On Saturday, December 9 at 7:00 pm, I’ll be reading in Pittsburgh, PA at the White Whale Bookstore with John Fantin, Brianne Griffith, RB Mertz, and Adriana Ramirezas part of the Versify reading series. Hope to see you there!
My poem “Fisher of Women” is in the July issue of Glass: A Journal of Poetry.
for a wife. You want to bore
a hole and pull out
salvation. You want someone to
skin and fillet. Someone to replace
the chilled lips of the
bluegill pressed against
the icy line of your
mouth in your
favorite profile picture.
Someone slightly less
slippery. Someone slightly
more alive. I can tell you’re a
tender man by the way you
remove the hook.
Check it out for audio, more information about the poem, and to read the rest of the issue.
My poem “Made in China” is up at The Humanist. Excerpt:
I wonder how many millions
of small white worm
cocoons were unraveled to make
his tie. I imagine vast fields
of them, confined and shining,
hanging somewhere in an overseas
warehouse under yellow lights
lost to dust.
Thank you to Jennifer Bardi, Editor in Chief at The Humanist, for publishing it!
I’m reading a whole bunch of times in April (it’s National Poetry Month!) with a whole bunch of talented people. Please come see me. Free hugs with all poetry listenings! What a deal.
April 22, 2017 ♦ 7:00 pm
The General Deli & Cafe, South Bend, IN
Retirement Plan 2: Pro Choice South Bend Benefit Reading
I’m excited to announce that Whale Road Review has nominated my poem “Porcupine Denies His Vulnerabilities” for the Best New Poets anthology! A huge thanks to Founder and Editor & Chief Katie Manning and Managing Editor Ellen Huang for the nod. Here’s the poem. Please go read (and submit to!) the lovely Whale Road Review.
He is monogamous, but always stands quill-
length from his mate. Only the pads of his foot
are naked, his tongue, the nervous sentinel
of his eye. When she cries, he whirrs
his bristles like rainfall on the dust-
packed savanna. She forgets
their distance. She burrows while he collects
the bone-wrought scaffolding of lesser
plantigrades, builds a shrine
to what is hard.
RR: One of challenges in writing about love and loss is avoiding becoming cliche or sentimental. As a poet, how do you ensure your approach to these topics remains fresh?
KC: One of the most beautiful poems I’ve read about love and loss is “Kiss of the Sun” by Mary Ruefle, and my favorite “romantic” film is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I love them because they approach love and loss obliquely, and pay homage to the downright messiness and ineffectiveness of people. Ruefle recognizes that it’s entirely possible that she won’t be able to quench her love’s thirst, but she still promises to chuck an orange as high as she can — one last hail-mary attempt at connection. In Spotless Mind, Clementine and Joel know full well that their respective neuroses will make their relationship rife with conflict, but (spoiler alert!) they still choose to be together. I think poems risk cliche and sentimentality most when they ignore the complexity of people and real life, and the fact that it’s often through — not in spite of — hardship and conflict that the deepest love can be nurtured.
I’ll be reading with three magnificent journals and dozens of brilliant writers at offsite readings in DC during AWP. This is my first AWP, but I hear that these readings tend to be magnificent parties with great opportunities to meet other artists you admire, in addition to hearing them share their work. Hope to see you there!
My poem “Dream Man #5” is up today at Rappahannock Review. It’s about divorce and personal pan pizza. What’s not to love??
On December 16 at 7:00 pm, LangLab in South Bend, Indiana is hosting “Celebrating Emily Dickinson: An Evening of Poetry and Music.” Soprano Karen Dickerson will be singing Aaron Copland’s “Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson,” and I’ll be reading some new poems I wrote just for the event. I’m really excited to be part of this. I hope you’ll come!