We Are Starved

Joshua Kryah. CLP (Univ. of Oklahoma, dist.), $16.95 (82p) ISBN 978-1-885635-17-4
Through the jagged couplets and one-line stanzas of Kryah's second collection of poems runs an unsettling but graceful drama of consumption and consolation. In an act of "cannibalization" of spiritually minded sources (Yeats, John Donne, St. Augustine, others) that is less a quest than it is the creation of a sustained state of existence, Kryah (Glean) opens up a space in which the reality of the body can be explored and made significant without sacrificing the metaphysical: "that darkness," he writes, "though the habitation of jackals, of wolves, of boys beating the bushes// to force you into the open, is ours." In this world, the vestiges of a personal history are indeed present, but the figure repeatedly bodied forth is hunger itself: a shape-shifting omnipresent entity that becomes metaphor first for desire but ultimately comes to signify love, poverty, family, home, community, and the foundations of any human identity. If on the one hand the book explores the contours of personal grief and guilt ("the frothing of those hounds I keep deep inside me"), while on the other it plumbs the depths of a general and universal condition of bodily and spiritual "starvation," registering and giving back the forms of "all of us moving in the shape of our own hunger." (July)
Reviewed on: 07/25/2011
Release date: 07/01/2011
Ebook - 83 pages - 978-1-4571-1161-7
Ebook - 83 pages - 978-1-4571-1686-5
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