Ways to Misspell Obsidian
Ways to Misspell Obsidian - 1

WAYS TO MISSPELL OBSIDIAN is a collection of spoken-word poems by Ana Maria Caballero that investigates and celebrates the storytelling potential of long-form poetry. Following the passing of a very close friend, Caballero composed JUAN, a eulogy-in-verse. This text serves as both precursor and companion to “Ways to Misspell Obsidian,” a lyric essay written years later in which details of Juan’s passing are braided into the story of the intoxication of Caballero’s young son with nail polish remover.

Caballero culled from the pages of her essay to create two standalone poems, FATHOMLESS and ONCE. Combined with JUAN, these works form a triptych of shared signification, recursion, imagery, and vocabulary in which rhyme, unexpected line breaks, and spacing are used to sketch the shadows of emotion.

Written in Caballero’s signature, straightforward style, the texts read like open heart surgery. The reader is welcome into the folds of each word as an active participant, searching for meaning via memory–but gently. Traumatic and commonplace events are woven together to show how bright bursts of significance hide in every moment of our lives.

Caballero’s poems don’t deliver tidy answers, and they are unapologetic about it. Instead, they invite the reader to sit beside meaning and discover how such proximity can suffice.

“Ways to Misspell Obsidian,” was a finalist for the Emerging Writer’s Contest hosted by Ploughshares, one of the most prestigious literary journals in the US. JUAN was written as a gift for Juan’s sister and is being published, as an artwork, by GAZELL.iO through their first-ever poetry reading at the gallery, on September 29th, 2022.

Sep 29, 2023
Gazell.io Digital Art House
London, UK