For our March poet, we are proud to present KIM ROBERTS who lives and works in Washington D.C. She is a woman of the web whose spirit extends beyond the cloud's horizon; and more, she is a strong poet who sweeps her narrative into the science of life. Kim's work embodies the sensual and the intelligent with its melodic counterpoints. Although we have no choice but to move forward in life, what we leave behind is the content of the past and therefore a morality of its time. To read Kim Roberts is to know the imperative meaning of how it is to accept the world - said with vision and grace. -- Grace Cavalieri
Kim Roberts is the author of five books, most recently Animal Magnetism, winner of the Pearl Poetry Prize (Pearl Editions, 2011), and the anthology Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC (Plan B Press, 2010). She edits the literary journal Beltway Poetry Quarterly, co-edits the Delaware Poetry Review, and co-curates with Dan Vera the web exhibition DC Writers’ Homes. Roberts has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Humanities Council of Washington, and the DC Commission on the Arts, and has been a writer-in-residence at 14 artist colonies. Her poems have appeared in journals starting with every letter of the alphabet, and have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Mandarin. Her website: http://www.kimroberts.org.
The Lincoln sinks into the Potomac
with a sigh. Constitution Avenue,
weary of constraint, reverts to canal,
complete with stink and Spring floods.
Swamp reclaims the grounds
of the Washington Monument, and river
reclaims the rest, filling with masts
that glided in from the Chesapeake Bay.
All the mere human efforts
of the Army Corps of Engineers
have come to naught. The Kennedy Center's
massive bunker, like a Soviet tank, slides
under the gurgling mud and the bridges dissolve,
their long lines of cars a dim specter.
Across the wide dirt roads downtown
Walt Whitman strides in his boots,
kicking up clouds of dust that eddy in his wake
—until he, too, wavers and melts
amid white columned buildings,
the classical ruins of grand intent.
LIFE OF CRIME
"Crime is like art, and the artist has always understood the
criminal...Both are terrified of exposure."
He works at night, alone.
Prowling the city, he finds a recent murder
and ruins the evidence, stealing blood for red.
The signs in the park warn: Closed at dusk.
No unleashed dogs. Stay on the paths.
He steals all the grass for green.
He borrows library books under an alias
and never returns them. If your name
is on the card, you'll show up
in his next painting. He breaks and enters
your dreams for three weeks,
stealing your blue. He defaces buildings,
urinates against walls, exposes himself.
He steals the fear of young women for yellow.
Antisocial. Immature. He's no model citizen.
But he's a hard worker, you could at least
admire that, every night wrapped
in his canvas like a mummy, wrestling
with the same damn colors.
Does love reside in the body? No heart is heart-shaped.
No star is star-shaped. And none have currency. By the time light travels such distance,
it’s already spent.
These mistakes go on and on. Misconceptions sown in the body. A new house is best
when it is half-built, and you have to imagine the walls.
Sometimes inchoate things shine brightest. I think love is locked in the heart of the house,
how we played at living there, inhabiting outlines, touching the frame.
© Kim Roberts, all rights reserved