Monday, March 19, 2012

Meter Monday: Joanna Klink

It happens sometimes. Sometimes you walk into a book store and you can't find the book you're looking for. The store owner can order it for you, but it will get to you in a week. Or more. And you just can't wait that long. You want something right now. Sometimes, a book store will have "Staff Picks" set aside on a shelf. Staff Picks are books that the book store staff has read and think are amazing and want you to read. Sometimes, you pick up a book of poetry because it was picked by staff. This book of poetry is called Raptus. It is by Joanna Klink, a lady from Montana.

"Raptus (1) A state of rapture of furor. Also: an instance of this; a fit of intense emotion. (2) A seizure; a sudden or acute attack (as in a raptus of the blood, Impulsive Raptus, or Raptus Nervorum). (3) From rapio: A carrying-off by force. (4) A state of spiritual rapture marked by anesthesia. (5) A pathological paroxysm of activity giving vent to impulse or tension (as in an act of violence)."

Sometimes, you will open up the book of poetry to the first poem and have to buy the book and read it all the way through.


Some feel rain. Some feel the beetle startle
in its ghost-part when the bark
Joanna Klink "Raptus"
slips. Some feel musk. Asleep against
each other in the whiskey dark, scarcely there.
When it falls apart, some feel the moondark air
drop its motes to the patch-thick slopes of
snow. Tiny blinking of ice from the oak,
a boot-beet that comes and goes, the line of prayer
you can follow from the dusking wind to the snowy owl
it carries. Some feel sunlight
well up in blood-vessels below the skin
and wish there had been less to lose.
Knowing how it could have been, pale maples
drowsing like a second sleep above our temperaments.
Do I imagine there is any place so safe it can't be
snapped? Some feel the rivers shift,
blue veins through soil, as if the smokestacks were a long
dream of exhalation. The lynx lets its paws
skim the ground in snow showers.
The wildflowers scatter in warm tints until
the second they are plucked. You can wait
to scrape the ankle-burrs, you can wait until Mercury
the early star underdraws the night and its blackest
districts. And wonder. Why others feel
through coal-thick night that deeply colored garnet
star. Why sparring and pins are all you have.
Why the earth cannot make its way towards you.

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