Artist Books & Bindings > Whaling Town: The Red Ball & Caverns Tale, 2017

Written, designed, illustrated, letterpress printed, and bound by Alexis Beucler. Printed with polymer plates on a Vandercook 219 in Tallahassee, FL in the spring of 2017. Somerset white 175 gsm paper.

Edition of 15.


Whaling Town: the Red Ball & Cavern’s Tale

The Red Ball

Red ball,
Momma gave me one.

Poppa told me not to chase.
Look left, look right, look left again--
Aha! I found you!

I like to imagine it fell from the sky--
Bright star beaming red.
Thick rubber, delicious maraschino cherry!
Mmm ah!

It burned a deep hole into the skin--
Earthy skin-- fleshy skin--
All of the world blinked and
Poof! It was gone!

In the womb they multiplied and grew.
I like to sit on mine and
Think about Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos.

Oh sisters, how they hold you tight in their hands--
Warm feeling--
Nice feeling--
My toes tickle.

But then down below a hairy figure found our hole--
He gleamed and gathered sparkling treasures.

We skip towards the figure.
Smooth hands distract--
Hair unravels--
The shiny treasures fall.
And oh!
Oh what fun!

Look left, look right, look left again.
Momma called and I carried you in.
Time to eat.

The Caverns

Bright star beaming red
Tore a hole from the sky into the land
The sisters looked and gathered but I went in--

Momma oh momma don’t be mad!


The womb, dark and full
Every step singing a note--


Small and tight built for me
The world opens.

A star from above flutters--
Crack in the ceiling--
Little cherubs on strings dance in the night sky.

Below a pool of water-- unmoving--
Lets me watch the ballet above.
But then!

Water pours from the skin
and the pool sings its own ballad.
And oh!
Fish everywhere! Blind but moving!

Hairy men, round glowing nymphs,
We dance!

A tug on my waist.
I’ve gone too far.

I turn to leave and shadow creatures gather.
I better go before night falls.

The Whaling Town

Poppa came home ‘n slapped a big ol’ fish on the table.
Momma came over round a-glowin’
-That’s nice.
Poppa looked ‘n stared--
Round, warm--
How long had be been gone?

I gave him a hug-- poppa oh poppa!
His eyes on momma--
--Goin’ to catch ‘nother.
[Grabbed a bottle]
And left.

Ohhh! The women here--
All big ‘n round ‘n glowin’

Near the house I swing and jump from a tree
Woosh! Splassssh!
Water ‘round me holdin’ me tight--

Oh bare ‘n round ‘n gleaming nymphs--
Mountain women--
Natural women--
They share their juice with the ocean.

They jump!

Down below the men, covered in hair, busy in harvest--
Notice ‘em
‘n capture ‘em
‘n bring ‘em to shore.
Big ‘n round.
Out came ‘nother!

But sometimes they get away--
Bottle ‘n hand--
They find ‘em dancin’
Big ‘n round ‘n gleamin’

I was swingin’ and splanshin’ and waitin’--
[Waitin’ for poppa to come home]
And over there I see ‘em catch the nymphs.
They thought they’d have some fun.

Hold ‘em down-- nice ‘n tight
Bottles break--
Water breaks--
Oooof! Out came ‘nother!
But they held her tight.
Slapped her with male might.


[Nothin’ like tippin’ the old cow over,
Breaking the empty bottle over her head,
and shovin’ it in her hoo-ha]

I’m not sure why-- red water a-flowin’
Broken glass a-glimmerin’

They left ‘n she’s lyin’
I run on over-- put the fish in the water and bring ‘er home.

The bell rang!
Momma oh momma!
Fish on the table, poppa’s home!