October 18, 2014


Craig Kurtz lives at Twin Oaks Intentional Community where he writes poetry while simultaneously handcrafting hammocks.

Recent work has appeared in Allegro, Bird’s Thumb, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, BlazeVOX, Blotterature, Brev Spread, Drunk Monkeys, Literati Quarterly, Indigo Rising, The Recusant, Teeth Dreams, Three and a Half Point 9, Tower Journal and Veil.

Poetry Features: My  Debut Divorce,  Library of the Unknown, A System of Seasons

My Début Divorce

Ticklish, peculiar; awkward nerves,
unfastened drama.
Dropping through the trapdoors,
an invigorating education.
Spotlight of a hundred eyes,
the orchestra tentatively tuned.
Onstage as an amateur,
performing fresh
out of rehearsal.

Microphones squawk and pop,
the auditorium adjusts commotion.
Disembodied cues, distorted teleprompters;
bustling hubbub, refracted affidavits —
such is the agony of injured preparation.
The monologue demands a business face,
the persiflage confronts sang-froid.
The script recedes from my recall,
this act is unprofessional.

The curtain lifts uneasily,
the cheap seats glower for red meat.
Stifled coughs plague the balcony,
stage hands crash through scenery
dispatching costumes and playbills.
Flash bulbs gasp; megaphones recoil.
Uttering my courteous retort,
I curse acoustics which devour
finer lines with typo quirks.

The critics jot, box-office slumps,
comedians cashier complimentary drinks.
Paralyzed receipts are tabbed,
somersaults can’t save this troupe.
Drollery mistimed, intermission waived,
editing applied unpunctually.
Such is theater, life unextemporized.
Plagiarism is predestined, and thespians
(such as I) desiderate a second act.

Library of the Unknown

The books by my bed,
miscellaneous mutterings at rest,
possess the intimacies
of consuetude made vaguely
reassuring, like sage axioms and
excerpts that amplify their own
examples. Each word is imbricated 
like the days inside a decade,
folded over, absent-minded,
into abdicated minutes.

The sentences twist and twirl
and make the quotidian versified
albeit after hours, perhaps
bathing, no doubt tired,
more assuaging than a dinner.
The search for the momentous
will make any number of us
audit, but we often settle into dusty 
inculcations of placating narratives. 
Is contentedness so wearying?

What disruptions do I fret
when I parse a foreign fount,
some author on a spine illegibly pronounced? 
These may be the books encouraging
conclusions alien and straining
inveterate acknowledgements.
And yet my fingers here, arrested,
touch a page of queer intent, and make
requests of latitude soon petitioning
kismet. I’ll read without the lights.

A million volumes multiplied by
immeasurable purpose, and the reasons
for research are aporetic and abstruse.
The point of reading is exposure
to the unfamiliar. Apprehensions
slow the diction and vocabulary gets
distracted by susceptible disturbances
which are the process of becoming
erudite in heteroclite environs. I can discover
only what is undiscovered: you, unboundedly.

A System of Seasons

If I could
I would chose
all the seasons
next to you.

First comes spring
with dew-drop feet,
expanding clouds
suggest accomplishment;
the coffee’s on,
the air is new,
your stride is strong:
the odds gets launched.

Now summer comes
from colors primed,
a world to etch
and animate;
a lunch of health
aims stints apace,
your crest is coined
from orb transformed.

Then fall arrives
with wide enclaves
of plans to frame
in expert light;
your hands ply thoughts
from fertile sight
to edit earth
as muscles flexed.

Soon, too soon,
the frost decrees
an apex reached
at dinner’s chord;
your meed resolves
entelechy, this planet
bears your signature:
now rest replete.

If I could
I would chose
all these systems
right with you.

~Craig Kurtz

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