Cover painting by Steven Chapp, Black Dog Press / home.infionline.net/~sachapp/
"The Harper Handbook to Literature defines 'closet drama' as 'a play written for reading in the
"closet," or private study ... [rather] than acted,' which implies a language so turgid that actors
cannot say the lines in public. Yet the speaker of these poems is not an ethereal woman in a white dress
up to her chin, in love with her staged mystery. The lusts of her language belie the claim of alienation
with 'a raingutter grin.' Indeed, these strong poems range throughout the western United States, picking
up impressions of mountains, forests, seacoasts and plains, as well as the edgy glitz of Las Vegas,
weaving them into the biography of a new sensibility. Imagine, then, an engaged person like this who can
write the whiskers off her cats. Out of a 'hook of nothingness,' out of the fantasy of at least making
her life useful to someone other than ghosts, comes this 'comeback to your tough question,' comes this
strikingly fresh, original power of generating metaphor after staggering metaphor." —William Tremblay
"Kandie St. Germain's Closet Drama is poetry that's unconditionally meant to be read.
Its power to convince us that it also has been performed, experiencedand might be
by other actors such as ourselvescompels us to read on. The woman who sees
'weight no one else can see,' who tells 'a semi-god's story,' possesses an amphibious
heart 'inviting gamblers in to try their luck.' With unblinking vision, she tracks her
forebears' and her own migrations through geography and relationships. She takes
and sets lures, becomes one herself in poems that repeatedly catch us in the drama
of a liferevealed, examined, cherished:
... since tantamount to miracles, everything
In our warm-blooded air will perish,
We vow to become a beautiful fossil,
The river & our children &
All our days together impressed
Onto the stone we drift slowly by."
"Kandie St. Germain's poems do what poems should dothey shape her experiences into
truth. They do not confess or whine or witness, they simply sing with joy, humor, grit,
and grief. The last poem, 'Heart,' just about breaks my damn old own." —Gary Thompson
The Galactic Suicide
Into my empty atmosphere,
The retro-rockets fire.
Close to water, parachutes
And striped swimming suits
Open. But still the hospital
Sheets, a black phone that only dials
Outside while I recall the whole world
Varnished in sections of blue pearl.
I hang on to that image or even
The flat, yellow pollen
Of the rural moon
In the morning, in pictures, at dawn,
Or rows of white pumpkins
Growing old in Halloween wind.
In a blossom of white suit, I tumble
Outside, my thumbs
Up. My helmet's sewn shut.
I know one clean peek, and I could suffer
Before I die, suffocate,
The air skimpy, the air late.
Again my mother takes a pregnancy test.
No one believes her emptiness.
© by Kandie St. Germain