animal, vegetable, monster | Kristy Bowen

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What does it mean to be an artist in a world full of monsters?  What does it mean to be the monster?  This collection rifles through dusty museum halls and neglected cabinet drawers to get at the nature of art and creation in the face of danger--to the body, the heart, to the earth---and how art can both save us and destroy us at the same time.  


A writer and book artist working in both text and image,  Kristy Bowen creates a regular series of chapbook, zine, and artist book projects. Since 2005, she has blogged about writing, art, and other creative pursuits at dulcetly: notes on a bookish life. She is the author of several full-length collections of poetry/prose/hybrid work, including the recent SEX & VIOLENCE (Black Lawrence Press, 2020), and the self-issued DARK COUNTRY and  FEED (dancing girl press, 2021).  



You can lead a poem to water, but you can’t make it drink. Or more, you can’t make it sink. The throat clogs with dead leaves and branch rot, but something beats beneath the detritus. I’ve killed more poems than I’ve let survive, but the hive buzzes with a thousand wingless monsters.  Tiny mongrels missing a leg, an eye. They scarce know their own dried husks. The hush of bodies humming together. How we were wrong when we thought their brokenness contained them. Rattled its way into their tiny exoskeletons and squeezed out the air.  Days later, we’d find them fluttering, alive, against the windows. Fused together, many-limbed, and blind.