August 16, 2012

Karen Blomain

From: Michael Downend


My beloved Karen died yesterday. 

Of all her brilliant, evocative poems I loved none more than this:


Karen Blomain

(from COALSEAM, published by The University of Scranton Press)

The only way out
is by train,
the whistle
that muscles its way
into your sleep.

Leave the bed
quietly, go barefoot
through the grass
then run along-
side, (your heart
will want to pop
its cage)

And desperate, begin
this song: You can take
not the earrings paired
for the night in their safe
compartments, not the moon
shaped nail clippings,
your brush matted
with hair,
or the heavy locket
of photos.

Don't look back
for smoke rising
or wonder if you left
the tap running. Let your legs
gain air, until they
are wings. Grab the rail
and hold tight. Close
your eyes against cinders.

When the heavy boots,
the flashlight
discover you, reveal
no history,
bleach yourself white
and stare,
don't ask questions,
don't imagine destinations.



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