Through the "Looking Glass," readers are invited to dig deeper into our issues as contributors share reflections on their work. Specifically, "Looking Glass" provides a sort of parlor where authors and artists reveal the genesis of their pieces, as well as provide meta-discursive insight into their textual and visual creative works.
Issue 14 Reflections
Read on for reflections by select authors and artists
on the genesis and craft of their pieces in Glassworks
and then read the full issue online!
"Fig" and "Doorways"
Although “Fig” and “Doorways” were written within a few months of each other, I hadn't intended to write them as related poems. One was birthed as I drove home from taking our daughter back to college after a weekend visit. The other manifested after hearing my mother call to me in a dream, and then remembering one of our last visits together before she died. The two poems had come from separate incidents. But later, when I reread them together, I realized they had braided and adjoined my mother, my daughter, and me into the never-ending circle of letting go.
John Sibley Williams
"Dear Doctor Frankenstein"
Although the Frankenstein story has intrigued me since childhood, I’ve grown more haunted by the townsfolk’s reaction than by the monster itself. It seems the creature is but an excuse for human beings to act out their suppressed violent tendencies. What is it in our nature that mislabels a stranger “other”? And from this otherness why must we assume danger? We’re experiencing this phenomenon right now in our own country: xenophobia, scapegoating, dehumanization. We’re all guilty of this, in one form or another, and similarly we’re all victims of it. “Dear Doctor Frankenstein” is my attempt to explore this shared human trait, this communal and personal guilt.
Clare M. Zwerling
"Apex" And "Blue House"
My interest in systems and structure within a grid format is a systematic exploration of a basic structure and its subsequent construction and deconstruction. The explorations are more than a formal exercise. In conjunction with the underlying structure, my interest in organic form has evolved from a more purely formal exercise, into one where glimmers of science, nature, poetry and myth have had an influence on the work. The paintings embody the physical qualities of transparency, color and iridescence, giving a dream-like quality to a scientific reality, at the limit of a geometrical abstraction.
I am interested in forging a system over structure, not simply by deploying shifts in pattern, color and materials or by working differently with the physicality of density, layers and collision.
"In Homage to My Old Pal, Her Last Year"
Recently, I've been obsessed with the history and literature of scent, spices, the original ingredients for perfume and aware that it's much easier to write about what we see, hear, touch than what comes to us through smell, that intimate, primitive, haunting and elusive sense, and have tried my hand at several attempts to render the fleeting into words.
If we are lucky, in childhood we meet someone, a pal of our parents, maybe get to know her, go to work for her, and set off through our next lives, next orbits, but then, decades later, visit during her last years, drink in the stories, myths, savor the lost years, wish we'd known her better