Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Tuesday, April 5, 2011

POET OF THE DAY: Kathryn Kirkpatrick


I've long admired Kathryn Kirkpatrick's poetry. A fine scholar and teacher in the English Department at Appalachian State University, she has published work in many of the nation's best journals, including two of my favorites, CAVE WALL and SHENANDOAH. Her book OUT OF THE GARDEN was published by Mayapple Press four years ago. The following two poems are from her forthcoming book, ALTER, to be published by Press 53 in Winston-Salem, NC. Kathryn is a long-distance friend, one I wish I could see more often.






Finding the Heart

Under the hydrangea, a heart

the dogs have found, a deer's

left by a hunter in our woods,

the carcass gutted where it lay, and I,

having never seen anything

like it, larger than anyone's fist

I know of, fetch the shovel because

it is so newly out of the body,

I am sure it was beating

only yesterday or the day before

and so bare beside the knife's

fresh cut and so powerful, somehow,

as if it did the work of living

still that I cannot bear

this awful cleaving from

the breath it made

and I dig a small grave.



Chemotherapy


Up from the massage table

I catch sight of myself

in the unavoidable mirror.


Afternoon light doesn't blink.

Basic bald head. Bare pudendum.

Soft pile of belly and hips.


Once mirrors drew me like friends,

broke my gloomy moods

with a smile, eyes brighter


than I'd remembered. Now I'm sacra

to myself, a neutral suggestion,

transpersonal form. Stripped


to Neolithic goddess, I'm all

that's behind all that will ever be,

prima mater, prima material,


impersonal as rain, kneaded

to dozens of shapes, except

that my chest is scarred


which is what you'd expect

of a goddess in this 21st century.



4 comments:

Nancy Simpson said...

"Finding the Heart" is one of the best poems I've ever read.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thanks, Nancy. I hope you can meet Kathryn one of these days.

Tess Kincaid said...

I love this series you do for National Poetry Month, Kay! It's so great of you to spotlight these poets. I'm still humbled you included me last year. Thanks for introducing Kathryn.

theoldguyupfront said...

Beautiful poems, Kathryn. So happy to see them put forward by the estimable Poet Byer.