ISSUE 23 KCMO Series Intro // Edited by Jordan Stempleman
The Hourly Floated Up (Death Pt. II)
"Caw caw Lord Lord." I think these final lines from "Kaddish" have always mesmerized me. The way death pulls us toward and away from speech. Toward and away from the material and the spiritual. And so I think that in this poem, I let the poem remind me when I could rely on sense and patterns of speech and when I should just sound. A poem, like death, is pretty great at telling you when you might know something, when you might want to look around or look beyond, and when you might want to find the chorus, the real burden that demands repeating. This poem was recorded in my basement with the artwork of my kids behind me.
Jordan Stempleman is the author of eight collections of poetry including Wallop and No, Not Today (Magic Helicopter Press). He co-edits The Continental Review, serves as the faculty editor for Sprung Formal, and curates A Common Sense Reading Series.