Borsuk