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Requited by Kristina Marie Darling reviewed on Drunken Boat

 

Leaving Their Roses Behind 

Reviewed by Carlo Matos 

When a pair of doomed lovers wanders a garden, as they do in the very
first prose poem of Kristina Marie Darling’s Requited, it’s hard not to cast
them in the roles of Adam and Eve, the original doomed pair of the
Christian tradition. “We walk to a rose garden in the dead of winter,”
says our heroine, which suggests the garden may have already gone
through its postlapsarian transformation, trapped as it is in “a season
[that] never changes.” They stroll in a garden where the ivy is dead and
the only cherubs about are made of ice-cracked stone. Right from the
start, we sense the relationship, like the statues, is fracturing. “There
are always so many things that can go wrong in a conversation,” says
our speaker, which on the surface of things is a wonderfully simple way
of describing how relationships often miss the mark, but it also has to be
the most understated way of describing the ultimate failure of logos in
the first paradise—a series of catastrophic conversations between
YHWH, the couple, and the pesky serpent.

And like their Biblical counterparts, they too must eventually leave
the garden: “The way out of the garden is simple. I let go of your hand
and climb over a chain link fence.” The way out, of course, is always
simple; it’s the way back in that is challenging like the walled garden
of Milton’s paradise protected by warlike archangels with flaming
swords. Milton’s couple walks hand-in-hand east of Eden, but for
Darling’s couple to find their way out, they must simply break their grip
and make the climb alone.

Read the whole review here 

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Pointed Sentences by Bill Yarrow Reviewed on Prick of the Spindle

Pointed Sentences by Bill Yarrow

BlazeVOX [books], 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60964-082-8
Paperback, 146 pp., $16
Review by Marie Loeffler

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
—from “Song of Myself” (1892 version) by Walt Whitman

A celebration of humanity seems to circumscribe Bill Yarrow’s poetic style, his artistic curiosity drawn out in phrases that take common experiences, elevating them into all-encompassing—possibly best described as worldly—perspectives on existence. Yarrow is bold as he juxtaposes complex images and ideas, delving deeper than surface thinking on any given topic, while he explores a rich collection of diverse word meanings and themes. He utilizes a variety of poetic forms, as well, fusing the intricate human mind’s multifarious inner workings with humor, personality, and humility.

Yarrow most poignantly sings of the self in past reflections of personal journeys, describing such events with intense imagery and words that paint a poetic tableau of colors, scents, and tastes. Yarrow vividly recounts a vacation he took at a northern resort where

He was drawn to water…
Water of dangerous
hues of blue. More violet than the pale-faced palette
of the sky.

He follows this solid setting of his scene with a more serious philosophical reflection:

Water, the glue of contingent necessity.
Water, the stippled foundation of all foundational
philosophy. He looked into the watery eyes of the old
woman sitting next to him.

This excerpt is striking for many reasons: Yarrow’s play on the word “foundation,” the rhythm of the section with syllables that dance lightly on the tongue when spoken aloud, the repetition of “Water.” Due to all of these minute yet hardly insignificant nuances, the piece has not only a strong visual quality, but also a musical feel that is a pleasure to read. But this pleasure does not in any way make the poem trivial; the work is enhanced by the seriousness of Yarrow’s connection to the place and to the old woman he notices, who readers are invited to observe with the author in tandem—a prompt that randomly and miraculously connects everyone who participates in viewing this particular work. The entire vignette draws to a similarly mellifluous and soothing close with alliteration in syllables as smooth as the images Yarrow employs to give life to his thoughts:

The sun was disappearing over
Traverse City. There was nothing on the lake but a
faint sailboat and a shadowy gull…
The soft sounds of sunset had subsided into silence.
The black water infinitely resonant spoke a lasting vastness.

Read the whole review here
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Failure Lyric by Kristina Marie Darling Now Available!

