Haptic Poems :

sassafracas book cover
sassafracas (Xerolage 69), Suzanne Mercury. Published by Xexoxial Editions, 2018.

The images below are photographs of my haptic poems, etched in dichroic glass, then photographed in Mount Auburn Cemetery (where the light is so beautiful).

They are from my collection sassafracas (Xerolage 69), published by Xexoxial Editions— their first ever full color Xerolage. You can buy it here!

About My Materials:

I began by making images of a series of one word poems (pwoermds), then etched them in glass using a high speed laser cutter. Over time, I reworked these into physical objects meant to be handled, turned about in the hands, held up to light and experienced. They are very tactile and crave light and movement. It would be senseless to frame them or hang them on a wall— they just don’t work that way. 

The photographs in this collection replicate this experience of handling and seeing, and duplicate the variations of this experience in different kinds of light, at different times of the day.

citàci’gázze, 2018. Variation in cerulean and jade, dichroic glass on earth reflecting sky with self-portrait.

Dichroic glass is wonderfully gaudy and transient, a passionate material filled with clandestine colors that change and engage playfully throughout the day, depending on the angle of view, the light, the weather, or even what is reflected, sky, face, or earth.  

I love glass in general because it is inherently responsive. Lively and reflective, it participates in the environment. It doesn’t exclude the world around it. It fits these poems because they too invite participation, never settling on meaning.

With Love,  Suzanne

el‘tàil, 2018. Warm light variation, dichroic glass against steel with gold and glass dust halo.
knickerfluff, variation #2, 2018. Honeycomb variation in grey green and gold, dichroic glass against steel with glass dust halo.

Reviewed by Rose Franken:

Secretly dwelling near noisy quarrels, in their very insistence on material, metonymic blending, each of Suzanne Mercury’s portmanteau pwoermds comes with a splendid reflection of its own.

Tattooed in glass, in italics, this Irridescenistrata’s “pwoeuvre” rebels against the shattered records of the dictionary. Objects de-materialise behind sand that has turned into a resplendent surface on which the salty, hair-thin lines of a pwoermd are, likewise in maximum contrast to their source material, shifting over their toppled quasi-doubles. Or some of their fragments are lifting them up. Pwoermds, in the to-and-fro of correspondence and open to, as well as the result of, double-reading become transparence. We can linger in front of these poem words or are seen through their granulous letters which pretend to rest on a mirror plane. Or did they arrive from behind the looking-glass, darkly?

Shards and Earth, Cool light variation, dichroic glass against earth, reflecting sky.

Reviewed by Lucinda Sherlock:

I find Suzanne’s work delicate and delicious. The internal dynamics of the text and forms illuminate the substructure of the light and reflection on the glass surfaces. In these works the handling of text, light, and colour highlights the metaphorical resonance of the spatial relationships.

Xapha’zze, reverse variation in blue and green, dichroic glass against marble gravestone reflecting afternoon sun and trees.

The various elements – and the way they are arranged relative to each other – lead the viewer on a dance of joy. The writing is like twirling ribbons on reflective surfaces that shimmer and vibrate with sounds and movement. These images invite you to pause and wonder for a moment – and in that moment to catch a flash of a memory or a point in time. They evoke the storied images of the heart, reaching into ourselves to tap into our half-forgotten yearnings.