In the Circus of You

by | Mixed Media


Illustrator/motion artist Cheryl Gross and Poet Nicelle Davis, create a grotesque peep-show that opens the velvet curtains on what Mikhail Bakhtin refers to as “the carnival.” The carnival is the creation of a second world—a second life—a second self. In the Circus of You, chronicles a woman’s journey into her alternate reality. In the big-top-of-the-self, she faces her issues with sanity, motherhood, monogamy, divorce, creative / destructive impulses, appropriation, and ultimately beauty. The poems and images create a novel-in-verse where dead pigeons talk, clowns hide in the chambers of the heart, and the human body is turned inside out.

Nicelle Davis is a California poet who walks the desert with her son, J.J in search of owl pellets and rattlesnake skins. In the Circus of You is her third book.  Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Beloit Poetry Journal, The New York Quarterly, PANK, SLAB Magazine, and others. She is Managing Editor of The Los Angeles Review. She has taught poetry at Youth for Positive Change, an organization that promotes success for youth in secondary schools, and with Volunteers of America in their Homeless Youth Center. She currently teaches at Antelope Valley College.

Cheryl Gross has often been compared to Dr. Seuss on crack. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she is an illustrator, painter, writer, and motiongraphic artist, living and working in the New York area. She is currently a professor at Pratt Institute and Bloomfield College. Her work has appeared in numerous films, TV shows, publications, and graces the walls of many corporate and museum collections. Her videopoetry collaborations have screened at numerous festivals including: Cyclop Video Poetry Festival, Tarp Festival, O Bheal Poetry Film Competition, Video Bardo, The Body Electric, Filmpoem, The Zebra International Poetry Film Festival, and the 35th International San Francisco LGBT Film Festival. In her own words, “I equate my work with creating and building an environment, transforming my inner thoughts into reality. Beginning with the physical process, I work in layers. I am involved in solving visual and verbal complexities such as design and narrative. My urban influence has indeed added an ‘edge’ to my work.”

About The Author


Matt Mullins is a writer, experimental filmmaker and mixed media artist. He has published fiction and poetry in numerous literary magazines. His experimental films have been screened at film festivals and conferences nationally and internationally. His debut collection of short stories, Three Ways of the Saw, was published in February of 2012 by Atticus Books. He is currently the mixed media editor of this journal you’re reading, Atticus Review.