In Failure Lyric, Kristina Marie Darling captures, with an accuracy few have managed before her, the panicked numbness one feels at the end of a marriage. It is a book in which nothing moves and nobody changes, and yet the poems move together, and yet the people in the poems are changed by the movement of the poems—that is to say, although Failure Lyric tells the story of the end of a marriage, it tells that story not from the perspective of the people involved, but from the perspective of time itself, neither embodied nor personified, but just as it is, pushing and pulling on the people caught in the end of the marriage like the wake of a boat. This way of telling is Darling’s own, and it is miraculous.

—Shane McCrae, author of Forgiveness Forgiveness

"At the time the glass case was built, the specimen wasn't quite dead." Working the same way memory works, the way dreams work, the poems of Failure Lyric spiral around the death of a relationship like a pack of detectives. Shattered bottles, the envelope full of winter, the birds burying their dead, the wedding dress too heavy or worn by another, the burning orchids: each has its message. Kristina Marie Darling gives us a narrative in images both surreal and everyday that recur and accrete to evoke a sense of deep and irrevocable loss. It's impossible to read without feeling similarly moved.

—Janet Holmes, author of Humanophone

Kristina Marie Darling’s Failure Lyric begins and ends with erasures, but what remains is nothing short of captivating. Beginnings and endings are bound up in each other as the collection centers around a relationship that seems doomed from the start. Each line branches like an ice crystal into gorgeous imagery that mines the territory between life and death: gardens frozen in full bloom, birds buried in snow, a beloved haunted by the past. This hybrid collection of “failures” catalogs grief by fracturing the world – not to destroy it, but to let in light and make it beautiful.

—Kelly Magee, author of Body Language

 
 
 
 

Kristina Marie Darling is the author of nearly twenty books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, 2013), and Scorched Altar: Selected Poems and Stories 2007-2014 (BlazeVOX Books). Her awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Ucross Foundation, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She was recently selected as a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 54 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-193-1

$12

 
  
 

Failure Lyric by Kristina Marie Darling Book Preview

 

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Kristina Marie Darling interviewed at Poet's Quarterly

The “Darling” of the Poetry World

Millicent Bórges Accardi, Interviews Editor

Reviews have made me a better writer, one who is more articulate
about her own practice. Poetry is a conversation, and your book is
just the beginning.

The “Darling” of the Poetry World


Millicent Bórges Accardi, Interviews Editor

Reviews have made me a better writer, one who is more articulate about her own practice. Poetry is a conversation, and your book is just the beginning.


The author of over twenty books, including Melancholia (An Essay), Petrarchan and a hybrid genre collection called Fortress, as well as a collaboration poetry book with Carol Guess about bridal registries called X Marks the Dress, Kristina Marie Darling is one of the most prolific writers in the 21st century.
Darling’s awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo.

Millicent Bórges Accardi: Erin Elizabeth Smith (director of Sundress Academy in Knoxville) in an Amazon review calls X Marks the Dress, “a narrative of love and identity that unpacks itself again and again. . .Lines and images reappear in new and surprising ways—footnotes, appendices, definitions—that stunningly illustrate exactly how slippery love can be.”


Where did you come up with the inspiration for this poetry collection?

Kristina Marie Darling: My collaborator, Carol Guess, was the mastermind. She had the brilliant idea of structuring the book around the idea of a bridal registry, with each poem named for a domestic object. We wrote the poems in call and response style, with Carol starting us off, and then I responded to her work, and so on. Carol assumed the voice of the husband, and I was the wife. As we worked, the book went in many unexpected directions. For example, the husband realized that he was really a woman. But things didn't become really wild until we introduced a mistress into the narrative....

Water Goblets

Your girlfriend licks sugar off the rim of a crystal shot glass. What happens to the wedding gifts if a marriage dissolves? Before, it was easy to send thank you notes: white scented paper, matching envelopes, & dark green ink. But now you’re changing in the bathroom, unbuttoning the shirt I bought for you at some Labor Day sale. Soon I see you all pale blue in someone else’s designer dress. I’ve undone the little clasp on my purse, searching for gift receipts. Sweetheart, your new bride is waiting in her mud-stained car. The husband I remember wouldn’t look back.

