August 2006

George Kalamaras


George Kalamaras George Kalamaras is the author of five books of poetry, three of which are full-length: Even the Java Sparrows Call Your Hair (Quale Press, 2004), Borders My Bent Toward (Pavement Saw Press, 2003), and The Theory and Function of Mangoes (Four Way Books, 2000), which won the Four Way Books Intro Series. He is the recipient of creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1993) and the Indiana Arts Commission (2001), and first prize in the 1998 Abiko Quarterly International Poetry Prize (Japan). He is Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he has taught since 1990.
Azoic Bottom    

Now we come to the study of yellow mud, of the skeptical dredges, of the
     azoic bottom.
The glowing photograph of a fish was all we had, and we continuously
     referred to it as the fish.

Then there were forty-nine years in the throat, the threat of belonging to a
The occasional cable tottering in our tonsils like a miserable struggle.

Sure, we became human for a purpose.
Yes, the sperm and ovum united to form the medulla oblongata, from which
     our sea-fluid selves emerged.

When my wife soaks in bath salts.
When she laces the stew with particles of fire.

When the muscle relaxes among the flowering beds of epsom dress.
When dining out, I crave the waitress's sway and what she keeps firm
     between her legs.

The darkest part of a whaleboat is the killing floor.
Physically hurt by speech, I flop around, harpoon-strong, cognizant of my one
     hole of breath, crowding down the long word of my life into what I was,
     into what I might become.



George Kalamaras: Poetry
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