Just received the first in-depth response to Chalcedony – here it is!
"I’m one of those people who never reads the preface, and it took me a couple of references to breasts to realize my perspective was definitely skewed. Back to the preface and… ahhh….
I love how this archetype, as Matson describes Chalcedony, pulls the poet into a lower world of her own deeper wisdom, an initiation almost, into the ancient rites of love, magic and expanded consciousness. Matson’s mind can’t fathom the wild ranges of her awakened senses, and so she has to drag the poet there with images and tastes and smells. I love the story about how Matson couldn’t resist her.
Some of Chalcedony’s First Ten Songs has the exalted flavor of Rumi, who is one of my all-time favorite writers, using the tangible flesh of sensuality to describe the incandescent Mysteries.
Lines I especially loved were:
You think you can put your heart
back in your chest
I’m eating you with strawberries.
I’m sipping you with black tea.
We say "Yes" to the love buried
in a thousand thousand languages.
Do we need
bigger holes for our eyes?
loving you with both her hands.
(which is really what this collection is about, to me)
This is the nothing behind the nothing
from which everything arises.
(… and what more can one really say?)
Sink into the lullaby
flowing between us
deeper than a thousand rivers.
That’s what Matson has written: a lullaby of mystical musings, salted (as it should be) with the grit of the mundane and the human: blackheads and pores and cleaning ladies’ knees. Great juxtapositions, daring journey”
— Cynthia Moore, Berkeley, April 2008