Kingdom of Throat-struck Luck, by George Kalamaras
In Kingdom of Throat-struck Luck, George Kalamaras's "poems are like nobody else's: in their intimacy, in their strictness, in their magic invocation of multiplying transformations, in their combination of fluidity and concretion, in their rigorous refusal to close up a constant opening, and, yes, in their accessibility. Open to any page and marvel." --Jenny Mueller, Judge, Elixir Press Poetry Awards
"George Kalamaras, like every one of us, has a tongue in his head--but seeing it come alive, like a bird or a bell, in Kingdom of Throat-Stuck Luck, we realize its multiplicity: this poet has a tongue working in every part of his body. Indeed, his poetry portrays the slow, delirious dissolve of the body--with its Death and Eros--into tongues of flame. In the scenario of these poems, self surrenders to its other, and beyond that, to its otherness. Kalamaras's revision of American surrealism brings together the distant realities of Eastern serenity and Western black humor, a meeting so fraught that at times it dislocates syntax. The bassline of his couplets walks us over the Abyss." --Andrew Joron
"The sling of language towards the meaningful unexpected." --Robert Kelly
George Kalamaras is Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he has taught since 1990. He is the author of many books of poetry, including Your Own Ox-Head Mask as Proof (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010), Gold Carp Jack Fruit Mirrors (The Bitter Oleander Press, 2008), and The Theory and Function of Mangoes (Four Way Books, 2000), which won the Four Way Books Intro Series. Two recent collaborations are Something Beautiful Is Always Wearing the Trees (Stockport Flats, 2009), George's poems with paintings by Alvaro Cardona-Hine, and the Recumbent Galaxy (C & R Press, 2010), co-authored with Cardona-Hine and winner of the C & R Press Open Competition. He is the recipient of Creative Writing Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1993) and the Indiana Arts Commission (2001 and 2011). During 1994, he spent several months in India on an Indo-U.S. Advanced Research Fellowship from the Fulbright Foundation and the Indo-U.S. Subcommission on Education and Culture. After living many years with their beagle, Barney, George and his wife, writer Mary Ann Cain, have welcomed a new beagle pup, Bootsie, into their home. They live in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and regularly return to northern Colorado, where George and Mary Ann lived for several years in the 1980s.
From Kingdom of Throat Stuck Luck by George Kalamaras
Hypnosis of Breathing
It looks, once again, like copper in the throat.
The teakettle. Guttered leaves. Stillness of a holiday.
Three a.m. seems a long life away.
The sky of Japanese scrolls uncreases a dog.
Several shapes fly through one another.
We think we’re sleeping, believe the hypnosis of breathing.
Honestly. Of course. What could be done? And would?
Too many birds do not comprehend the language pace of snails.
And so, copper. And so, it appeared in the gutters of the throat.
One moment we think we’re alive. Then we are music.
Is it true only the fingers grow after we smile?
Sometimes we show our teeth-bones to the surliest dog.