Meet the Poets: Christine Klocek-Lim

In honor of National Poetry Month, I’m delighted to feature several talented writers on the blog, beginning this week with Christine Klocek-Lim.

Christine is an acquisitions editor for Evernight Teen and Evernight Publishing, and the editor of Autumn Sky Poetry Christine Klocek-LimDAILY. She received the 2009 Ellen La Forge Memorial Prize in poetry and has written four chapbooks: Ballroom – a love story (Flutter Press 2012), Cloud Studies – a sonnet sequence (Whale Sound 2011), The book of small treasures (Seven Kitchens Press 2010), and How to photograph the heart (The Lives You Touch Publications 2009). She is also the author of the bestselling young adult novel, Disintegrate (Evernight Teen, 2013). Her science fiction novel, Who Saw the Deep (Evernight Publishing, 2013) was a Semifinalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Awards 2012.

Christine’s work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and was a finalist for 3 Quarks Daily’s Prize in Arts & Literature, Black Lawrence Press’ Black River Chapbook Competition, and the Kenneth & Geraldine Gell Poetry Prize. She was also a semi-finalist for the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award, the Sawtooth Poetry Prize, the Philip Levine Prize in Poetry, and for the Brittingham and Pollak Poetry Prizes.

Today’s poem is one of Christine’s favorites and is included in her upcoming full-length poetry book, Dark Matter, to be published this autumn by Aldrich Press. It first appeared in Diode, Vol. 3, No.2, January 2010 and was nominated by Diode for Sundress Best of the Net 2010. Christine says:

“I wrote this poem on April 21, 2008, as part of my astronomy series and for NaPoWriMo [National Poetry Writing Month]. When I began writing it, I was thinking of my great-grandmother, and then my grandmother, and then my mother. My mother is still alive and doing well, but my grandmother and great-grandmother are gone now. I tried to imagine what it must be like to face what must be eternal darkness: the end of life. I wanted to imagine it as something joyful as well as frightening, and this poem came from that idea.”

Please join me in welcoming Christine to the blog. You can find her on the Web at http://christinekloceklim.com/.

* * *
Supernova remnant Cassiopeia A 
 
One night the angels came
for her, rustling their wings
in the starlight. She was sleeping.
They grasped her arms and ankles,
lifting her away as though
she weighed nothing at all.
The next morning her feet ached
and her daughter gave her comfort.
That night again they took her,
carrying her past the atmosphere.
She told them she wanted to see
Cassiopeia and they brought
her to the mountains of creation,
dipping her hands and toes in the dust.
She woke dreaming of beauty
but could not walk. Her shoulders
ached and for the first time
she feared. Again in the darkness
the angels found her, hiding
in the bathroom, holding her arms
around her heart. They sang
and she fell asleep. This time
she remembered nothing but
could not smile. In the morning
she found feathers in the bed.
When night came she lay awake
in the dark, pinching her skin,
imagining grief as they gathered
around her. She did not speak
as they pulled her close, pressing
their fingers against her eyes,
brushing their lips to her hair.
She wept and did not look back.
The angels laughed, pretending
happiness, but she felt how they
trembled, holding her too tightly
for hours. That morning she discarded
fear to explain love to her daughter
but by nightfall she knew the angels
had gone and she braided her hair
with sorrow. And when she died
she dreamed of angels crying
in the explosion, scattering
their light in the infinite dark.
Cassiopeia A

Cassiopeia A





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2 thoughts on “Meet the Poets: Christine Klocek-Lim

  1. Pingback: Poem of the Week: “After the Reading” – Postcards From My Head

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