Marianne Press is proud to announce the publication of the novella
Limited edition of 15
100% cotton paper, covered with imported fabric
Hand sewn and hand bound exclusively by Marianne Press.
"Thank you for introducing me to the 21st century--
What you’ve written is brilliant, a classic tale that is completely original and captures the idiocy of our culture. It is charming and enchanting and I laughed out loud several times. You have a gift for satire, and a fluid style with deep wisdom and truth. Your new/old voice is fresh and confident. What a treat! And I will want to read it again, when I have it in hand. You’ve turned many lemons into luscious lemonade."
"There is an antic madness to satire, a wacky playfulness that is as wise as it is foolish, as devoted to mischief as to the sanctity of a threshold life, which swooning Pâmoison represents. Reading Pâmoison did a great deal for me, Pamé. I found a companion in your fluent voice, and I got swept away. It's a brave work, packed with urgent questions yet delivered with an honest and enormously heartening voice that praises as much as it decries. I see now that the book is a repository of values, and the narrative is a meditation on the very nature of signification, of self and society. I was shaken by the breadth of what you accomplished in 37,000 words. Thank you for reminding me that our craft is also an art."
of “the little red book,” the hard cover edition of
La Chanson de Pamé La Calmette.
105 pages. Limited edition of 15.
100% cotton paper, covered withimported red silk;
hand sewn and hand bound exclusively by Marianne Press.
Author ofCONSCIOUS FEMININITY
Congratulations on your book, La Chanson de Pamé La Calmette - "a result of ten years of questing the birth of the Feminine." What an immense journey you have made, spiritually and physically. I am profoundly moved by your book. You have dropped into your very depths and allowed its rhythms to dance on the pages. Your images are vital, transforming, into the body from the body.
La Chanson de Pamé La Calmette is a very moving evocation of the deepest energies inside, and of beauty in the midst of inquisition, imbued with images of mysterious spirit. Pamé's voice has the authority of the classical and archetypal, as if goddesses still walk the earth. It's as though this poem has been unearthed after thousands of years of burial, yet it speaks of the trials and persecutions we face today in struggling for our soul's voice and longing
This epic poem is a personal odyssey framed by the poet's life in the French Pyrenees, New England, and Ireland - spanning ten years. It is an exploration of a feminine soul's transformation across time. Alternating between free verse and couplet rhyme, this intimate story will stimulate the inner journeys of both men and women - singing through the recesses of human struggle to the birth of new meaning for the individual and, therefore, the world.
La Chanson de Pamé La Calmette is extracted from the trilogy of books:GODDESSLANDS.These books span 10 years of a personal odyssey.
The caves and goddesslands (page 3) are the centrallocation of this myth, situated in the French Pyrenees.For here, in actuality, were found Paleolithic stag drawings and other Celtic symbology.The minuscule ivory statuette of Vénus de Brassempouy (represented on the cover of this book), was discovered at the end of the 19th century in the French department of Landes in the Pyrenees.She is known to have been carved around 20,000 BC.Much later, during the Inquisition of the 13th century, many fleeing Cathars hid in Pyrenean caves.
The reader will find in the glossary further explanation of some words and terminology also derived from the context of the trilogy of books: GODDESSLANDS.
The books and the song of Pamé are her true story.
My name is Pamé La Calmette
And I was born in the valley of my ancestors.
The cool light of the moon and the moist spirits
Of the earth named me for the sake
Of the tiny hamlet from whose crèche I emerged.
My old name, they told me
Was washed away with the tide
And returned to the world of my fathers.
There, it would dissolve in the mystery of its own time,
Never to be known again.
I took my first breath in the twilight before the dawn.
The first sound I heard was the splashing of rain
Against ancient stones
And the rains were warm, as it was spring.
I then heard a murmured mooing
As I opened my eyes for the first time,
Looking into the eyes of a calf also born new
And what I saw was clear and good.
But unlike the calf, I could not ready stand,
I was weak with no one to carry me
Save the Earth and the Moon.
