Ah Poetry. That's what you hear from anyone who writes it or knows its historic trajectory with the public--this, despite the fact that if you read Poets & Writers, what is for many the premier source for lists of writing markets and articles on the art, there are more prizes and calls for poetry today than ever before. I hold hope for poetry, the good kind, for when it is good, it perdures longer than any other kind of writing.
Friend Douglas A. Fowler, whose poetry chapbook, Condensed Matters and Other States of Mind, was published by Finishing Line Press a few years back, recently let me borrow another chapbook of poems, A Lovely Box by C. Kubasta, published in 2012 by the press.
Kubasta's poetry is intelligent, imaginative, powerful, textured and provocative, the best I've read in years. She combines stories and plays on words with academic observations and notations, poses provocative questions and demands intelligence of the reader. Her poems strive to uncover truth and meaning beneath the layers of lies and expectations woven into a woman's identity. There are multiple allusions to psychology, philosophy and the unholy discoveries of her poetic ancestors, Plath and Sexton, and other artists as she searches language and history and endeavors to pin kernels of the elusive self in a variety of ways and voices:
"Even in my dreams
trying to sort flotsam from jetsam,
which is which.
"Brambles and urging of unsent letters
and not-so-subconscious desires, words
cobble to me like a shoe to a foot: more fairy tales
told in Plath voice."
A Wisconsin native, Kubasta teaches English and Gender Studies at Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; her work has been published in numerous publications such as The Spoon River Poetry Review and The Notre Dame Review.
To purchase Kubasta's chapbook or read more about Finishing Line Press, go to finishingpress.com. Finishing Line Press runs out of Kentucky and publishes the work of overlooked and brilliant poets in chapbook form on a yearly basis.