USEREVIEW 087 (Capsule): Punctum

Bryce Warnes/ July 20, 2022/ Book Review, Capsule Review

Dona Mayoora & Gary Barwin
Punctum (Gap Riot Press, 2021)
ISBN 978-1-7774620-4-8 | 24 pp | $10 CAD | BUY Here


Dona Mayoora maps a layer of focal points on the surface of her face, then weaves them together with butcher’s string, as samples of simulated cosmic noise coalesce, overlap and bustle around her. The noise comes from Professor Teresa Brainerd’s class on Cosmology at Boston University; Brainerd’s research includes investigating the way dark matter haloing large, isolated galaxies may bind smaller galaxies into orbit around them. Mayoora’s work encompasses video as well as print: in the piece titled ‘Abstract Discourse,’ she wraps a long receipt paper around her head, until only a single, darkened eye is visible through a gap in the paper — which is riddled with burnt holes, seemingly scattered at random. Gary Barwin collaborated with Mayoora on Punctum; he also collaborated with her on the video performance ‘The Forgiveness of Scissors’ at the Museum of Literature Ireland. In it, Barwin repeats a winding, recombinatorial text about a woman, bandages, stories, cocoons, forgiveness, soldiers; Mayoora, head bound in paper marked with pink and black dabs, chops her way free with a pair of scissors. A few slivers of paper fall away, but for the most part, the split bundle wreaths Mayoora’s head like a halo, or a split pupa, marking the edges of the map, the border between was and is — marking the place that resists marking.

Recommended excerpt:

Page 15 pins the Kabbalist’s Tree of Life to a mourning veil, while page 17 geotags the human face with excerpts of cosmic statistical-randomness.

Bryce Warnes is a writer and reader based on Vancouver Island, in Unceded Quw’utsun Territory. His poems have appeared in and The Malahat Review, Poetry is Dead and PRISM International. More:

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