by Richard Loranger
after art by Bill Mercer
"And somewhere on the way, along the musty
route, you find you cannot find that first
great prize - the incipient thing, or piece of thing
that gave you such an urgent sense of shine..."
The Questions Project began in San Francisco in the 1990’s as collaboration between artist/musician/poet Bill Mercer and poet Paul Landry. Bill began by producing a number of calligraphic artworks using brushes and ink, each of which represented or suggested a question mark in some way or another. Paul responded by writing a poem for each piece which addressed, described, or depicted a question that each piece of calligraphy suggested to him. In the years since, Bill has created literally hundreds of such pieces, to which dozens of poets have responded.
This book represents one such response, with reproductions of the calligraphic works by Bill Mercer presented aslongside the reactive poems by Richard Loranger. In this case, Richard created a series of six poems, each of which both asks a question and depicts a specific type of questioning. He considers the title of each poem to be the accompanying artwork itself.
"His verse chews around the human condition in an articulate and ticklish way. Many lesser poets have or attempt Richard’s unbridled energy, but few possess the same exquisite formal ability that turns electricity into something diamond-shaped." (Lonely Christopher / author,The Mechanics Of Homosexual Intercourse)
"Richard Loranger’s poetry as food pyramid has an immense cubist peach balanced on the tip: every bite Richard shares has a devious and bittersweet mind of its own." (Marvin R. Hiemstra / author, Poet Wrangler & French Kiss Destiny)