Reviewed by LB Sedlacek
"Selected Works" is a book of six poems and art expertly synced together by Stephen Mead. A writer and artist, Mead is able to use his art to express his words and vice versa.
"Washing the Body" is a purely organic experience with obvious religious overtones --powerful yet subtle. "Drug" seems to bean overt homage to cigarette smoking; however this piece invokes celebrity assistance with references to and drawings of Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, etc.
From "Drag" #13:"Rain on the tongue, / Such bovine innocence, /Such sweetness, girl, / Your delectable skin /Edible as buttermilk bread. / Was Norma Jeans laughtered / In you like a lamb / For the Hollywood homes, / Each a fled orphanage? /Dead or alive / Your glamourous myth lives /with new rumours yet ...."
"Heroines Unlikely" appears to be an honorary piece to women ranging from agirl's innocence to the protection of a mother and to adulthood. It even touches on the mythological with an ode to a muse.
"From The Sea of Myths" carries the mythological even further.
From "From The Sea of Myths" No. 28:"Thus Eurydice caught by Pluto /Tried to teach Orpheus / But Orpheuslooked back, / Taught, as we all are, /To project, to reflect / And give such feelings to the lyre ...."
The illustrations that accompany each poem help facilitate the poem's movement and voice. Some of the images are hauntingly moving -- each one a powerful addition to the accompanying words.
Overall this is a moving work -- a multifaceted glimpse at the illustrated word.
Stephen Mead is a published artist/writer living in northeastern NY. As an artist he is self-taught, yet has been heavily influenced by both surrealism and expressionism. In the early 1990's he was published in several little literary magazines, but stopped to pursue visual work. It was in the year 2001 that he began seeking publication again. On the web, both his writing and his artwork have been showcased internationally. Other works include "Safe & Other Love Poems" and "TreeCompanions."
Copyright 2008 LB SedlacekSend us your comments on this article