Maddy Leeser Broadside Bookshirt
Ghost orchid alien spirit guide
A creature that crosses dimensions, time, and galaxies
appearing to those who have messages from other worlds
or need guidance through continuums.
On earth it mimics the shape of the ghost orchid,
a rare being that steps out from shadows of mossy dark jungle
with one vibrant white foot.
It billows with each step and vibrates through the veils of space and time
It shows you images,
exposes your roots grounding through time and blood.
It murmurs sounds and emotions in your ear
that surge through your hippocampus where you taste and feel
before words come to explain the sensation.
It dissects itself to thread between the space of mycelium matter that creates the fabric of the universe.
Creating small ripples as it steps through to deliver its angel kisses of ethereal knowledge and then dissolves back,
as a drip of river water into the ocean, unnoticed by the cosmos.
Bound to its duty by a force unknown,
perhaps its trickery, a playful seriousness in mortal matters.
Perhaps knowing what lies between life and death, space and time, it has found a loyalty to the beings who bury their toes in soil.
Or creatures dipping their external extremities into their intergalactic goop.
It walks over your grave, leaving goose bumps on your skin with each step.
It’s the object that hovers over mountains at midnight on highways
or in the shadow of the corner of your eye, mocking your sensibility.
When you think you’ve found truth it’s here to taunt your mortal ignorance.
It’s the longing after a bout of deja vu.
It makes crop circles in Hilma af Klint’s paintings.
It does that, whispers to those who aren’t being listened to.
Another one of its jokes.
It hides coded poems in the datura flower as it spirals shut at night
and snake shedded skins left on people’s doorsteps.
It takes offerings of dirt collected from underneath your nails
and germinated seeds.
To conjure: bathe in hot water steeped with mugwort and black walnuts, air dry,
while naked throw the walnut shells against a tree at a crossroads.
Sprinkle the remaining water in the corners of your room.
What is a bookshirt? A book that’s a shirt. Much like a fish growing legs and walking on land, so too the page must grow legs and learn to walk around. The bookshirt is an experiment in imagining a book as a shirt. How does a poem change when it follows you through your day, when you read it waking up, backwards through a mirror?
Hand printed by the artist. Very limited quantities.