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"Unless you think, there is no word. Unless you speak, there is no world. Unless you move, there is no life." -- Billy Yellow, Hataalii 

Here's a story: white traders at the pawn shops told Navajo women to weave borders around their designs. They said the rugs would sell better. The women didn’t understand the aesthetic of a border around anything. The sky has no border. Imagination goes on forever. But, "Hey," the weavers said. "We need groceries." So they started weaving borders around their designs. Tec Nos Pos. Two Gray Hills. Ganado. 

Something was wrong with the closed borders, though. “What about all we think and feel? What about the power of the designs – the four sacred mountains, the butterflies, rainclouds and lightning?” So the women began weaving a break through the border so the design wouldn’t be closed in. Contrasting weft threads escaped and ran across and out of the border and all the way to the edge of the weaving. They made a way for the powerful things to get out. “Spirit line” they called it, or the “weaver’s opening”  (che’e’'tiin in Navajo). Louise Singer, a fine Navajo weaver put it this way: "That opening, when you get up to the end, up at the top, you're supposed to let your thoughts go out, so your thinking is not closed up, so you put an opening in there. That's what my mom told me, to put in that opening so you're not closed in."

That's the why: to let your thoughts go out, so your thinking is not closed up.  Of course SLP is also about the written lines and where they lead.


The inaugural publication of Spirit Lines Press stares down the circumstances of adulthood. The poems in John Kincheloe's Dividing Line explore the human condition at the points where our lives are forced into uncharted emotional territory. Discover in this elegant book a poet who loves language for its sound and for its capacity for stunning reversal.  Words and images lead the reader along the fault lines of our universal circumstances, and in poem after poem we encounter a world at once uncertain and beautiful.      

Hieroglyphic Divider





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