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Thursday October 19, 2017
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K. E. Allen

 

continued

In "From Alton Bay, New Hampshire, to Berlin" — a short prose fragment, perhaps a letter — she addresses a friend from whom she is separated and who is suffering his or her own series of fears and silences. She is willing to sound wise and helpful in the ways we expect from our friends:



I'm frightened and alive, letting the current carry me for once, rocking me within my stalwart wooden tomb. These trees. You write you feel your body disappearing: from what or whom do you wish to disappear? Name these things and mail them to me; I will gather them in a box I made from birch and send them sailing on the lake, in flames.



There is a belief here, in perception and in the power of words, the necessity of naming things. And in the water and boat images we get more of what ties this series of poems together: a sense of a voyage, necessary and beautiful, although with only vague and uncertain destinations.

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