AND WHAT IS LEFT, AS MUCH AS THE HANDS WILL HOLD, AND A VIEW OF THE EMPTY PORCH by Sara Seaton

This chapbook is so dang cute I carried it around with me for a few weeks. I liked to pretend it was a small notebook for me to write down flashes of genius, prose-y lines and obscure subjects. The entire chapbook is made out of repurposed paper. The cover feels like a rough two-pocket folder, a milky texture-ized color. The cover image is a cutout. Looks like a paper tag with a man stamped onto the refurbished paper. The man on the cover looks like the King of Spades.

Greying Ghost Press was born in 2007. Like Slash Pine, all of the their books are handmade. But this isn’t why I’m a fan. They stuff the chapbook full of stuff. FREE poetry pamphlets, an old photo of a baby named Paul Roos, a page out of Lassie, shapes of the map of the mouth of the Chattahoochee River. The text is printed on résumé paper. Novelty and personality rolled into one.

The story told by Andrew Borgstrom is about a boy, a mother, and a father. It’s also about a cat named Kitsch and a murder. The entire piece focuses on possibility and irrelevancy in a world in which matters don’t matter. Each page possesses three “sections.” Each section moves from clarity to ambiguity. A favorite section occurs on the last page. Don’t fret – this part doesn’t give anything away:

The inscription may have mentioned the time year, the holiday that
required the gift to be inscripted. The inscription may have referred
to the book as a classic, even if it was not an actual classic, even if the
inscriptor did not know what constituted a classic, even if the pages
were blank, even if it was a dictionary, which is possible and likely.

Borgstrom disorients the reader by his constant building and breaking down of the same images. It is both mystifying and absorbing. An aesthetically charming chapbook with a twist: a mysterious slaying of a possible father.

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