Konig ‘Species’

Lovely 22 page 20 poem collection on Bad Betty Press. What struck me quickest was the visual nature of its flirtation with light verse, despite circumventing imagism (the language is more compressed than it is concise)

The purple sea urchins are not to blame

first line of the first poem, ‘Orphans’

and how they and the language foreshadow the poetess and her art

We had everything:
water, honey, each other.
Some glaciers were left,

‘Letter from the Past’

which seems to me just as visual, just as the species foreshadow human concerns. Those four points work out for me extremely satisfactorily, even while a line or triangulation from them might seem rudimentary.

I would want to know that Konig is a biologist (there is no mention of this in the 5 line biography); the only long poem is a found poem titled ‘Potter’s Field, Hart Island Archive’:

Plot 175
Female Unknown, age 25, buried for 33 years.

There is a depth to its simplicity that belies the obvious allusion to Reznikoff. I am intrigued how a more careful reading might wind these deaths into the rest of the poems.

I think the shadow is music, which I personally feel may be too thickly textured in the wrong places (IMPERSONALITY), but is far from displeasing otherwise, if only due to the sense of content disappearing (into Konig?). The last line, like the movement of the collection as a whole, is difficult to place: perhaps Gluck

The waves blinked
a last invitation.

So I Could, So I Did

and the title of the closing poem sits well, both its playful inversion of expectation and its person.