Thursday, December 22, 2011

from a tender explosion to a delicate dance

the music-box of tunes made of flints in Karime Limon's Hologram
Karime's Hologram

Those love poems
you keep hidden
from the world
in a dark drawer,
will be
the ones
to give you

 “Dearest Poet,”

“I dwell in Possibility… Of Chambers as the Cedars/ Impregnable of Eye And for an Everlasting Roof/ The Gambrels of the Sky” wrote Emily Dickinson, spreading under the guise of poetry that this is a house with numerous doors and windows open for access, for a variety of perspectives and interpretations, and whose fresh wind can travel across distant lands, as there will never be a limit to its motion except the endless sky.
Sat in the aurora of a sunrise which was to put out the stars, and after I had heard all day long those tactile footsteps clacking along that whitish, rotten mélange of concreteness and crudeness gathered on a road stuffed of sweat and tears like any other in the world, I was invited to step into a hall of words and to open up its several doors-after-windows towards something both fresh and plural by the name of Holograma collection of Bright Lights being reflected by a gifted voice and blown through a very peculiar expression of love of poetry.
Like Emily Dickinson, Karime Limon seems to dwell in Possibility. Her poetic voice points to a great number of possible entries and exits down the linesthe doors of wonderment, the windows of interpretationas if reflecting all the freedom available in poetry itself. She brings out a book of poems in which the words range from their state of dictionary, or their so-called concrete-flint form, to a multiple scenario of metaphors and tunes beyond Expression-land where they claim to be released from their quietness. Karime’s verses are, in this sense, a tender explosion since they meant to be read as a soft yet violent call for humanity, for the whole challenge encased both in the wind and its materialization in words, and for love after all.
Soft because of the poetess’ generosity in looking at reality without pretending its unit, or any synchronized rhythm, as a condition to its beauty. Violent because of her sensibility and accuracy in responding artistically, without acquiescence, to any singular attempt to imprison people, or to instill in them stereotyped sets of values and prompt responses to reality, to their own deep-down demands in life. For the Soulsays the poetessclaims to be free even to “get lost in a dark tangled forest.”[1]
“In a constant state of wonder,”[2] the lyrical voice coming from Karime’s poems is generous to our own Smallness in front of the fact that life is short and for the most part embroils all us in a tormented tick-tock route with its “no escaping” or “closing doors.” To this she firstly responds by offering “fluttering wings”[3] which do not resent what a crude reality gets to impose us; even if dressed in black, like “a worm out in the light”[4] aware of its dark and misery, the poetess does not decline to search for a less “crashing-down”[5] pathnot to show resignation, not to give up from a critical view on human’s sufferance, but “to give in to love.”[6] The sublimation of pain, as well as other powerful emotions, is indeed a way in to “recycle the good and the bad and make something wondrous.”[7] The poetess converts, thus, flints into tunes of wonderment and love, into something ready to “flow around, inside and out, down legs and feet” that can lead to the very state of hope,[8] in a sublime yet still concrete life’s forward motion that attempts all the time to escape from nausea and “plant some flowers,”[9] and in a tender reply to the Universe by letting it speak to her.[10] Like Emily Dickinson’s, Karime’s poems mirror a bird in a constant struggle to never let themselves be beaten down by life and their wings, broken or unable to embrace the power to hopeinasmuch as it rests in human’s soul the way a bird rests on its perch.[11]
Of course gloominess also exists in life and then blurs the boundaries between generosity and non-acceptance, which nauseates us profoundly. But when it happens to come out, when there may be no significant change in sight but “the same whisper, the same smell and sound,”[12] even when you feel “tiny, alone, and frightened”[13]like a lost, wiped out (any)(every(oneit might be time to “wait to hear a sound,”[14] to fly away to a new hope, and to start over.
What praises us the most in Karime’s poems, by the way, is her sensitiveness to penetrate deftly the kingdom of unsayable experiences, a space only a few words have ever entered into, where “lie the poems that wait to be written, paralyzed but not in despair,”[15] and then, by the power of silence and in the power of language, to “come closer and contemplate the words”[16] with their thousand secret facesthat is the best to do in order to rescue them from their state of dictionary and let them fly over the coldest, even saddest pages until they can be sparked. Writing poetry, in this sense, matches on “being stuck/ between a title/ and a blank page/ of a poem,”[17] the only one in the position not to be behold but to look at the word-culling/coining person “and sneers” yet pokes their eyes, enriches their vision to gets them involved in the poetic movement of contemplating, waiting, and letting the words emergethrough a tender explosion of lyricism and impetus, as soft and violent at the same time, and with no despair but patiently looking forward to being touched: “It is in the air/ in the water,/ in every atom,/ it can be right here/ in my hand/ and on your shoulder/ at the same time.”[18]
