Marilyn Stablein – All Night


Marilyn Stablein


All Night

Techniques & Materials:

I’ve written down my dreams for many years and published two collections in Kathmandu about dreams I had during a 7-year artist residency in the Himalayas. My book Climate of Extremes which preceded climate change awareness includes various prose poem dream sequences. Surreal elements are a given in most dreams. Predicaments suddenly arise. I’m confronted by: What to do? My unconscious dreaming mind often offers a solution. The poem “All Night” was a recent dream about a torrential atmospheric river that thundered so hard on my roof at night I feared the roof might spring a leak. Quickly the dream jumps to the roof as I look for leaks. No leaks—but a new problem suddenly arises—I lost my ladder! One problem replaced by another! “Help! Can someone help me?” I worry. Even though no one responds, a quick solution pops-up—just bend a corner of my roof down (miraculously) until it’s low enough for me to hop off unscathed! Ok! Phew! To insure the lines of the poem fit the oblong horizontal pages, I orient the book to a slat-shaped accordion, a creative innovation I devised from an ancient Asian palm leaf structure. Marbled paper designs—darkish marbled swirls with orange accents which are made in water—echo the book’s watery theme. The mixed media decorated paper starts with swirling darkish clouds then moves down to a brighter background. Mark-making paper design techniques include inks, acrylics and a faint pearlescent color to add a luminous quality. Gold paper collage offsets the lines of the poem.

Artist Statement: The Poem, set in the American Typewriter font, is digitally printed on indigenous handmade eco-Nepalese lokta paper. The poem’s lines are cut, centered and collaged onto the pages. I added a gold ribbon “tie” closure inspired by Tibetan sacred texts which are wrapped in a square of cloth with long fabric ties that are wound around the oblong book to close it.

Here is the full poem:
All Night

Atmospheric River Waterfalls
My bed, a floating raft. Dawn breaks! 

Check the roof! No leaks! But—
Lost the ladder! Too high to jump down.

Help! Can someone help me?
Nada, no shows. Never mind. 

Wonder hands miraculously 
bend a roof corner down

Easily I hop off.
Rainbows illumine the way.