The Fire Circle
Published: Feb. 2015
Within: Delphi Series Vol. 1
“In Karen George’s The Fire Circle, worlds collide in transformative ways. The very real aspects of daily life—including the loss of a loved one—mingle with the beauty of nature and the ephemera of the spirit world. Mountain trails, bedrooms, and even buffets become portals to an inner realm where shape-shifting memories and meanings are found through the observations of a determinedly open heart. These prose poem meditations crackle with the heat of emotion and the light of intuition.”—Rochelle Hurt
Prepare to be transported. The Fire Circle is a collection grounded in place, whether in muddy nature or a sterile ICU or a discount bookstore. Karen George takes you with her to all of these environs and more, in prose poems that are rooted in natural rhythms and lush description. What the poet offers is a frank look around, and it is a look that lovingly takes in everything, then hands it to you in its purest form on the page. These are poems that reward repeated attention.—Karen Craigo,
Karen L. George’s books include Into the Heartland (Finishing Line Press, 2011), Inner Passage (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), Swim Your Way Back (Dos Madres Press, 2014), and The Seed of Me (Finishing Line Press, 2015), has received grants from Kentucky Foundation for Women and Kentucky Arts Council. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Louisville Review, Permafrost, Naugatuck River Review, Still, Wind, and Blue Lyra Review. She holds an MFA from Spalding University, and is fiction editor of the journal Waypoints. Visit her website at http://karenlgeorge.snack.ws/.
Inscription in Frida Kahlo’s Masterpieces, Half-Priced Books
Inside: cramped letters inscribed on the title page, signed Heath, January 9th—the day my husband died fifteen years ago. Addressed to Miyuki, the words so familiar, in Lou’s voice: I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affection, and the truth of the imagination—Keats from a letter to a friend. While Bright Star credits rolled, the actor recited “Ode to a Nightingale” in a whisper. Like John and Fanny, I imagine Heath and Miyuki lovers. He gave her the art book on their anniversary. But she never liked Frida’s art; its rawness reminded Miyuki of botched love.
The pages virginal, turned by me only. I feel Heath’s fervor buying the book, his joy as Miyuki rips speckled tissue, touches the cover, mouths the words inside—the only time she opens the book. On her cocktail table like an albatross—one more thing she never explores. But I want to linger on the moment she sees her lover’s cursive, loops she follows across the page. I see her seated, eyes closed, palms pressed to Frida’s face as Heath speaks the words he knows by heart.
—first appeared in Star 82 Review