(Link to Mistress flash poems in Mudlark)

MBA: X Marks the Dress is a niche market book which I think could straddle the poetry world and a general audience. For example, I can see brides getting that book at showers or women giving it as gifts before a wedding. Have you experienced cross-over readers?

KMD: Carol and I were amused when the book hit #1 on the Amazon.com Bestselling New Releases for books about bridal gowns.

Read the whole interview here

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New Issue of BlazeVOX now online!! Happy Fifteenth Anniversary!

 IntroductionIntroduction

Hello and welcome to the Spring issue of BlazeVOX 15. Presenting fine works of poetry, fiction, text art, visual poetry and arresting works of creative non-fiction written by authors from around world. Also presented are previews of our newly released books of poetry and fiction. Do have a look through the links below or browse through the whole issue in our Scribd embedded PDF, which you can download for free and take it with you anywhere on any device. Hurray!
 

Happy Fifteenth Anniversary 
Hip Hip Hurray!:
 

I have been sitting at my desk typing away on my large screened apple computer dreading what I am about to write. BlazeVOX is now in its 15th year of operation. We have great moments to look back upon in our history, as well as some moments that bear careful consideration. It seems incredible to me that we are not merely still in operation we are vividly alive! 
 
The BlazeVOX journal developed out of a Daemen College arts journal that was published exclusively online; in 1999 that was a radical thing to do. But today happily, an online journal is the norm.
 
In 2000 BlazeVOX was born as an online journal from a computer that I used in the college computer lab. I did not have a PC in my home. After a summer of hard work, our first issue was released in the fall. We have had a continual run ever since. We have a full archive of all our back-issues on our webpage; so do spend some time flipping though the 15 years of BlazeVOX an.journal.of.voice. 
 
As I look back at the time that has passed I am enthusiastic, even though an irksome form of nostalgia bothers me. In an effort to alleviate these feelings I decided to create a mundane list poem to parse out what occurred during this time. I appropriated news headlines from the past fifteen years in order to make a small, easy-going poem to chuckle over. However, when the piece was complete, that poem turned into 70 pages of compelling half-memories, or I should say memories that provoked memories of things that I did experienced while news was happening around journalism. As we wrote poetry a lot of life happened. Have a look for yourself:
 
 
 
To commemorate who we are at 15 we plan to celebrate. We are planning to have some special events throughout the year. We plan to have readings, videos and even a party sometime in the fall. Keep an eye out for your invitation it will be a year to revel!
 

And before I go, I would like to thank you all for your wonderful support over the years. You are an important part this press and your help makes a real difference in getting innovative works by undervalued writers read worldwide. Your act of reading our work is incredibly helpful means so much to me but even more to BlazeVOX authors whose work might not see the light of day without your giving us a part of your time, a part of your day! We thank you a thousand times.

Rockets! Geoffrey Gatza, editor

Table of Contents
 
Poetry
 
 

 
Fiction 
 
 
Than Since When I Left by Jordana Meade
 
Rabbit Suit by Julia Lynn Rubin
 
Lake Luzern by Philip Bowne
 
Nothing Touches by Vincent Craig Wright
 
Sebastian's Suit by Nat Buchbinder
 
 
Crushin’ by Kyle A. Valenta
 
The Wrangler by Alex Neely
 
 
Disraeli Gears by Christopher Lyke
 
Colonial State of Mind by Madiha Kahn
 
 
 
Text Art
 
 
hiromi suzuki
 
 
three-piece text art series entitled 'un-brushed'
bruno neiva
 
 

 
Creative Non-Fiction & Reviews
 
Odd Ball by Adreyo Sen
 
Butterfly by Shailee Perry
 
 
Reviewed by Rich Murphy 
 
By Geoffrey Gatza
 
 
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Extra Pages

Photos on flickr