Sunday, December 5, 2010



Carry Catastrophe by Megan Kaminski
(Grey Book Press, 2010)

The cover of this chapbook has a squiggly drawing and on the inside this explanation: "Cover graphic borrowed from Wikipedia listing for 'cusp catastrophe' which is represented by the equation V=x4 + as2 + bx."

Last nite at a downtown Lawrence, Ks bookstore surrounded by insane shoppers and students celebrating KU's one point victory over UCLA to remain unbeaten....blah blah blah....Megan Kaminski read the text from her new chapbook. Which is pretty darn good. Better even.

Without any of my own definitions to help contain the title...I can only listen then and now re-read the text. As laid out it is one following another in a kind of 'call and response' format, if I can say that.

What is pleasing and engaging about Kaminski's text is her ability to collect words that fit closely and stick together yet not weighed down by unnecessary attractions. More direct I can say that the title and its explanation have no meaning for me as I listen or read. That gives me some added space to ponder the authors creation..not her title.

As example, here two helpings:

It felt as if the bank was walking
passed from river to cloud to concrete
concrete to tree each limb breaking our expanse
expand lung capacity to carry another day
hold brittle bits from the sun
carped china shatter finger pick
from bones toss bricks track
                  roots into clay

And on the page opposite:
Here I
am resting
glub glub
plodding towards
of grass.

I think that today when a poet becomes able to rise above the familiar and return with something of a twist to the tired old beaten down....that river....we should celebrate....just a little. As here Ms. Kaminski takes us...invites us....lures us...or maybe just going along for us. However it seems...

The only thing wrong with this chapbook is its length.


Jim McCrary blogs at This is him with cat:

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