Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday May 20, 2011 Poetics Asides




Poetics Asides Prompt: Tell it like it is.

Mayfield Artists Book Project

The real story of Mayfield
Will remain untold
Rather...
I will use Mayfield
The idea of Mayfield
As I would a good and
Trusty mule
Plowing the rich field
Of Mayfield
A story of children
Born without pretension
Who lived and grew up
In the hill country of Texas
Sometime in the late 1800's
Turn of the century

It began last year
While visiting my Sister
In Kerrville, Texas
Heart of the hill country
We went to an estate sale
I bought some baby clothes
All the while wondering
About the couple who's
Estate sale it was

The baby clothes
Were carefully folded
In a box
Clearly marked
In ink
"Mayfield"

The handmade baby clothes
Reeked of moth balls
Were foxed with age
All made by hand
With tiny stitches
I thought of the young
Expectant Mother
Or the Grandmother
That made the little clothes
How proud they would be
Of the boy called Mayfield

On that day
I also bought a large
Book of Japanese prints
Inside the book
Was a document
Recognizing Mayfield
For the 30 missions
He flew over Europe
In WWII
(Which I returned to Mayfield's family.)

I was intrigued by Mayfield
What little I knew
His Mother was proud of him
He grew up to be a war hero
Was successful financially
He loved his wife

For sure they had a
Happy life together
From what we saw
They loved parties
Not only to attend them
But to give them
There was at least
A truckload of party
Favors and costumes
Even two matching purple wigs
Mayfield was quiet tall
And his wife a tiny woman
I could just see them
In their matching wigs

I thought about Mayfield's story
The specific story
But decided instead Mayfield could be
Every boy born without pretension
In the hill county of Texas
Grew up during the late 1800's
Turn of the century

The Mayfield Artists Book Project
Is made up of three books

In the first
I used the tiny baby clothes
As the pages of a book

The second was from
My husband's Grandmother
Maddie Livingston's Memior
Which I copied by hand
Into a handmade book
The story of a family
"Any family" who came to
Texas in the late 1800's
Turn of the century

The third book
Based on stories from
The Old Order
Katherine Anne Porter
I copied whole sentences
And re-wrote long poems
Stories about children
Growing up in the Texas
Hill country, in the late 1800's
Turn of the century


Tiny head of Mayfield, made by Cathy Cullis.

I am telling it like it is
Artists book projects
Carry you along
To unexpected places
I decided the project
Needed a rag doll
That would be Mayfield
The head was made by
Cathy Cullis
Today I plan to make
The clothes for Mayfield

I will use paper to
Create the patterns
A shirt with tiny pearl buttons
Coveralls and a little jacket

Mayfield, any boy
Born without pretension
Grew up and raised
In the hill country of Texas
Turn of the century

*The clothes seem like a big hurdle as I have never made doll clothes before. But I am trying not to think ahead to what I don't know how to do. But rather, one step at a time.

3 comments:

  1. Oh how very interesting, Annell........your projects take you on such wonderful adventures. I love looking into the past, that wonderful era long ago.........love the idea of those tiny hand stitched clothes.........I can see them, in my mind. Have fun today!

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  2. What an intriguing undertaking, and so evocatively described. Wonderful!

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  3. What a fascinating idea, Annell. How interesting to take the baby clothes and develop a story of Mayfield. I wonder if you will ever share it with the family. You are creative in so many ways. It must be hard to know what to work on in any given day.

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