535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York City
John Ashbery described Amy King’s poems as bringing “abstractions to brilliant, jagged life, emerging into rather than out of the busyness of living.” Published by Litmus Press, King’s I Want to Make You Safe was named one of the best poetry books of 2011 by the Boston Globe. She teaches creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York, and serves on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. She also joined the ranks of Pearl Buck, Rachel Carson, Ann Patchett, and Eleanor Roosevelt as the recipient of the 2015 winner of the Women’s National Book Association Award.
WAKE BEFORE DAWN & SALT THE SEA
Your mouth is full of noise and I live the anomaly.
That's why I'm currently drinking. And making more
fuckworthy art. Because the rest is truly useless.
I cut myself and no one will recall the time the poet cut
her flesh or ripped her heart’s skin to tell them something.
Our limits may not be expandable, but before you say,
“Blood and sinew,” remember you're making a mistake.
We are not edges of limbs or the heart’s smarts only.
We are kiss times kiss with tree-lined lungs
(yes, we are the fucking trees) that sprout with purveyors
of knowledge, but too, your emotions are an intelligence,
and if you don’t take care, cultivate how you learn
from wounds to them, then you will be a dumb genius,
dying full of money but no one will give a shit, rich asshole.
Be somebody, be one who wrestles and makes love to the dark
that is your deepest part, the uselessness of love and art.
Alan Davies was born in Canada / educated in Massachusetts / and lives in New York City. He learned a great deal from the company of John Wieners. He is the author of Active 24 Hours / Name / Signage / Rave / Candor / andOdes & fragments / among others. In addition to poetry / Alan writes literary criticism / book reviews / critical theory / plays / songs / and aphorisms. He has just completed a libretto called Guantanamo-Ghraib.
Tough love / from Book 18 Crestfallen
over there surely she lies
all sunderings are pale
and go straight away
in the lure of the dark hours
in the pounded shins
the blandly bleating tribe escapes disdain
unending in the plaintive milk of song
these bland and haggard days of sin and solace
upon a mouthing of the world that’s sweet
and then on in bland harvest goes
this aimless day these aimless weeks and years
and wilting to be won we wear the hand down
the deep studied face of faithless grace
when lust starts to loom without innate accord
in the context of this love laced day
as character is bleached from the land
when the scathings start to come
true to the times that harbor and ruin
this drenching rain that tends
the way the world abets and plunders
a goitered shape and death will fall its hand
with or without moisture tresses come unbent
and blow against the wildness in us all
this living acquiescing into dying and then death
the loose fact of faith vomiting up myth
neither is there hunger more divine than this
one’s own way of humbling damage on the ground
a filthy little head cold drags us down
broken down around the tallied fetch of land
in frail silence in silent threat the world abuts abets
inflicting pain on what comes and doesn’t come again
the circumspect the desolate and the merely plaintive
another shape for scars has found this boundless day
the innocent flailing and all it entails away today
the hand that rocks the cradle rocks the grave
as dusk bleeds into dusk
the only stable value is the stench of blood
as time derailing time attests
exhausted on these leaflets love then die
as dusk comes hungry for its thrush