Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The pornography of despair

She begins each poem with tears. Like the end
of a conversation where you have learned
someone has died, the words leave you empty.
Because she thinks her spirit has done the cruelest
thing, leaving her hollow and sad, she has accepted
the loneliness the way one accepts all tragedy: stoic
and bitter, both. Memory stretches inside her thoughts
but she pushes those voices away. They are the enemy
and she will not speak to them. She is hungry but instead
of food she eats medication. Refuses to look for peace.
All things are in flux around her because her vision
trembles in this grim atmosphere. The lack of permanence
frightening. She denies herself the small joys and will not
read about how the last bus stopped just in time
on the dark road, missing the fawn fixed at the side
in the light of the high beams. The lack of death
is so disconcerting that her poem bleeds words
into empty space, the lines filled eventually
with strange and unreadable symbols. Sorrow
repeated over and over until the voice of the poem
flickers quietly into silence, the comfort of loss
her only meaningful companion.

© 2007 Christine Klocek-Lim

More writing

14 pages yesterday. 16 pages today. I can see why writing a novel takes so freaking long. It feels like only a few minutes have passed, but in reality it's been three hours. And now my left eye is twitching. Time to stop, exercise, eat lunch.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Busy, busy

Well, things have been busy in my household the past week or so. There's a lot of end-of-the-school year stuff to deal with when you have two kids. My mom also ended up in the hospital (she's okay, and doing better now), but that also ate up my time. So no new photos or poems recently. Maybe soon.

I just started writing a book. The weirdest thing I've discovered is that my hands get tired faster than my thoughts. I wish I could plug the computer directly into my head and then I could skip the typing altogether. Maybe I just need to grow muscles in my hand or something. Oh well.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Quotation fun - Do poems in the midst of prose scare you?

Finally I've had a few moments to myself after the craziness of real life the last five days. So, what did I do today? Did I read a magazine? No. Did I watch Oprah? No. Instead, you guessed it: I read articles about poetry.

Today I discovered this interview of Ted Kooser in the South Bend Tribune. Now, I've listened to Ted before on the radio and read some other interviews so not much of what he said was new to me. Rather, something he said and has been saying in many different ways and forms over the years struck me again as being very insightful:

Ted Kooser wrote:
Prose is more hospitable toward readers. We pick up something in prose and are reading it before we notice we are. Poetry is rarely like that. When we see something set in type that looks like a poem, we have to consciously address ourselves to it.


I instinctively know he's right about this. Of course, that doesn't mean anything except I've got an opinion just like everyone else. However, I will admit a guilty secret that I think applies to this quote: I skip over poems when they are embedded in prose. In fact, I skip over them even when they appear at the head of a chapter in a novel or any other type of book.

For some reason, I like my poems to appear naked, on their own page. I dislike trying to read a poem and then somehow relate it to a passage of prose because I think poems should be respected in their own right, as a work of art. And they scare me when they appear in a mess of words, because then I must slow down and pay attention to the poem. It's much easier to skip over it as I read the prose in my usual speed-reading fashion, like chomping down a whole bag of potato chips. The poems are more like very expensive chocolate: meant to be savored and appreciated slowly.

Do you skip the poems in books? Do you find poems more intimidating than prose?


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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Vision cap

May 6 Pedestal Reading Event - Manayunk Art Center

Editor John Amen will host a Pedestal Magazine event at the Manayunk Art Center in Philadelphia, PA on May 6, 2007 starting at 3PM. This event is sponsored by Peter Krok, humanities and poetry director of the Manayunk Art Center and editor of Schuylkill Valley Journal. Participants will include Arlene Bernstein, Christine Klocek-Lim, Peter Krok, Anna Evans, Dan Maguire, John Bourne, Adele Bourne, Yvonne Chism-Peace, John Capista, Amy Small-McKinney, Rosemary Cappello, Eileen D'Angelo, Kelley White, and Tree Riesener.