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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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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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The Sun & the Moon by Kristina Marie Darling Reviewed on New Pages

 

The Sun & The Moon

  • Image
  • Poetry
  •  Kristina Marie Darling
  • September 2014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-60964-191-7
  • Paperback
  • 66pp
  • $16.00
  • Kimberly Ann
I just finished reading Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, a novel in which the narrator desires that she and her sister resist the socio-economic structure of 1950s New England and reside, instead, on the moon. They finally do achieve this goal by converting their large house into a smaller living space, boarded-up and isolated from the outside world. In novels like Castle, women often reinterpret the boundaries of living spaces in their writing partly because traditional domestic contracts and spaces constrain emotion, creativity, and grief. In her book of poems titled The Sun & the Moon, Kristina Marie Darling contributes to this collective literary voice that unfetters domestic space as her speaker grieves and examines a past marital relationship. The Sun and the Moon, representing respectively a husband and wife, are always at opposite poles in this space that reels with cinematic flashes of memory and the ghosts that inhabit memory over time. 

Darling’s astrological house is inhabited with violent ghosts that “drag those cold stars behind them” and “(start) polishing the knives.” The poems unfold like a story as the first-person female speaker reminisces about ghost’s gradual possession of the domestic domain while the “sun” burns up and the “moon” fades away. Neither partner is able to escape the burdens and desires they drag into the marriage, creating a relational void that apocalyptically flares into violence and retreats behind closed doors, more than hinting at an abusive situation. 
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The Sun & the Moon by Kristina Marie Darling at The Lit Pub!

 

Intractable Ghosts or Kristina Marie Darling’s Personal and Imaginative World in The Sun & the Moon

03/24/15

Sometimes an extraordinary book lands on your doorstep and you’re grateful to be astonished again. Kristina Maria Darling’s The Sun & the Moon is a beauty to behold. A surprising, masterfully written long prose poem that reads like a novel, it weaves a story of a marriage deconstructed in a fantastical, surreal setting, whose strangeness is reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe: “I tore into the envelope & there was only winter inside, not even a card or a handwritten note.”

We’re invited into a mysterious, hypnotic, universe unfolding like a party: “You began as a small mark on the horizon. Then night & its endless train of ghosts. You led them in, one after the other. They took off their shoes, hung their coats & started looking through the drawers.” The reader can only fall in love with the ingenious writing as she/he falls under the spell of this haunted love story that reads like a long dream sequence.

 
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Photos on flickr