I waited for their strength.
And as I waited, I sensed the presence
Of my ancestors,
A host of women from the caves and goddesslands,
And they were crying,
And their tears were bitter.
They came into form naked and branded,
And their flesh was sore.
Some of their heads were bareshaven,
Others had hair singed at the edges;
Some tresses were matted with blood and with sweat;
And their eyes had been weeping
And their tears had been sweetened
By a beauty
Borne from the centuries
Of suffering to wisdom,
Of love unrequited,
The sorrow of Mother unheard.
And they formed a round table
With their rounded, soft bodies
Among the calves and their mothers
On the fragrant hay.
And for days (or for weeks, I'm not certain)
They told me their stories
Of persecution and power,
Of repression and fear;
Their spirals of depths and the risings
The fallings, the crashings, the cycles of change
The evictions from temples, the tortures;
The woe of their grief, the threads of their hope,
I left the Hansel and Gretel cottage in North Devon feeling secure that the witch was well-done in the oven, along with all her spells that had made much of my visit so challenging. Yet, feeling over confidant, I left my road map behind. I never dreamed I would be leaving one fairy tale behind me and entering another one. I never intended that my journey to Jay in Exeter, only three hours away, would become "Searching for Pooh and the Hefflelumps: A Psychotic Episode."
It started when I missed the turn at Barnstable.
That wrong turn brought me to an unfamiliar road with a minuscule arrow pointing the way to Exeter. This was not the direct route I had traveled a week before from the hotel at Exeter train station, where I planned to meet Jay. Instead, it led me into a sinister network of roundabouts going in the wrong direction. Driving on the wrong side of the road as I approached these circles roundabouting in the wrong direction, I frantically searched for the next little arrow to Exeter. Motorists whizzed by in the wrong lanes blaring their horns and signing to me their English middle fingers. These were not the signs I was searching to find. And unlike Kanga who remained innocent throughout his futile search around and around the same tree, I became dizzy, paranoid, and dehydrated.
Finally, dazed and utterly lost, my psyche splattered on the windshield; motorists giving me the finger and honking relentlessly as I-the-dervish whirled while trying to stay on the wrong side of the road—the car mercifully took charge and drove itself out of the circles-of-doom and into the parking lot of a large industrial park. Sweating profusely, needing to pee badly, holding back the tears of a lost battle, I stumbled into a big office building. The sign of the of the offices read: PRUDENTIAL. I opened the door noticing the workers at their cubicles in a large windowless room. Everything was still, unmoving. One woman emerged from the static maze and approached me as I reeled, holding myself up by the edge of the counter. I looked into her eyes pleadingly and before I thought to ask her for directions to the bathroom, words formed involuntarily from frothing lips, "May I... have some.. life insurance? I fear I'm going to die."
"Are you lost?" she asked, recognizing my helplessness.
"Yes," I replied, feeling grateful someone had taken pity on me. "I've been trying to find Exeter for six hours. I should have been there three hours ago."
She told me not to worry, I was IN Exeter! She would draw me a map! Where did I want to go? I told her I was meeting a friend at the hotel by the train station. And she said, "Oh, that's on the other side of town, but it's simple enough." And then she proceeded to draw me a map of EIGHT ROUNDABOUTS, cheerfully explaining which left or right, which first or second or third or fourth right or left to take at each one. And she was so happy to be helping and so chipper, I could not possibly tell her the truth of the roundabouts and me. And somewhere I just knew that it didn't matter any more—left or right, signs or no signs; even all the road rage of England projected onto me—it didn't matter because I'm on the wrong side of the road anyway and perpetually going in the wrong direction, so what was the use? And so, I found myself conceding, a fallen road warrior, needing very badly to pee. At this she chirped, "Oh, this is as simple as pie, now don't you worry!" And then she handed me a two-page map of eight carefully drawn roundabouts with arrows and signals and whatnots. Continuing to read my mind, she cheerfully pointed me in the direction of the bathroom.
