ISBN-13 978-0-9862355-4-2 / June 1, 2021
Demystifications is a circle of keys, a florilegium, a circle of voices engaged in a public conversation whose subject is the transformation of knowledge into a collective organ. Mellis uses aphorism to bring us back to basics—what is the best way to proceed, starting from here? How should we inhabit the present? By excavation, by error, by exaggeration, by gesture, by revolt, by contradiction, by voice, by tone. Fanny Howe and Edward Said, Etel Adnan, Karl Marx and Muriel Rukeyser—Miranda Mellis hosts the living and the dead in a grand conference on the value and practice of wisdom.
With humor and grace, bite and tenderness, these ninety-nine poems structure an archive of a Miranda Mellis mind map. I loved being there with her! “Demystifications is a key ring,” each page a passkey. From Orange Is the New Black to Etel Adnan, from Revital and Tuur’s albino goldfish via Marx to Blessing Ngobeni with several visits to Walter Benjamin; the good enough mother; and the public school down the block, Mellis expands the visible—not to hide the cracks, but “to see the fissure in the fix.” She also gives us the possibility of “a forgiveness cloak”—a one size fits all garment—to help us see through other minds besides our own in these darkest of times.
—Lynn Marie Kirby