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By L. S. Klatt

On the outside, L. S. Klatt’s poems are ethereal and humorous—with their stories of chickens wandering the highways of Ohio and Winnebago trailers rolling as much as heaven and whales bumping like watermelons in a bathtub—but slightly below the skin they flip disconcertingly critical as they have fun the fluent word.
 Under the warmth of inquiry, below the strain of metaphor, the poems in Cloud of Ink liquefy, bend, and serpentine as they search occasionally a brand new and infrequently an historical vacation spot. They current the reader with existential questions as they side-wind into the barbaric; the pear is figured as a “wild boar” and the octopus is “gutted,” but primal energies minimize a pathway to the paranormal and the transcendent. The poetic cosmos Klatt creates is loquacious and gorgeous, unusual and affirmative, yet by no means obvious. Amid “a maelstrom of inklings,” the writer—and the audience—must puzzle out the which means of the syllabary.

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D. Salinger, Recluse, Dies at 91 The snow is definite & not less definite for its quickness to melt. Deft as the Snowshoe the flurry, sleety, runs along the face, the face a fence &, within, the brain gambols. Leapers whose nerves were fervent are not. And yet the light feet were felt. He felt them in a warren made of weather. There is blood in the cheek where time has thickened the mask, & when the saliva has icicled, his pigment is lost in plaster. Consider the silence a White Period. 45 Figment in Pink & Transcendental The flamingo stumbles into a tool shed next to the weed whacker, the hoe, the fertilizer, the sack of concrete where baby mice nest.

Wary is the H-Bomb; its light wobbles, feeling ancient. Here come the Giants. They are not crestfallen; they pitch their yawps because the world is swale, the wind blows, the once was now is, now is not. Was there ever a reason to think otherwise? 27 Acqua Alta A sad iceberg & swamped Venice: a plate of squid ink, a granule of sugar on the lip. The Adriatic scribbles in the polygons. We tourists, too, are signatures. How many lions stuck on sticks & stones before espresso cups turn in their saucers at St.

How many lions stuck on sticks & stones before espresso cups turn in their saucers at St. Mark’s? Masons who levitate square, rhombus, & trapezoid: sink your hands into the mortar, the smalls of your backs. 28 Burano Island, whose houses are chromatic, floats in the Adriatic, an islet so small it forgot how to swim. Imagine this city absorbed in lapis an inkblot. Say to the mapmakers: the polis justifies itself. Its campanile reaches for a savior, leans. 29 Reading In the stern of the sailboat a god neither invited nor expected pilots a rudder through space.

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