Poetry, process, progress.

Day Two: Karen Craigo

Day Two: Karen Craigo

This poem is from Karen Craigo’s 2016 chapbook, Escaped Housewife Tries Hard to Blend In, available from Hermeneutic Chaos Press. A bit of a disclaimer–some poets I know in real life, others I don’t. Po-biz is a small world compared to some others and it doesn’t take too many degrees of separation to reach anyone. Karen and I were a year apart in the same MFA program and might have similar aesthetics, but in the end, I think we are actually very different poets. One thing I think we do share is deceptive clarity, a positive thing that can be mistaken by the too-quick reader as poetry that is too prose-like or not very deep. Oh dear. However, I think Craigo’s poetry fills a much needed place in contemporary poetry in that it gives voice to the otherwise unvoiced and shows that narrative poetry is still a living, breathing poetic choice. Interested in more? Her 2015 book No More Milk is available from Sundress Publications.

Escaped Housewife Gives Three Good Reasons for Taking Up the Bagpipes

On occasion she has cried
herself our—out of breath,
out of salt, head hot and humming,
she has heard her voice wane
before she has said all
she has to say.

The instrument holds screams
like a camel.
With the bag tucked
in the V of arm to body,
she can howl through her sleep
and rise ready
to start again.

One voice isn’t nearly
enough. She likes how each
stiff tentacle makes its own
reedy hiss to release her heart’s
ugly harmonies, to deflate
the leather sack
she lives in.