The Other Worlds by Janice Lee is an experimental chapbook exploring reality, visions, and the eponymous other worlds. Lee invites you into the schismatic divisions of her perception, but as she puts it: “This is not a poetic rendition of a supernatural order. That could be considered blasphemous, or futile, depending on where you stand. Rather, there are worlds that have been excluded from the common eye by ghosts appearing at the moments of weakness, the moments of weakness when language fails to utter the precise meaning of a note that extends past the midnight of a sympathetic handshake.”
It’s part of the eohippus Tract series and while it’s only twelve pages long, the pages are packed, in fact, overflowing, with philosophical musings, whimsies, as well as commentary on what defines our reality. What exactly is this world versus, say the world from the perspective of a complete stranger? Communication creates different realities and “ghosts appear only when words fail.” It’s a lyrical conversation, a dialogue born of questions, a discourse exploring alternatives based on skewed sight and the sensitization of a metaphysical retina focused on nebulous truths. Only those truths are powered by the sun:
“Dreams are closer to the real than one thinks, the other reality we access when the ghosts peel our eyes closed and remind us of the past we so viciously try to tuck away.”
The narrator reflects on an ugly monkey she had in her youth which reminds her that: “In my dreams there are bowls of biscuits, the only currency, words, because with my words I can make things happens, bright flashes in the sky, strange vibrations, the incessant whispers of the wind.” The coinage of diction was never so precious as in the banks of The Other Worlds Janice Lee has opened up. The only interest you need is curiosity.
(paintings are by Salvador Dali, Brown Lady of Raynham Hall claimed ghost photograph by Captain Hubert C. Provand)