Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kim Addonizio

Taut, sensual, full of direct verbal power that does more than deliver straight talk, Kim Addonizio's poems can still turn a phrase revealing a desire to be understood and remembered. She is not afraid of being understood, but neither is she the sort to diminish an emotion's impact with over statement or too much reserve. She continually finds the right pitch in her poems, from the comic to the serious, the sleek and daring to the sublime and somber.

She isn't a poet trying to have an experience, she isn't a poet practicing her chops at the cost of letting a real thought go, she isn't a poet overwhelmed with so much "poetics" that getting to the heart of things is impossible. She grabs hold of her subject, interrogates it , contrasts it, sits it in a chair and serves it coffee to make it speak volumes. Kim Addonzio is writer.

You Don't Know What Love Is
Kim Addonizio

You don't know what love is
but you know how to raise it in me
like a dead girl winched up from a river. How to
wash off the sludge, the stench of our past.
How to start clean. This love even sits up
and blinks; amazed, she takes a few shaky steps.
Any day now she'll try to eat solid food. She'll want
to get into a fast car, one low to the ground, and drive
to some cinderblock shithole in the desert
where she can drink and get sick and then
dance in nothing but her underwear. You know
where she's headed, you know she'll wake up
with an ache she can't locate and no money
and a terrible thirst. So to hell
with your warm hands sliding inside my shirt
and your tongue down my throat
like an oxygen tube. Cover me
in black plastic. Let the mourners through.