THE GOODBYE ANIMALS
Winner of the 2014
Turtle Island Poetry Award
The poems composing this intricately and finely woven chapbook form a sequence that opens with the words of Octavio Paz, telling us-or in this case Katherine-to "speak to you in stone language/(answer with one green syllable". And, oh, the language that pours forth within that syllable! The poems encompass our birth from the amniotic fluid of mother and of universe, the animals and plant life that share this ark with us before melting back into the ark as we do, the loves and lives of those we know and are of a part. They explore in passionate and often painful, reverential tones "the levels beyond my first floor ocean room…sliced from the first-hand world of chocolate sofas and perfume."
Throughout, with her keen eye for imagery and wholeness of understanding, we experience intimately, the power and unity of all things animate and inanimate that are born as we are from the center of nova suns that spread their chemical trails and seeds across the frozen space of time until that unbearable darkness lands upon or forms some distant island where it can reflect back upon the light from which it came
--poet Jared Smith, August, 2014
Eclipse crawls another silvery ball.
Black, some say, equals simplicity.
A lack of intimacy-the way my student wanted
"nature to be straightforward, all those dumb personifications cut.
So what if it's just a place where the animals eat each other up?"
Soon I'll have the moon to myself
and need to move on
Me, my own
pawn in the where-to
Once I was sure of something The Russian port of Murmansk
had a mammal that sounded like it and then I recalled marmot
In that mouthful lived what I'd been looking for-not furry
exactness but the yearning out of ahs That spaciousness
before the word comes for mountain
One can wait years for the right meaning of departure
The dog howls after the car drives away
He waits under the tree his protest
its own arrival
Katherine Soniat is a poet and educator whose seventh collection Bright Stranger (Louisiana State University Press) will be released in spring, 2016. The Swing Girl (LSU Press), was selected as Best Collection of 2011 by the Poetry Council of North Carolina and A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge (Dream Horse Press) appeared in 2012. A Shared Life won The Iowa Prize given by the University of Iowa Press, and a Virginia Prize for Poetry, selected by Mary Oliver. Soniat has been on the faculty at Hollins University and Virginia Tech. Work appears in journals such as Women's Review of Books, Poetry, Iowa Review, Virginia Quarterly, Hotel Amerika, Denver Quarterly, and Connotations Press, among others. Presently she teaches in The Great Smokies Writers Program/UNC-Asheville.
The Goodbye Animals is a 40 page hand-sewn chapbook - $10.00.
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