In At the Kinnegad Home for the Bewildered, Levine begins his cinematic collection with the lifeblood line of the book in the second poem: “we know there is something more.” As he shifts in and out of the domestic and the divine in his poems, we feel a deep longing for kinship and connect with a speaker who is unabashed in his belief in what isn’t wholly known. Sometimes, we are located within a piece of art, and at other times, we are right in the middle of a myth or standing there, cooking in his kitchen.
All day I watch boats from the living room window. I do other things, of course, but I always come back to the boats—yachts, skiffs, catamarans. Occasionally, there’s even a dinghy, white or blue, with a small figure aboard, paddling madly.
I used to think there could be nothing lonelier than boating, but these days, I have reconsidered.
Hiram had been avoiding the gay son of his recently deceased friend Tru Rasmussen. First, prior to his friend’s passing, he had run into the young man, Eldon, and his fiancé, Jasper, when they were registering for wedding gifts at Wal Mart. At the time, he didn’t think Eldon could’ve recognized him.
This guy Lev, at the dinner party said, / If you don’t want your kids to have sex don’t finish the basement. / I don’t remember anything anymore, my 52 year old brain a soggy piece of kale, / but I remembered what Lev said.
A room of solitude, the world. / Out the window huffs of wind / do what they can to enunciate. You listen / like a monk. A votive hula flame.
“I sing these songs all through the dark, after everyone’s left.” The myth of the sirens has been used throughout history, to shame women or empower them, but always to warn men—women too can be dangerous. Their songs shipwrecked men, or lulled them into a vulnerable sleep, in some myths the sirens were even sent to find Persephone who had disappeared into the underworld. Kateri Lanthier’s second collection Siren, is as many-layered and multi-faceted as the myth of the sirens.
I worked in media monitoring for a long time. I’m talking over a decade. Ten years and two months to be exact. Boy did I know my way around media monitoring. It’s an international environment so we were gang-raping the English language every conference room we went into.
The clergy raise / their gooseneck / arms to the God / wouldn’t soften / the steel of bayonets / while the dust clouds
The table we ate at is bare. Hours ago our fast broken / sunset & cannon-strike with apricot paste & Kingdom dates.
Body broken into. All the sweetness / out. Brightly dyed paper flakes / linger in the grass as if someone has / down the sun. The husk of