HAVING BEEN BLUE FOR CHARITY by KARI EDWARDS (2)MARK YOUNG Reviews
having been blue for charity by kari edwards
(BlazeVOX [books]; Buffalo, N.Y., 2007. Downloadable HERE)
I wonder, what it
would be like to say: you have five months to live….
hanging from the sky
Lines like that. One wonders if the end was known before / the ending. Read that in the first poem, with the knowledge, & everything that follows has a different feel about it to what it might have otherwise been.
Everything has a different feel about it anyway. Words acquire power they never had until kari used them. Together, but often the singular. In context. It is / outpouring. It is "an emotion riff of rearranged things folded into an immense tableau."
Brilliance, yes. An edge of pain. It is killerpain, taken twice, thrice daily, before / during / after meals. It is pain softened by the finding of a spiritual home in India. Internal but not always the external. "who are these strangers?" It is struggle within, internal turmoil. It is exploration & exposition of living in
"…the space one holds, not an essential objectification one is held in, where one is stabilized into things in space, places with borders, bodies with procedures, proper behavior by corporeal containment, compulsory reproductive management, polarizing populations, producing mythological projections, slicing every single living energetic instant into bipolar neurosis for further control of an imagined boundary." (from an editorial in EAOGH)
The power is not affected but / more peace. It is form even when there is no form. Structure. Not always obvious until one sees poems presented in a different way to what they were when one saw them in their first appearance. The content constant but the structure moving. Then sometimes software-shifted. Not always successful but it would have been. Sooner rather than. Knowing the drive was there. Determination. Recognizing the power of, the power behind.
& yet, & yet. This is a book that was being put together but not quite finished. Little bits of dyslexia catch in the teeth. One wants it to be perfect. & yet, & yet, who gives a fuck about the imperfections? The strength, the vision, the power of the flow of words, the shaping & positioning of them, their putting together -- these things paper over, overcome small flaws. & isn't the adage that there should always be some flaw in the otherwise perfect?
kari is one of the great poets. Has always been to me. Will always be. having been blue for charity reinforces that. The regret is / that there was more to come. Much more. Unfinished busyness. Infinite brilliance. Discovery, discoveries. Aware of. Teasing.
playing possum in a hole, being a dog in blue ink that
turns black after my death
Mark Young is the editor of Otoliths where some of the poems included in having been blue for charity first appeared. An earlier post on kari appeared on his blog gamma ways.