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126 I got a good sense of Kleven’s family in works such as “Once My Brother,” and “The Art of Darkness,” which resonates with so many of us whose parents are passing away. This is the west and Mother is the Sun. Days spent lowering can be longer than those spent rising. Her passion for love. “Magdelena” is an accessible, ironic, nostalgic look back at young womanhood in a certain era. She went after boys who looked like Jesus, sandaled, contemplative, guys with that crucified look.

CIRQUE There is the influence of Washington State and Alaska, the main places she has lived. The two-part poem, “Bridges,” rants at those who make decisions for and about Alaska and Alaskans. To all you bigwigs, I have to ask How did you get to be so stupid? Don’t ask me because I sure don’t know. What do they teach you in those schools, anyway? First, there is the chiding for the wasting of money to build a wheelchair ramp up to a new post office building in a remote village.

And a charming image in “Remnant.” They said I was precise and French, but teachers saw me for a flirt. Upside-down on a kitchen stool, he tickled the mouse I hid in my skirt.

. . . they wouldn’t be pushing themselves to the post office. They’d never make it. This village is all mud in summer, and in winter, snow and ice. Then Kleven lays into the scientists, and the very idea that people would have migrated to Alaska by foot. We got boats in summer. Always did. Do they think we trudged through the mud dragging our stuff behind? Kleven ends with a fine insult. What do they teach in those schools, anyway? Honest to God, I don’t know. Locks in stupidity, that’s what I think. Locks it right in. Sandra Kleven is currently seeking materials for Brandish, a collection of essential writing about life and work in rural Alaska; a socio-literary project. Defiance Street: Poems and Other Writing is available at VPD House.http://www. vpdhouse.com/ An early version of Emergency Rations, Goodrich’s new Ebook, was collected by Master Storyteller Donald Davis, of North Carolina. He said, “Yours are the stories of the heroic people we live with everyday.”

Cirque, Vol. 7 No. 1  

A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim

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