Monday, July 15, 2013

Meekling's Mirrored Dreamer: Mirrors For Princes

An Introduction to Miranda Steffens, Guest Blogger/Writer

I'm graciously excited to introduce Miranda for taking the time to write a fantastic review of one my favorite aspiring D.I.Y. Independent publications. I'd been wanting to do a blurb on the collective group and John Wilmes' Destoryers for some time and perhaps I will. Miranda is a talented writer of poetry, prose, essay and experimental form, as well as a performer. What follows after he response to Lesley Dixon’s Mirrors For Princes is a illustrated response by me. Miranda's work has appeared in: Ginger Piglet, Hoot Review, Upstairs at Duroc, Cellar Door and Apple Valley Review. Check her out @

- David Scheier

Meekling's Mirrored Dreamer: A Review for Lesley Dixon's Mirrors For Princes by Miranda Steffens

One must read a book published by Meekling Press with great care, as if handling a work of art – which Meekling Press’s books are nothing short of being. A young press, Meekling is sure to outlast many of the more traditional publishers. Every book is designed by a small contingent of dedicated Chicago artists, from the hand-painted covers to the paper selection, to the hand-binding to the letter-press printing. A reader enters the text of these beautiful books knowing the words were written with just as much care and must be read as such.

Lesley Dixon’s Mirrors for Princes is Meekling Press’s latest release, a collection of short prose pieces. Each piece reads like a small strange journey into a logic you must learn as you read, unfolding into layers of meaning and discovery. You may try to understand what each moment “means,” but it is much more enjoyable to give in to the worlds Dixon creates, and let her language, laced with music and unexpected descriptions and assertions lead you.

Untangling a necklace eventually should “cascade into harmony” and a miniature room must have two cigarettes exhaled into it, seemingly because “the women in your family have a tendency toward goiters.” Each new discovery will be something you didn’t realize you really ought to know until you find it.

None of the pieces of “Mirrors for Princes” is really about what it claims to be about. In “The Mathematical Ideal of a Line,” we are given step-by-step instructions on how to untangle a necklace. It is clear though, this is not about a necklace. The instructive language is gentle, loving and poetic. Only in the final section are we given a hint of what the piece may really be about, but I’ll leave it up to you to make your own conclusions.

“Moon Child’s Dream Dictionary” is written much like a dream dictionary you might find at an occult bookstore, but the playful voice of the narrator, the flippancy contrasted with intense specificity of image, meaning and advice points to a complex and layered story.

Written with great care to detail, beautiful images, musical language, a humorous and personable voice, illustrated with complimentary, dream-like images by Ultra V. Ray, “Mirrors For Princes” is a delightful work of art. 

A man at the foot of your bed by David Scheier
Man: Illustrative Response by David Scheier

Top Center: Excerpt from 'Man' from "Moon Child's Dream Dictionary."
Left:  Two different looking but very much the same chap books, Mirrors for Princes,  stolen from Meekling Press' Tumblr. Right: Illustration by Ultra V. Ray, from "Moon Child's Dream Dictionary," 

For more great books Meekling Press Check out:

For Digital Versions of Lesley Dixon: