Model City by Donna Stone Cipher

I love this book of poems, Model City by Donna Stonecipher. It is inspiring and yet no sooner as I have finished ‘my imploring’ I feel a pang of regret as before this post was written it was my ‘Model City’ and my Donna Stonecipher and now it may also be yours also. Such as one feels when they tell a friend of a secret swimming spot which will now be over run.

The poet Stevie smith once wrote of her novel ‘I will tell you this is a foot off the ground novel, and if you are a foot on the ground kind of person, this book will be for you a desert of weariness and exasperation.’

You know in your heart if you are a foot off the ground person or not. Model City is a book like no other I have read. A book of poems that answers its own question ‘What was it like?’ in 288 different ways!

Donna Stonecipher’s Model City is strange and wonderful, with 72 poems that all look like the ones below: four prose sections/stanzas/paragraphs, each beginning with “It was like…” as the poems accumulate, it gets more difficult to figure out what the “it” in “it was like” is really referring to.

Below are two of my faves, a part poem and a full one, Enjoy:

Model City [69]
It was like feeling very uncertain one afternoon outside a non-model city, like that feeling of uncertainty one gets while riding an elevator that opens on both sides.
                        *
It was like riding in an elevator feeling very uncertain, wanting the elevator to open on one side only, and to know what side before the door opens, to know that one side of the elevator is pure interior.

... 
Model City [51]
It was like moving into an apartment for the summer furnished only with a bed, a desk, a chair and old "world" radio in a brown case, its luminous dial turning to Moscow Berlin Paris Skopje Budapest London and Tangier.
                        *
It was like lying in the bed at night next to the world-radio, etched with distant cities, which now only gets local destinations, and imagining lying in bed in Skopje in the last century listening to music from Paris.
                        *
It was like lying under the open window thinking the apartment is not big enough, the summer is not big enough, the world is not big enough for the world-radio with it's etched cities and its luminous ideals.
                        *
It was like leaving the apartment at summer's end and sneaking the world-raio out in your suitcase, for you know that only you understand the radio's faith in a grander, more worldly world - and its inability to transmit it.
 



Published by NCS

reader of great literature, teller of tales, photographer of mostly awful snaps but on occasion I am half decent.

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