The Daily Art Source

Book Review

A Review of I Forgot Light Burns by Eileen R. Tabios

                What it is to give light must endure burning.
        -    Victor E. Frankl

This is the quote Ms. Tabios uses to begin the section entitled, “I Forgot Light Burns.”. I suppose if we could burn light we could perhaps reverse time?  She writes, “I forgot one can use color to prevent encounters from degenerating into lies.” This is a very interesting statement. One that goes back to the quote by Victor E. Frankl. Being a photographer it reminds me of what cinematographers say about “writing with light”, photographers also.  In the documentary Visions of Light, Ernest Dickerson who was the director of photographer for the film Do the Right Thing said that when he was watching a film at a young age he found out that he was reacting to light in the film he was watching. Yes, light burns.

Ms. Tabios writes later in this same poem, “I forgot instructing saliva to wait..” Of the books I have reviewed by Ms. Tabios this has the most experimental lines. Bearing in mind these lines were generated by her MDR Poetry Generator, which contains a database of 1,416 lines. You must remember that Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs did their work with newspapers, magazines and books and a knife.  

This is a book constructed and what exists is well worth reading. The first section is a poem entitled, “I Forgot the Flamenco Red.” It’s a short piece but it’s a good piece. She writes, “I forgot Red of Picasso painting humans as aliens in “Guernica.”

Chris Mansel