The Beauty Between Words is Available Immediately.

To purchase and for signed copies, contact: Dennis Slattery



Publisher :            Water Forest Press
A subsidiary of Skyline Publications

c/o Victoria Valentine, publisher
New York, USA



About The Beauty Between Words






ISBN 13: 978-0-9843602-3-9  ISBN 10: 0-9843602-3-9

Perfect bound 256 pages  6x9  #70 smooth creme paper

Grayscale interior art

Copyright 2010 Dennis Patrick Slattery & Chris Paris

$20.00 USA

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The Beauty Between Words is a stunning book of mytho-poetry; elegant, rich and delicious inside and out.

Dennis Patrick Slattery and Chris Paris have merged minds to create a unique blend of beautiful and graceful writing.

Memorable! Reflective! Powerful! The Beauty Between Words is a remarkable achievement in its mythoplokos, the reweaving of Psyche’s mythic tale. One marvels that it retells a great, yet timely journey of reunion in deepening self by clothing the graces, muses and our fates in the language of fresh threads. It is soul-making at its finest.

From the Foreword of The Beauty Between Words:


The sound that hides in our words is a poetry of grace and grace is like a reed trimmed to fit into the tight sounds that form the shape of a poetry’s inner life. Poetic life is more than craft. It is soul food.

And so it is with the song in the reed fitting the poetry of psyche to a moist word. A reed’s desire plays a moist word. Likewise will many reeds desire the moist sound woven just so to craft a basket form and this form might then be imagined the shape of grace’s house; grace’s house is home to the pattern of the weave. ‘Grace’s house’ has just become a personified notion.
Likewise is the desire of many reads’ desire were the psyche of such a poetry’s desire now to be shared. And were it worn from within the way it were woven and shown worn, if its ‘space’ were suddenly to appear properly thinned through the systole and diastole of daily life, if the vale in soul-making were of a sudden salience when, to surfaces, given surface, the experience of the poetry of this psyche might then be likened to “jazz”. This is just what I’m suggesting with regards The Beauty Between Words. I’m suggesting the language of jazz, the language of soul food is at work. I’m suggesting The Beauty Between Words is jazz poetry.

The jazz language of great jazz (as every great jazz musician knows) is found in the pattern that plays in between any two of its beats. This brings me to my second point with regards The Beauty Between Words. I suggest the reader resist any attempt at synthesis between the twin poetic works contained in the poetry volume. Leave a space for the poetry’s jazz to play you. That space is important. It is where the language of jazz really is when in poetic play. It is in between the beats coming alive where the poetry sounds. And you don’t have to take that sound literally. It is a soundless sound…like the one the poet hears and imitates changing the poem to fit the audience to the felt-sense each time he or she performs it.
This is a key point jazz-poet, Chris Paris makes in his introduction to the poetry of grace in the second part of this book. Poetry is originally performed in Homer’s time and not simply read silently or aloud. The muses of Grace’s house are originally three and nine. Bards like Homer work in between the oral/aural and written word and these three, Melete, Mneme and Aoide, derive not from mythology as do the nine but from this kind of poet’s practice.

The practice being practiced, i.e. the ‘practicing’ at work playing through a poet’s craft is a remembering and singing through in a return to source. Such is the way to Grace’s house. You are trying to be re-membered where the song is calling itself into being through your own be-ing like a bird calls a song through the body of itself (or the great god Pan, the reed) and the bird’s song and the reed’s song surface ‘embodied’. That is like the basket surfaces in the hands of the great weaver, Evagrius in the poem, “Evagrius The Weaver”.

…he trimmed the reeds, made some coil
into tight sounds of a basket’s shape…and soon
because he had made so many
it was finished.

This also might be more to the point mytho-poet, Dennis Slattery makes in his introduction where he says he is thinking less about the pedigree of the muses and more about an experience of them.
I want also to speak to my having used the mytho-poetic method described in the introduction to the poetry of Professor Slattery. I did meander and drift; I did experience an important correspondence I would have missed. It did cause me to take up a certain poetic line… word… phrase and…

like a sand painting of the Navajos
or a rug or colored dash of cloth from
an Indian market;
One thread hangs loose…
a pause that stretches to 6 days. “Life Span of a Journal”

Suppose two threads hang loose? Suppose one is mythic and the other is god-space like is Olympos to Greek antiquity. Suppose this opens back yet another space, a third not given (because the edges aren’t knotted.) The image in the poem reminds me of the Gordian knot and the story of the mythical King Gordius of Phrygia. Phrygia is known for its mythical kings. King Midas is another, in fact. Phrygia is a rich and beautiful land, part of western Asia. But, of course, its persona is already part of a historical fiction and the poetic one, too, I’m telling you now.
In the historical fiction Phrygia remains without a king until people decide to do what’s best for each alone and they forget the beauty they share with others in the land in between. Now a king is necessary and the King is Gordius. He doesn’t really want to be a king. He is country folk, drives a hay wagon and is a working man. But, the people make him king and so he does his duty in a clever way. He ties a knot hoping to stretch his desire into a long pause. It works, too, until Alexander cuts the knot and claims it doesn’t matter how a man gains his rule.
This is the meandering I’m talking about. How does a sand painting, a loose thread at the end of a weaving and the knot truth of Phrygia come to belong-together in an important way in my own psyche operating well underneath my king in the hidden syntax of a nonexperience? What likeness is the like?

What I began thinking about is what each does to compose the talisman of the other world here and now that lets me see that world. This is when the poems of Chris Paris begin speaking back to me through the poems of Dennis Slattery and I begin to recognize who or what is now the subject. For when I begin to see the world through these images the subject of the world becomes quotidian life. The Gordian reminds me of the quotidian which reminds me that historical fictions and poetic fictions belong together in the everyday lives of everyday folk. You might recall this talisman notion of mine and lay it beside another when you get to the Paris poem, “Talisman” toward the end of the book.
I also note how the poetic language that performs this talisman function is a metaphorical un-knotting of the knot-truth; it is sufficiently obscured (at first) by poetic language and is encoded in the material imagination of the everyday. So the mytho-poetic way is the one thread left hanging with the power to undo me and re-member me at the same time. And, because it is not knotted but instead left hanging, the knot truth is not truth but is hiding truth under its syntax left, as it were, ‘out in the open.’

But, there are two threads to tend in my poetry reading. And so, I turn for fresh insights to the theopoets and theopoetic perspectives, of which I find two perspectives worth passing along to you now. One has to do with trinitarian imagination and the other ‘Grace’s house’. David Miller writes in Three Faces of God: Traces of the Trinity In Literature and Life how the early Greeks have difficulty keeping distinct from each other the stories of three muses, three graces and three fates. And he says, “as if what is fated in life may be a grace if it were mused upon”. And he goes on to say musing life processes produce transpersonal images. He calls these images ‘the poetizings of life.’#
Transpersonal images are poetic ones, in other words—such an image as is ‘Grace’s house’! It is my good fortune a theopoet has written something about Grace’s house, something you can take with you now into your own poetic reading of The Beauty Between Words so that you, too, might fit your psyche’s hidden sounds into its moist words in a poetizing way.

No blade of grass is not counted,
No blade of grass forgotten on this hill.
Twelve flowers make a token garden.
There is no path to the summit—
No path drawn
To Grace’s house. -Thomas Merton, Collected Poems

December 30, 2009
stephanie pope



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