Books by Laura Chester
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SPARKS, selected prose poems

The Figures, 2000
Available on, or signed, through the author

Sparks is the second collaboration (see Holy Personal) of author Laura Chester and photographer Donna DeMari. Here Chester’s selected prose-poems are complemented by sepia-toned photographs. This quirky, personal favorite, presents writing as a secret hiding place, as it delves into the glories and traumas of childhood.

Donna DeMari has been shooting fashion since the late seventies, as well as photographing horses in a wide range of settings. Her work has appeared in many top European magazines, including Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire. She was the photographer for Holy Personal, Indiana University Press, 2000. Donna DeMari's web site


THE SPARK SO quickly becomes the fire becomes you. Your face is shining with the light all around, like a mane. Aura, luster, a polished egg. Eager and willing to bend the saplings, weigh them down, to cradle the candle flame within. Get out a match. The tent of kindling safe in its bunk of sand and stone. Or is it just this that excites us, leads us on, illicit touch. The torch is lit—it shines in the iris. Warm beeswax and sherry wine. What draws us here to our private shed, to our lair in the woods—(is chocolate.

NO SIDE WHEELS all of a sudden—I’m aloft on my own blue Schwin with finger ringer and plastic streamers, basket stuffed with red windbreaker. How’d I do it? Steady pedal and single gear, all bright blue but, no bar, ‘cause I’m a girl. On My Own! Don’t think about it. Not to fall but only pedal, (being held) by almost air or—(how keep going?


FROM SILENCE TO silence—Is that where God lives? In the big emptiness where we are now filled. Follow the screech of a barn owl out —to the wind-crooked pine, a moonless night—I feel as if I am up in the stars, with the fireflies floating on top of the field, all the way down to the road. Rising, Venus, shines above, guarding her twin bright stars. When I pick up my cat—she’s been following me—her white paws smell of—(field thyme.