Back at the car, hunger and dehydration hit. I gulped a yogurt to ward off hallucinations as I looked at the map. I looked out to the first circle of traffic looming ahead—cars spinning around and around, all going in the wrong direction. I swigged some water as I again looked at the map, trying to memorize the first three circles and their turns, knowing I would not be able to look at the directions while I was driving—there were too many cars ready to slam into me or exasperated motorists ready to yell England’s most common profanity: YOU SILLY COW. And that would be really too much, I wouldn’t know what I would do then.
I turned the ignition and headed out.
I went around the first roundabout and then drove straight on for a few hundred meters to the second. I thought I was remembering the directions quite well, and with a breath in my heart, hoped I could make it to the third. But after holding that breath for what felt like an eternity, it turned to a rasp, then a gasp, then...Shit! What was that? THAT was the Prudential Building. I had gone full circle.
Numbness penetrated by body as the voice of paranoia whispered to me that I was being hijacked by some invisible gremlin into the eternal damnation of the roundabout underworld. But I fought that voice. No way was I going into that building again. Instead, I pulled into the parking lot, took a slug of yogurt, uttered the name of my traveling spirit-guide, and prayed to the gods that had kept me alive all day. Then, I pulled out into the road. Again.
This time I made it to the 3rd roundabout—and a straight road that looked like it might be going into Exeter—and then...a miracle! I saw a sign that read "Exeter City Center." I drove on, but the traffic thickened, the roads narrowed, the roundabouts multiplied and, after moving through it all for five or ten minutes without seeing another sign, the car again took charge, turned off the main street, onto the curb and to a dead stop. I stepped out to the sidewalk, stupefied. And I observed myself—a bedraggled, damp American woman beside her English automobile with French license plates, steering wheel on the wrong side of the car—in the middle of the afternoon rush hour, in the middle of Exeter, England, arms flailing to the traffic, and.... hysterically hailing a cab.
A cab stopped across the street in the middle of the congestion. Like a tortured damsel I screamed, "Help me PLEASE!" He smiled as a knight would—eyes sparkling with a savior’s light, oblivious to motorists honking at him, ignoring their obscenities. I continued shouting, "I'm trying to get to the hotel next to the train station, could you lead me there?"
Gallantly he grinned as he waved his strong arm in the direction I should follow to get back on the road. Before I knew it, I was safely behind his trusty taxi. And, with visions of my arms wrapped around his solid waist, away we went through Exeter City Center.
Five minutes and five quids later I was at the hotel. I parked the car, paid him, and asked if I could call him tomorrow if I needed help to get out to the main road that would take me to the ferry in Plymouth. "No problem," said he...and gave me the number to his cellular phone.
I stumbled into the hotel. I climbed the stairs to the room. I looked at my watch. I had lost the three hours I was going to use to relax. In fact, I had lost a bit more than that. Jay could readily see this when he arrived a few moments later. He graciously waited in the lobby while I took an hour to find some of what I had lost. Only then could meet him for tea, a scones, and a lovely conversations about poetry and dreams.
The next morning I did not call the cab—and I got very lost leaving Exeter. But this time, I was prepared. At a stop light by an infamous roundabout, I calmly asked a motorist to help me and, as he was mercifully on his way to the Plymouth motorway, he kindly let me follow him. When I made it to that road and was safely out of Exeter, it was as if a psychotropic drug had been ciphered from my brain. Effortlessly, I made the correct turn toward Plymouth City Center. The streets opened up to me. I drove straight away to the ferry without one glitch.
And now that I am actually on this boat and pulling away from England, sipping chilled Evian, watching the sun shine on a blue sea, and knowing I am soon to be on the shores of my Goddesslands—I sigh gratefully that I am out of the farms and cliffs and woods of that fairy tale. For as the journey continues, I am most likely to enter another tale—and that one will be, I am certain, on the right side of the road.
