01 February 2006

Featured Poet: Kristy Odelius

Kristy Odelius Photo by: Joel Blair Posted by Picasa

Kristy O is a poet and Assistant Professor of English at North Park University. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Chicago Review, Notre Dame Review, ACM, and diagram. She loves her cat and wide warm water.


The virgins of Chicago

work nights at "Federal Screw
Products." They like welding,
sweating and wearing
gray aprons.

"I can't feel anything,"
I sigh as the elevator rises.
The meta-galaxy slips
like a ring on my finger,
a parenthesis squeezing the night
in towards morning.

They rest in the caliper,
thinking about tree
trunks, project their
cool measure, summon
the helicopter.

The sky pales, a weird ochre.
All yellow, I'm flying an octave
below the shareholders. It's
always the same. I remember
their names. I can't see their faces,
I can't read their folders.

Poet's Note: "The virgins of Chicago" is part of a longer series of poems all with the same title--"The virgins of Chicago."

A Breath Catalogue

Allegedly, breath
clocks downward,

edged from gasoline
hovering into jackets, jars.

Knock lower? Make noise?

O pantworthy quests
roaming small
towers, tell us!

Utterance. Vow. Wind.
XXX. Your yellow
zones, alledgedly.


Poet's Note: "A Breath Catalogue" is an abecedarian which represents my love of writing in form, my affection for rules and restrictions of all kinds. It's also a very different treatment of "breath."

No Breath Found
no thought no breath no eyes no heart no breath in the bellows no body beside you no breath of fresh air for manufacturer phillip inman the day is empty no one needs you seven are squatters in two different worlds hog’s breath is better than no breath at all and when I beheld lo the sinews and the flesh came up upon them and the skin covered them above but there was no breath in them as far as I can see there is little real justification for what we do here there was no breath left in him red heart yarn red hot no breath strips provide a clean mouth feeling on-the-go tao of breath no dog breath unfortunately no one can really smell their own breath whale calves do not exhibit bad breath because they have no need to feed themselves and don’t have to dive deeply thanks no it doesn’t hurt to breathe just sore to lay on or touch sneezing coughing wheezing nose itching no match for breath sorry breath is not in the dictionary cough? no yes no yes yes copius sputum? no yes no yes possible pallor? no no yes no no shortness of breath difficult labored breathing

Thoughts of Falling, Pollen, Pare
after Sappho
When champion-bred
leaves lie splayed
like minimum wage
sin, when sleep,
a raincoat czar,
spreads its liquid
hands thin, I'll say
not on: your life, your daddy's knee, a new knife blade.
Try, swim the brackish margin
between holy and hole, the ocean's
backstitched locomotion loosely
recites "no, there's no such
night in prosaic blood" nodding
its great nose toward the
mollusky dance-floor.
And if honey leaks from
eyes bent to breezes,
eyes like peach
pits, fragrant and useless
let the blooming dreamers
over their shadows
toward the gray scrimmage
the czar disappears into
the rain's rumpled plumage
my heart's gong-bruised knees
buckling through branches.
It's bee-spit
that blows me
I admit
and you

"It's curtains, ars poetica"
Is this why I stand at my oeil-de-boeuf,
blowing sugar bubbles at that guy
in the snazzy black hood?
Nipples and waffles rustle
a mean last week, ruffle
the constellations oar-locked
along our shower curtain.
A falling,
my heart,
a crocus stalls
at dawn.
Street noise adjusts
its head, tumbled
among the oak leaves.
At home in the bushes, thimble-
berries fill, advance a plump sortie.
O thermostat!
Preside like a priest
over our mouths,
Somewhere, an offhanded window
winks from a sea-drowned cabin.
On the dock, faded paint
suggests "submerged rock."
Underwater, you there, you hear?

Editor's Note: "Thoughts of Falling, Pollen, Pare" and "It's Curtains, ars poetica" were previously published in Chicago Review 50:2/3/4 Winter 2004/5. They are reprinted here with the author's permission.
Editor's Note: Some projective elements of these poems have been lost to left alignment. If anyone can tell me how to format text more precisely in Blogger, the information would be appreciated.
All work copyright © 2006 Kristy Odelius and Seven Corners


Washington Poets Association said...

Kristy, Steve,

Kudos for you on this clean, elegant site and its strong work. I noticed the mention of projectivism. I have been studying PV for over ten years. Is there an interest from your end Kristy? Would welcome yr thots.

Paul Nelson
Auburn, WA

Christine said...

Nice work. To format correctly in blogger, try the pre cut before and after the poem. Just put "pre" in brackets as you would the command for "bold".

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