Inventive & exhilarating, Kirsten Kaschock's The Dottery tells the story of mutters and dotters in fresh, bracingly original language. Dolls, surrogates, goldie (who 'was lock, lock, locked') and mannequins play out this keen allegory of gender in ways that are both astonishing and terrifying. Kaschock is an alchemist—you will be changed.
-D.A. Powell, Judge 2013
AWP Donald Hall Prize in Poetry
University of Pittsburgh Press
by Kirsten Kaschock
Mornings, dotters re-skin themselves. They tiptoe into their parachutes for world ascent. All dotters, jumpers, and head first. They move through their skin, about them in its great diaphanies, to the center where the soles are. Almost every day the skins lick up in great petals to seal each dotter in her velum. Only at night do dotters undo their inner vestment. For cleaning. For cleaning and storage. They peel, like hose, the skin for laying into large skin baskets. They fit themselves into silhouette, the puddled dreamblood they’ve produced in side effect. If, at dawn, a dotter’s skin will not rejoin her, that day is a meditation day. She will mull her twin failures: to lace and to congeal. Such dotters prove immobile, fervent not to stain. For this, we should be grateful. A loose dotter, unbound by that organ’s narcotic meshwork—by the shame of its distinction—she would always be in danger of incorporating.