Saturday, January 29, 2011
Turtles All the Way Down
Wait! I'm not really a turtle, and neither is she. But this is a fun book in which the speaker is somehow both a middle-aged woman and a turtle...who listens to Janis Joplin.
Turtle Listens to Janis Joplin
She feels music through mud
mostly covering her closed shell.
She's perfectly still hearing Janis wail
through an extended "Ball and Chain."
With "Turtle Blues"
she seems not to move
but inside her horny shell
her unarticulated pelvis sways.
Yes, she's a horny middle-aged woman! And indeed "horny" works validly both ways because Kathryn studied biology as well as English, and knows, deeply, the ways of the turtle!
Because of the similarity of our names and occupations (I used to be an English teacher, too), Kathryn and I are sometimes confused with one another around town...OK, sometimes I'm horny, fine...and she used to think I was, like her, also a divorced mom raising two kids.
"I have a husband,"I said. This was at AWP one of the years it was in Chicago. It was the first time we'd really had a chance to sit down and get to know one another.
"What does he do?"
"He's an artist, and he does home repair."
"I have a home that needs repair."
The conversation really did go something like that! My husband then really did repair the home of this horny woman...sigh...and we all survived! (Kathryn has a sense of humor, as you will see in her poems, so I think she will forgive me all of this.)
So if Finishing Line Press has a table at AWP this year, pick up a copy of Turtles All the Way Down, by Kathyrn Kerr! Plus Redneck Yoga, by Tim Hunt. Plus Living on the Earth, by me!!