A Mesostic by Dina Hardy Written through
“Writing through Z’s Writing”
by Marco Maisto (after “Transitions” by Dina Hardy)
Here's a mesostic poem by Dina Hardy, which was written through a poem called "Writing through Z's Writing" by Marco Maisto, which was written through, or after, a poem by Dina Hardy called "Transitions."
Oh, the filtering, the layers, the voices, the self references, the rotation to return to where we started!
But is this process complete? We don't have the source text of Maisto's poem or the referenced text of "Transitions". Like a Sappho fragment, we're left to try to piece together a story with these parts we have. Or, perhaps these two source texts don't exist—a la Borges—and we have to embrace this context-free mesostic.
Let's look at the names mentioned in the title: Dina Hardy, Z, Marco Maisto. Following a rule of mesostics, the spine words honor the authors of the source text, but here we only have two names. What about Z? It's possible there no words in the source text that would generate a word from the index letter Z. What do we know about Z? He writes. His writing inspired Maisto to write through it. Since Z is not mentioned in the spine, and we're not sure if any of Z's writing is included in this mesostic, Z becomes the invisible catalyst in this convoluted chemical equation.
Another catalyst to Maisto's work, the source work for this mesostic, is a poem called "Transitions"—the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. Which is how the poem begins: "For instance" as in: in this instance now, and for example, we begin in a light foyer—an entrance room filled with light—and move "moreover" to a windowsill that is stunning blue. "By too together", that is also and both foyer and windowsill are "equally blue"—perhaps the sky fills the window inside the windowsill and a skylight in the ceiling of the foyer—and both are "dripping motion"—possible the rain has stopped, water still dripping in motion down the glass. The transition in weather from rain to blue skies.
The next section is memetic of the water, the "dripping motion", as the language moves back and forth, like the rain rivulets: "in regards with regards". Hard not to read "regular overall death" as ironic, funny—the final stage for everything: death.
We then move to Judgment at the gates, i.e., the idea of heaven. What use is a fruit, white or any color, to a corpse? "Unusable" on a single line acts as a transition, a hinge, between defining "white fruits" and "cocoon"—although "cocoon" seems to work best as a verb. An imperative to wrap "the whole red morning ladder / where Summary me / and in light likewise": The speaker of the poem, the me, the I, is one with the sunrise and the start of a new day—especially from this perspective from heaven. Such unity there, yes?
In the final four sections, we refocus on the blue sky, "a tunnel back in regards / back with regards"—a similar move from the beginning of the poem, further complicating the position of the poem and speaker. Death returns, too, coupled with the sky and "by the same token indeed" with "green". Green being a "uniquely unquiet", that is: the color of life. With "say of the token there" we have a three definitions for token: 1. "a thing serving as a visible or tangible representation of a fact, quality, feeling, etc." 2. "a voucher that can be exchanged for goods or services, typically one given as a gift or offered as part of a promotional offer." 3. "done for the sake of appearances or as a symbolic gesture". "There" is, as stated, undefined and indefinable. "Token" is most likely definition 1: green a representation for life. "Life" then "was solace solace all / same" and "in same" with the "devastating white", i.e., death. The poem ends with "morning basicgrey ladder air there in me." This poem ends with breath—the speaker is alive again.