What a diaphanous and yet keenly visceral work of art you've created with the felt clarity of these lyrics! Between sadness and desire, this poetic sequence makes wholeness of fragmentation. Such a strong juxtaposition: the fragments of an ancient poet - and the deconstruction of a life in the present. You put the trauma of today in mythic perspective. With The Sound of Loneliness, you listen for life's meaning. Truth answers in sorrow - beauty with wonder.
A.A. Attanasio, award winning novelist
SOUND OF LONELINESS
THE SOUND OF LONELINESS Poem Fragments
I chose to spend a winter writing on an isolated beach in Maine. My only diversions were the visits to my mother in an independent living facility and a meeting with my elderly aunt. My residency was to be alone time in the family beach house but I was frequently visited by the ghosts of childhood past. I had no idea what might come through my self-imposed solitude. This little book is a testament to sounds lapping the shore of my loneliness.
THE SOUND OF LONELINESS Poem Fragments
The androgynous poet Sappho, whose legend for me became real the winter of 2012 AD
It is september, 2001 in the French countryside. The blind herdsman Josef has just passed away. From his strange landing place, he peers down to the Pyrenean valley below. We meet the friends and neighbors he has left behind, including the foreigner Helene. Through visions and dreams Josef begins to communicate with Helene. They hold the ancient information that will eventually help them remember where they came from, who they are, and how they can return home. Their story takes us to the same valley 2000 years ago, to prehistoric Ireland and from France in the 1930’s to present day. Marianne Press, 350 pages. 2007
Response: PEASANTS AND POETS
Pamela Preston’s haunting passages and ancient heartbeat rhythms tune our sensitivities to subtle mythical themes, locating those hidden spaces in the world and in our hearts to which we have lost the way. The intense authenticity of this poet’s noel requires the suspension of an ordinary sense of reality, a giving over to the music of remembering. It nourishes our ability to live in the world of today, while sensitive to the earths movements and the movements of time. Ms Preston has had the courage to paint her own artistic vision, and we are the beneficiaries. Ann Yeomans, Archetypal Therapist
“I think this is beautifully written. I like the way you reach into the characters’ heads and hearts and there is a strong sense of portent throughout these pages. I am extremely impressed with what you’ve accomplished. Congratulations. You’ve written a meaningful novel.” Lou Aronica, former publisher of Berkley Books
"I declare that Peasants and Poets magically fuses bucolic history and futuristic presence, so that through the narrative force of your story the reader slips away on four dimensions. Added to up-down, left-right, forward backward, topologists define the orthogonal direction of a fourth spatial dimension as spassitude-spissitude, or upsilon-delta. You move us with deft spassitude into the aboriginal and then with lyric spissitude we're coping with avian flu! It's an outstanding work of art. The more I live with it, the better I appreciate your artistry and the weight of history and problematical humanity you had to shoulder to carry this off. Brava!” AA Attanasio, celebrated science-fiction novelist
This epic poem is a personal odyssey framed by the poet's life in the French Pyrenees, New England, and Ireland - spanning ten years. It is an exploration of a feminine soul's transformation across time. Alternating between free verse and couplet rhyme, this intimate story will stimulate the inner journeys of both men and women - singing through the recesses of human struggle to the birth of new meaning for the individual and, therefore, the world. Marianne Press, 100 pages. 2002
RESPONSE: LA CHANSON
I am profoundly moved by your book. You have dropped into your very depths and allowed its rhythms to dance on the pages. Your images are vital, transforming, into the body from the body. Marion Woodman , Author of CONSCIOUS FEMININITY
Pamela Preston is a gifted and visionary writer, able to find poetic language for the depths of the feminine soul. The Chanson is a marriage of myth and art, an epic journey of transformation, full of beauty, wisdom and grace." Camille Maurine, Author of MEDITATION SECRETS FOR WOMEN
Truth is so much stranger than fiction. That it may be told at all is the sublime act of the poet, all too rare and in dire need of readers as bold. This is such a book. Pursue it as would your own truth, with great regard. Peter Bradburn, Author of "Mercurius" and "Imago."