Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lunar Mare

Lunar Mare

Why does the drain want the water
Why does the sand want, for a moment, the pressure of a foot
carrying a body across its back

In the core of every gathering up of what is desired
there is a hole

Music over and over wants to tell us this
The most plaintive instruments keep trying to explain it
in voices full of significant hollows

See, there will be no solving of absence
but if you blow across it listen to that
melodious tone

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Custodian

Custodian
 
Before the first sketches, where was the statehouse
Before this stone was culled from the quarry
Before the custodian who now wields a floor scrubber
to protect our pretend idea that each day that the building is new

The statehouse uses its secrets to dream
It learned this from the prisoners who first grew it from stone
and scribbled on the early walls

The statehouse is all lit up from the inside in the dark morning
Like love it clutches within itself the human caresses which
gave it a body

Monday, September 29, 2014

Quiet Company

Quiet Company

An ocean plus the sand scraped from the pit of its soul
plus the large spider crawling from the leaves
of the tomato plant plus every glass you shattered
come clanging back to haunt you plus the full feeling
of you in the city’s belly looking up at the gleaming
building parts alone plus the full train plus the empty train.

All of this in a bag hauled Santa-style dragging in the snow
then tied to the collar of a dog with a song for a name
and keen ears ready to run.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Part and Parcel: Kristina Marie Darling


 

Compendium + Correspondence (published by Scrambler Books) is a beautiful double book (!) of poems by the ever-prolific and rocking Kristina Marie Darling. That's right, a double book--you read it one way, which ends in the middle; then, you flip it around and there's a whole new book waiting for you on the other end.

Both halves are full of enigmatic and seemingly found text: snippets from love letters, partial journal entries, footnotes adjoined to white space. Over and over, this felt like a collection of clues and clippings. A locket and a jewelry box recur in the poems, and those images resonated with me when I finished the book.

A book is like a locket, isn't it, a box in which to lock away what we treasure. I asked Kristina for her thoughts about this.

NOTE: After the interview below, read "Notes to a History of the Locket" and an excerpt from "Appendix A: The Letters," both of which appear with the permission of the author. Order your copy of the book here.

Q: The idea of a prized, secret collection is certainly introduced through half of the book’s title (the Compendium portion). It’s funny that we call a book of poems (or stories, or essays) a “collection.” As a poet, how do you relate to the idea of collecting? What are you a collector of, and how does that show up in this book (and others)?

A: Thank you for the thoughtful (and truly fascinating) question. I've always conceived of poetry as being more than just an assemblage of language, but rather, a window into that person's mind, their conscious experience. In any given poem or a literary text, we are presented with the poet's literary and artistic influences, as well as the cultural symbols, myths, and fragments of narrative that haunt the darkest corners of their mind. 

In my opinion, consciousness itself is a curatorial endeavor. Memory has always housed a prized, secret collection, objects that have meaning only through the narratives that we spin around them. After all, we cling to the strangest, most incomprehensible things: a broken necklace, a single earring in a locked box.