Monday, April 21, 2014

#BLauthor5: Amy King

Follow Amy King on Facebook
and Twitter @amyhappens.
#BLauthor5 is poet Amy King.

Of I Want to Make You Safe (Litmus Press), John Ashbery describes Amy King's poems as bringing “abstractions to brilliant, jagged life, emerging into rather than out of the busyness of living.” Safe was one of Boston Globe’s Best Poetry Books of 2011. The Missing Museum is forthcoming in 2014 from Kore Press. King teaches Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College and works with VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Check her latest blog entries at Boston Review, Poetry Magazine and the Rumpus.

Be sure to check back next week for our interview with Amy.

For now, here are two new poems by her, with comments by co-ed Stacia M. Fleegal afterward:

"Adrift," by Brian Mark
24k gold electro-plated
to stainless steel with acids
When Wonder Went Out of Fashion

I inhale foreigners everywhere and distribute
the smoke across Brooklyn. I am stationary,
waiting for you, dreaming America, Italy’s America,
Bosnia in America, Libya standing alone.
North Korea. Black Sea. Bruises too.
Yes, I give you everywhere as one who no longer is:
You were at my last death, purchased and reading
for meaning, the full of us, hand holding the sunset.
The great postcard of life is a home for my next death too,
the one you will wear like someone said her self is dead,
everyone’s dead, which is why we’re all here still.
She said herself in a garment torn
from the cloth of anything you’re currently wearing.
Fiction or fire? Fingernails sizzled in flame.
Is anything worth saying?
A man is only a man until she is a woman. You’ll be
the home for my next death, breaking now. Meaning,
I use “Kent-Ken” to call my friend. Her name is Josephine.
Life is ever lasting. And makes little sense by the end.
We go way back to the lost low days. Creatives running
the streets without names, we live holograms of potholes
and dying. Ours is a transitional form, a lubricant
for every gesture. Hand holding moonbeams within.
The radical position that all is incomplete also moves us further on.
Increasingly in a conceptual age, where parents end,
dictatorships begin. I just don’t see you when you’re not here;
I don’t trust you to have a kind of mouth or math,
a thing anyone may possess or add to.
A thing anyone becomes in numbers.
To be clear, you are nothing less than the critical awareness of us,
sitting in prison. The other New York is a solitude no one offers,
a useful anchor, a tired love, a dispossession of nothingness.
Fog alights; the science of things rages on.
Such motion. Movement that glows in its own wake.
Everyone else pays less; I have faded, and there is so little left,
you smell specks of rain hunting essence.
Everything tastes smaller with a spoon.
I drew a photo of my childhood for you and placed it
on the mantle for anyone to call home.
Those past go around eating that which already exists.
The rain haunts our shallows. As in this,
the easement to your conceptual, I slash your cheek
and call you friend. I’m preserving myself: the best way
to get this or follow me is high on whatever undoes how
you preserve yourself too. Experts are servants
to those in power who return things to "normal." Riot on.

The Future Includes Many Minutes

My hair is taking its time becoming hair
again, and I’m not that kind of pretty.
If every scar is a moment in time,
then every time is a sleeve of cutlery.
Being is the gash before healing.
I’m preserving myself in time, a severance package.
I was dreaming in my usual pattern,
as a self-inflicted wound.
I bled myself open and lost it in French.
A different finger is the one that hides the finger
we know, pointing at stars at death at hellfire
with the bullet hole pointing us out &
My shame is not enough. I need friends.
There is also the intrinsic death in my day each day.
O human, fallen by the subway platform.
I’ve been waiting for your next misstep, your intimate failings,
each my own. I twitch from the corporate fondle, and
I’m unusual today.
The strange rain awakens
the strange rain, which is out of my league.
The drops stir the plain in Spain, and you are the pain
my legs can feel as I drive the blood of my gladiator veins.
What is this. I love this.
I am unusual today. For you, victory elsewhere.
Next lap, our mile. Tell me too what I’m attracted to,
and I will employ you.
That is the promise of relational growing.
Spoiler alert: Everyone falls in love and dies.
Togetherness. You learn that in the class of the future,
the film version I’ve never seen, the one I rewound
to watch again yesterday. On repeat.

