Saturday, April 2, 2011

National Poetry Month - Day 2: Amy King

Today I am in Iowa City, attending the Mission Creek festival. Mainly here to see the "classic lineup" Guided by Voices show, which is one of the festival's headlining events. But Mission Creek is also a literary festival, and this afternoon I attended a small press showcase at a bar called The Mill. In between all the squeezing past and bumping into people, I briefly met the "impresario" of Black Ocean, Janaka Stucky, and purchased Scary, No Scary and The Man Suit by Zachary Schomburg, Ordinary Sun by Matthew Henriksen, and Objects for a Fog Death by Julie Doxsee (all Black Ocean titles) at quite a discount. Apparently if you get a tattoo inspired by one of the Black Ocean books, you get free copies of everything they publish until you die. Stucky okayed my request to use a poem or two from the books I purchased in future Nat'l Poetry Month installments on this blog, so look out for that.

Today's poem is in honor of Guided by Voices, since I'm seeing them tonight. It's by Amy King (who came through in the nick of time with a Word file-version of the poem since I'm traveling -- thanks, Amy!), a wonderful poet and person (not that the two should or can be separated, but you know what I mean), and it's from her collection I'm the Man Who Loves You (BlazeVox, 2007). Her other BlazeVox books are Antidotes for an Alibi (2004), and Slaves to Do These Things (2009). Reading series curator, creative writing instructor and champion of most everything that needs to be championed, she really is the hardest working woman in po biz.
You can find more of her writing here.


Remove your blouse and become a kind of free on me
and have a brilliant face but
where did your feverish glow go
with blood in hair, a blonde-shaped DNA
that your poison sticks
to the song of malted alcohol running over and out—

The toast of the tea party comes

hard along the hem of her skirt

My blank blue hello blotted from a photograph plays

Like the pencil-traced croissant moves her
love-laced face behind the scenes
into position that really makes her groove get up to go:

But what actually moves is only real in actual time, the space
between your toes, full of a jelly no one knows

Each morning, I wear clothes of an industry,
a closet climate, regions I afford
are extras in their roles with an extra s for good breath clouds.

Later drive through
me with your resistible you,
that place where the body no longer
contains the spirit, essence, or soul into now

The color of corn is beaten down; I
won’t turn my own pages,
will turn my papers for Mercy’s contempt
with huge impoverishment robbing innocence to throw
its weight around you,

Who does a kind of math to say,

Person, where
did so much time become?

When I nearly mentioned how I love low lights,
the way they glisten
you moved your lower beauty over
a bit like others, but otherwise

Won’t you burn my buffalo heart
where we are as the dust below

and also with you



  1. I should note that Amy told me once in an email conversation that the title doesn't imply that the poet thinks Robert Pollard is "kind of wrong". Rather, it refers to "Robert Pollard's kind of wrong," like one might say "my kind of soldier." At least that's what she said.

  2. Glad you clarified this, as I couldn't quite pick up the Pollard influence. But then one presumes there are Who-kicks during the poetry slam.