I think I’ve learned my lesson. I truly enjoy poetry even though I don’t read it often, and I was looking forward to reading this collection, but I got it as an e-galley. Apparently I need to stick with actual, physical books when reading poetry. I think I would have read slower, appreciated it more if I had had the printed version. And the formatting didn’t help the situation.
This the description from Goodreads, since to be honest I missed the meaning on most of the poems. The imagery was interesting, the writing eloquent, but they just went past me. I think I may give it a try again, but pick up the paperback first.
On the surface, L. S. Klatt’s poems are airy and humorous—with their tales of chickens wandering the highways of Ohio and Winnebago trailers rolling up to heaven and whales bumping like watermelons in a bathtub—but just under the surface they turn disconcertingly serious as they celebrate the fluent word.
Under the heat of inquiry, under the pressure of metaphor, the poems in Cloud of Ink liquefy, bend, and serpentine as they seek sometimes a new and sometimes an ancient destination. They present the reader with existential questions as they side-wind into the barbaric; the pear is figured as a “wild boar” and the octopus is “gutted,” yet primal energies cut a pathway to the mystical and the transcendent. The poetic cosmos Klatt creates is loquacious and beautiful, strange and affirmative, but never transparent. Amid “a maelstrom of inklings,” the writer—and the audience—must puzzle out the meaning of the syllabary.
I did want to give you a taste of the poetry, and since I live in Ohio, I thought I’d share this one. Remember I was reading a galley, so the final version may differ slightly.
I worry about your fences
wherein thousands of propane tanks stand
breast to breast
like white chickens.
depend on wishbones
& their smelly parts set off alarms near Dayton.
Those that range
cross I-75 where they are struck now & then by
So much attention here given to the tornado.
I would like to add that when threatened chickens
retreat into silos.
It makes sense, if it’s true, that Ohio is the
birthplace of flight.
Published March 15, 2011
My copy was provided by the publisher for review and the above is my honest opinion.