Karen Kevorkian
    Karen Kevorkian’s books are Lizard Dream and White Stucco Black Wing.  Her poetry is intense; what most of us habitually read and write is like beer or wine. Karen’s work, on the other hand, is like rum or absinthe.  She does away with the props that most of us use to fill poems up and, instead, cuts to the chase. She loads her work with potent content words, keeping function words to a minimum. There are no “characters” or “stories” but, instead, highly distilled moments.  Nature’s presence is felt strongly and lovingly rendered: the life-cycle, the elements, the flora and fauna around her. She refuses to be sentimental. In this eye-opening writing, the unadorned, sometimes plodding, sometimes magical texture of regular lived experience is presented in a kind of candid-camera, slice-of-life way that is both disconcerting and inspiring. It’s like suddenly viewing a French art-house film after knowing nothing except lavish Hollywood productions with histrionic sound-tracks. Karen carves away all the unneeded stuff and brings us as close to the “thing-in-itself” as she can. It’s something most writers don’t even try, or know they could try, and for this effort—this success—Karen should be applauded.   


Nothing Moving

Nothing moving even skin and bones
bamboo holding breath above that euphemism
grass. Then a wavering lazily
like paper streaming. This there this not there
a body live and then a flutter
and a body still. Like burnt matches
smell of fennel comes into a room
where he readies for the tunnel with its blindness.
He lies in dark and waits for roiling orbs of light. Sometimes
a silver flutter like a manta ray.
Sometimes a woman.
                                               Are you afraid?
                                               No.
                                               Not even at the trembling bed
though someone seemed to sit down
someone seemed to lie beside him. Soon
dark again and soon the bed was still. So much coming going
the opening mouth its barking squeak. Then another.
Muscles loosen.
                                     Everything is over now I can assure you.
                                     There is no breath.
                                     As if twitching bedclothes
she curved the legs and then the creature seemed to merely
sleep. This there this not there you can’t follow.


 


2013 Karen Kevorkian
Karen Kevorkian was a Featured Poet who read her poetry at the November 2013 Second Sunday Poetry Series