The Cream In My Milk


First, the pic is stolen from Bill Emory’s blog, a most excellent photographer covering subjects south of the Mason Dixon line in stellar fashion: a fresh and sometimes startling perspective on worthy subjects with enduring zest. You can view stories through his pics here.

Second, William Allegreza wrote about my chapbook, ON THE FLY – check it out on Galatea Resurrects. It’s a prelude to my next full length collection due out early next year.

Third, Deborah Ager gave me a print copy of 32 POEMS, the first one to materialize from her stint online. I thought I’d share one of the poems I read before sleep took over last night:


You wouldn’t mistake your mother
for a woman who walks through glass
and sits beside your book.
So you pass the time and frame
the woman’s face, the one who
isn’t your mother. She’s like a Budapest tram
ticket you carry in your wallet
next to the taste of oranges
shared with a boy whose name
you don’t remember. You watch her hands brush
a bit of hair away from her brow while she opens
a can of beer. Not cheap beer either
and rinses her teeth. The warm yeast fills
the room like the smell of sex on cotton. She spits
on the floor. In that moment you love her
more than your mother, who would never spit.
When you leave the room, she shouts
Happy New Year in German. And you believe her.

Emily Walter (from 32 POEMS)

And finally, I’ll just preface this last reproduction by saying I get emails now and then that make me happy. They’re about that pronoun we’re all fond of: me. I’m reproducing this email, with Jim Knowle’s permission, because I like what he says about my work and how it means to him. And I was taken by the way he says it. Thanks again, Jim:

I have followed
your scatterings around the links,
snapping at them with curiosity, then relish,
and finally figured out how to order
“Antidotes for an Alibi”,
which languishes in silence in a Connecticut
waystation, I am automatically told.

It is possible: yes,
language can be psychoactive.

I am not one for most modern poetry,
but it’s eery the extent to which I see
what you imply and am plucked by it.
It is valuable for knocking me out of stasis
in my more formal but still edgy verse.

I strive for evocation in my art and poetry,
more than illustration. You are an inspiration
in the practice of verbal semi-abstract art.
It is the teetering edge just between order
and chaos where self-organization takes place,
as Manuel Delanda says.

Thank you for skating near edges,
leaving cracks
in the ice and sky,
but NOT falling through into random gibberish.

Lori Anderson said language is a virus:
maybe…sometimes…true enough for some.
But the crafter chooses what to make of it,
and the receiver metabolizes it
by resonance and by choice, yet again.
I rather like language as a drug.

take care,

–Jim K.


AMY KING View All →

Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.

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