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Slaves to Do These Things: dark shadows in Neo-Classical hallways.

Byline: Reprint from Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Slaves to Do These Things

Author: Amy King

Publisher: BlazeVOX

Date of Publication: 2009

Pages: 94

“Blackness, blackness draggin’ me down
Come on light a candle in this heart of mine”
- from This Flight Tonight by Nazareth

Slaves to Do These Things, is poetry that flies in dark, fantastical spaces a progression in Goth, a new take on the New Age Renaissance Republic of Poetry. Amy King (Poet/essayist/teacher) teaches English and Creative Writing at a New York College. She ran “The Stain of Poetry” reading series with Ana Bozicevic (2006 – 2010), administrates the Women’s Poetry Listserv (WOMPO) and is on the executive board of VIDA: Woman in Literary Arts. She has written books and Chapbooks and has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes as well as winning other awards.

This poetry plays within dark shadows in Neo-classical hallways. Images of death, the earth and the body transpire in realistic dark and fetid places, the places no one usually celebrates or dwells upon. The contrast in life is the nature imagery, the worship of God and His creation, the interplay of dark and light images suggest a dialectic, as if a battle cry for the soul. Just as the poetry begins to fly into heaven, it falls to the ground and then the cycle begins over again. The scorched pages of poetry are caught, as if roiling in a Satanic forecourt, with glimpses of the Spiritus woman seeking redemption. As if paradise lost, love lost, the violence in death wish when it flies into nature imagery, flies into the light.


Buried by midnight

I am a warm

fly in amber.

A reflection buzzes

against my wings’

vision quest:

this window square

above the Atlantic,

leading me down the lane

by moonlight’s hand

beneath the shadow’s sun

in oil-blue water,

a darker planetary hug

of crooked limb

with etched-on hand.

You have not listened

to the tones of trees,

our branches, our trunks,

calm as axes,

gathered roots beneath

a sheer drop of future stars,

at least.

We flicker too,

stone-white skeletons

modeled on the earth’s

black-bloated heart,

her skinny boots

that march circles

on the universe.

We go around in them,

meeting ourselves

behind our backs,

knocking the boney

knockers of spines

with parading breath.

One side strikes

the other: language cheapens?

We speak where all symbols

want power

such as a door which opens,

takes persimmons to its lover,

the other side, to no knock.

We can’t remind the lover

to love any more

than we can love ourselves

without the lover,

borne by the landing of light.”


Beneath cabbage wings I lie,

attending midnight.

Your garden breathes.

Such spongy soil bed

enfolds & opens –

earthworms poke my legs,

knee high socks,

a way in.

This delinquent disguise

as you sleep away,

air-conditioned strip

of earth behind

burnt building, Brooklyn

sidewalk and me,

lost weed, skulled

tulip with scalloped eye.

A view to escape within.”

The poetry is considered, it spins out in full thought forms in broken transgression. A broken thought tree, each line carries a different image, at its best it is fantastical and then spins into Surrealist nightmare, in dark flights of fancy. The original use of language and presentation of form make this a new take in poetic climes. This Writer celebrates the spins into light, the art nouveau in fantastical places. Slaves to Do These Things by Amy King.

Available @ Amazon Canada.

Available @ Amazon United States.

Available @ Amazon United Kingdom.

Genre: Poetry, New Age, Women's Literature

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