Aletta Ocean Empire

A poetry collection that attempts to be methodologically innovative as each open spread features two poems that sit on opposing sides of the page. They are mirrors of each other, but warped, they are shadows of each other, non-identical twins. They have been written and are to be read as echoes or familial pairs, and centred by the ink art of Siân Williams, each page play with notions of symmetry, that are central to the Rorschach test aesthetic that underpins the book.

The poems themselves are about sexuality and pornography, ostensibly. The book has grown from three sources, the first a previous collection of poems called the Lamb pit, that was published in a series of journals during 2012, the second a limited edition chapbook of collaborative poetry and art with Siân Williams, called Animal Husbandry. And third, a commission from Annexe press editor Nick Murray for a thing called the Pheromone Party (where people are asked to sleep in a shirt for a week, then bag it, and then given to others attending the night to sniff, blindly, and then choose who they'd like to meet based on the smell) for which Annexe produced two zines for the events, as souvenirs, or things for people to read, I assumed, if it all got a little bit awkward. Having a predilection for the olfactory, having done commissions for Lush before etc...I wrote poems that became the model for this whole collection. They were accompanied by an inkblot by Siân Williams, that looks like the thing the poems are about, and then split into two, and the two lost halves published in the different zines. I have reunited them below, folding the separate zines together for a reunion as an example of how the books will appear.