Caveboy, A Poem

by Mary-Sherman Willis.

Art by Collin Willis.



A multi-touch iBook for the iPad and Mac, with video poems and readings by the author


“The Cave Boy multi-touch book is so exquisite in its presentation, it rivals the feel of the book in hand, the page in the hand — here it is as if handmade paper has become a glass window into the poems of Mary-Sherman Willis, a window you open with a slight touch and your eyes . . . ” — Susan R. Williamson, Palm Beach Poetry Festival

We enter the Paleolithic, at the dawn of art-making. Humans have evolved into adept hunters who know the world with their senses and their dreams.  The poet envisions a Boy, a teen-ager, who is being prepared by his mother for his first hunt. He is successful and kills a doe. That night, a girl comes to him for the first time. In a dream, once again he tracks a doe and finds himself in a cave occupied by his mother’s totem, the bear.

Caveboy is a finely-tuned work of imagination, in which the poet calls forth the Mother who dreams her Boy, now art-maker and hunter, home.


Taken from the life by his hand — clay-shaper, toolmaker, spear thrower.

His hands held dominion


over creatures — and her hand over him, she who had shaped him inside

her and torn him free of herself,


then held him, run her thumb on the little teeth in his milk-mouth,

then taken the food


from her mouth and fed his gawp, then wiped him clean of his soil.

She’d caressed him, his downy cheek,


as softly as she could with a hard palm. When her hand held his to make

him stand, he was still her creature.


No one else’s. She knew this better than anyone, better even than

his father would know 


who belonged to whom, as long as there was life. By making her Boy

from her life, she left her print in him.



This book is available in two editions* and a broadside, “The Boy sleeps at the dawn,” here.

*The codex edition, an artist’s book, is sold out.


Caveboy, A Poem940

Caveboy, A Poem

Mary-Sherman Willis

Art by Collin Willis

A multi-touch book for the iPad, with animations and readings by the Author

Trailer: The Paleolithic   The Wall is our shepherd: a video poem


ISBN  978-0-9854927-1-7








Caveboy, an artist’s book

Mary-Sherman Willis

Art, design, and manufacture by Collin Willis

ISBN 978-0-9854927-0-0  $60 + p&h

A limited edition, signed by author and artist, and numbered. *This edition of the artist’s book is sold out.

This edition was designed and illustrated by Collin Willis, using an IBM Selectric typewriter, a Smith-Corona Coronet Super 12, and a .05 Micron pen. It is bound on boards in linen, sewn, 7’x7’. The front cover is silk-screened; the back cover has a half-jacket. The edition is numbered and signed by author and artist. ISBN 978-0-9854927-0-0


*This edition of the artist’s book is sold out.

We have published a broadside, “The Boy sleeps at the dawn,” taken from Caveboy, the artist’s book, which you can order here.



Mary-Sherman Willis (photo Mary Noble Ours)

Mary-Sherman Willis (photo Mary Noble Ours)

MARY-SHERMAN WILLIS’s poems and reviews have appeared in magazines such as The New Republic, The Hudson Review, The Iowa Review, and Shenandoah, and in various anthologies and poetry  websites, including Archipelago. She teaches creative writing at George Washington University. Her book, Graffiti Calculus, appeared from Custom Word Books in 2013. She is on Facebook.



Collin Willis

Collin Willis

COLLIN WILLIS graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design and lives in Oakland, California. He works in various mediums, including book and digital design, and produces installation art murals, and has designed an artist’s book of Caveboy. He is on Facebook.