Stacia M. Fleegal on Amy King:
“Experts are servants / to those in power who return things to ‘normal.’ Riot on.” could be Amy King’s ars poetica. Other writers might question notions of normalcy, but King wholly rejects them, not with hipster irony, but with the deep disdain of a wound-wise observer who knows she wields the power to distill society’s shortcomings as she sees fit. It’s hard to write political poetry that doesn’t screech, doesn’t annoy with didacticism, as it’s hard to teach without imposition. King’s tone is of a slow burn with an occasional whip of sarcasm, life’s lesson being that we are each of us unique and same, but deserving of the mic in however we choose to rock it -- even as she asks, "Is anything worth saying?" Without being flip, she slides from one line-as-mantra to the next, and is a poet of great associative prowess, so that even in the absence of a clearly plotable narrative, we trust everything she says because of how authenticated it makes us feel. And so that when she does drop the mic, we’re utterly with her (“My shame is not enough. I need friends.”), are saddened but not alone: “Spoiler alert: Everyone falls in love and dies.” Reading Amy King’s poetry is like accepting that we’re going to burn the world down, but aren’t flames meaningful?

About the artist: Brian Mark is a classically trained artist whose extensive commissions include police memorials across the country and work for the US Embassy in the Ivory Coast. His work is also in numerous private collections, including the Witt Family Memorial in the National Cathedral, Washington, DC. and The State of Main’s Houlton Courthouse. He resides in Maine.



  1. You were at my last death, purchased and reading
    for meaning, the full of us, hand holding the sunset.
    The great postcard of life is a home for my next death too,
    the one you will wear like someone said her self is dead,
    everyone’s dead, which is why we’re all here still.

    *from When Wonder Went Out of Fashion.

    beautiful words.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Oakley baseball team sunglasses if not that i felt oakley baseball team sunglasses absolutely upset and somehow annoyed, about finding in oakley baseball team sunglasses your concepts, the ideas already explored by other researchers and designers. Not only I never got a direct reply from you (if not just a general one from Philips), but I see afterwards, that you're exploiting somebody's else (mine) oakley baseball team sunglasses reserach, oakley baseball team sunglasses without even giving any credit to it, and without even trying to get in touch with me. That's why here I write you to express all my disappointment about such behaviour, and, confident that you will get in touch with me at oakley baseball team sunglasses some point (hopefully soon), I hope it was oakley baseball team sunglasses maybe just a very unlucky "coincidence,

    For instance, you can swap media modules in the TravelMate 290 series, which you can do with most mainstream notebooks. It also achieved extra-long battery life in our Labs drain tests. Despite a few design letdowns, oakley baseball team sunglasses students and families on oakley baseball team sunglasses tight budgets should give it serious consideration,

    With oakley baseball team sunglasses 30 years of experience working in the gaming industry, Billhimer joined MTR Gaming in April of 2011. Prior to joining MTR Gaming, he was the Founder of the Principal of Foundation Gaming Group, an advisory and management services firm targeting the gaming industry. From 2003 to 2008, Billhimer sat as President and CEO of Premier Entertainment LLC, the cheap oakley sunglasses manufacturers developer and parent of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, oakley baseball team sunglasses

    Before you install the new keyboard, apply some rubbing alcohol on a cotton where to get oakleys cheap swab and clean the inside oakely sunglasses of the key. There also might be spills or crumbs on the inside of the keyboard. Clean this out. With a price of $500 or higher, these expensive designer cycling glasses will not be the choice of the average motorcyclist or cyclist. Professionals will tell you that you will get an equal performance from a regular wraparound pair of sunglasses. Motorcyclists will appreciate the sturdy construction of a pair of Oakley sunglasses.

    CNDO-109 is a biologic that activates the immune system's NK cells to seek and destroy cancer cells. Preclinical studies of CNDO-109 have demonstrated activity in multiple myeloma, breast cancer, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer and, based on data obtained from a Phase 1 investigator-sponsored clinical trial in patients oakley baseball team sunglasses with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the Company believes early efficacy was observed. Coronado currently plans to initiate a Phase 1/2 dose oakley baseball team sunglasses escalation trial in AML patients in the second half of 2012,

    To make your reflection seem more realistic, you need to add an inner shadow. To do this, select the lens image in the Layers palette and click the Layers Style icon on the palette. Select Inner Shadow 65 degree angle 1 pixel distance 3 pixels size oakley baseball team sunglasses

  4. Dear, I like your blog very much, I can get many useful information. Hope that we can communicate with each other. By the way, have you ever used clone partition to ssd ? Unfortunately I lost my partition. I do not know how to do.