The way Karime subtly traces down a line between poetry and music chimes in with a delicate dance she also invites the reader to. Through a (non-ruled) rhyme scheme, metaphors, allusions, assonances and alliterations suggesting that the poem is up to be read as a music-box open for access, the lyrical I is immersed in a process that tastes like a mélange of words and sounds, or mostly like Tango as a poetic, fluid motion into life: a “voice that strikes you, hard like the high tide waves,” but that as well pours its lightness, its perfume, “and pulverizes you.”[19] 
There are, of course, recurrent images that allow us to think of a cycle of flints ready to be husked-and-shelled and finally transformed into tunes by the hands of a poet. This is, actually, when Karime’s poems grow in beauty and substance: to give the poem a foundation it is necessary to accept that it is, as all the other things in life, and exactly like people themselves, an organic matter at first. This is, to my knowledge, where lies Karime Limon’s deepest sensibility: to conceive of the very process of writing poetry on the way to lyricism but without neglecting its material, touchable condition. Which is, indeed, what makes people similar to each other and different at the same time; what makes anybody and any body “as all the others/ in the ground,/ in the air” yet so very much “Uniquely/ Irreplaceable,” such as an organic matter that “cannot be recycled,” and since it remains unique as well as one of the same; either in relation to a vast whole or reduced to its essence like a minute particle, that “dissolve[s] into the soil / and nurture[s]/ new life.”[20]
Not by chance, the real Hologram being produced and reflected by the poetess does not look like something made of a “halting voice.” Quite the contrary, Karime’s gravitating towards poetry feeds off concreteness, even like a leaf gently wafted by the airthis is the realm she penetrates, captures her Bright Lights, and gives them back (to the reader), as if telling us, offhandedly yet subtly, that reality is also to poetry, and that she is somewhat “sick of limited lyricism, of flirting lyricism, of all lyricism which surrenders to anything which is not its true self.”[21]
Her night feels like a “hot cup of coffee” and has the “smell of a cigar.”[22] Words like “ground”[23] and “hand(s)”[24] are used to suggest that her Hologram, in the sense of a metalanguage for the very act of making poetry, also hovers on the brink of some great imagery leading us to understand the balance between the flint and the tune, the wing and the flight.[25]
As Karime seems to be highly interested in Freedom (not only as a concept but especially as a matter for her poetry) and in Hope (as an eternal and everywhere-gift that should exist for all of us), Love is a theme that she returns to repeatedly. It feels, smells, and sounds like “this Everything” which cuts across all our realities, undermines the pain and differences to immediately spark the process of discovering and displaying Oneself and our Otherness(es), irrespective of how silent, secret or unknown they must be. Also, regardless of some criticism a gesture of dismantling sacred concepts of the Beautiful and the Misfit may bring to someone: even the “weeds are beautiful and strong,” “They want to soften up the hard streets for our feet,” “Poor weeds,/ they are not the enemy…”[26]
Of course there is a logic behind it: “finding love, over and over again,”[27] or “just Loving,”[28] yet in front of the Unknown or the (apparently) Ugly/Dangerous, is the only way to not quiet down “the calling of [our] Soul,”[29] the Freedom of our own demand for life, this one we cannot command over with one-sided lessons, or set limits to because it is beyond us.
After being delicately designed by language as a diamond-flint, the highest flight the lyrical I engage in is what mostly seems to give rise to Karime’s poetical motion: she returns to the same theme of Love again and again, from different perspectives, employing different metaphors, and drawing different conclusions. From the pure light of Love to its concrete expression in life, it is absolutely impressive the way it happens to equal the most powerful bridge tra il sogno e il dolore, between the human and the divine search for Humanitywhere one appears to be linked to another.
With generous words of Love she finishes her Hologram, by the way; and in large scale pointing to this strong connection between the drop and the ocean, between one human and another: “At times/ I wonder if/ We will meet some day,/ but then I realize,/ We are always together.”[30]
And then, as a visitor, feeling like poetry’s limitlessness is not just useful for the poet own growth, edification, and exploration, but also for the sake of thoselike mewho read poetry and sometimes fly violets and violins in the moonlight, as if embraced by pelagic flowers born of the abyss, I reiterate the state of wonder I am in after each visit of Karime Limon’s Hologram: both the poet and the reader are equally welcome to this magical environment, this generous and effulgent House of Poetry.
                                                                                Karime's Hologram is available on Lulu

[1] “Moving Worlds”, p. 44.
[2] “Boredom is a bad word”, p. 17.
[3] “A Prayer”, p. 21.
[4] “In the Dark, Moist Soil”, p. 28.
[5] “Helping Others”, p. 13.
[6] “Abandon”, p. 14.
[7] “Renewable Resource”, p. 30.
[8] “A Prayer”, op. cit.
[9] “Dirt”, p. 24.
[10] “A Prayer”, op. cit.
[11] Emily Dickinson, “Hope is the Thing with Feathers”.
[12] “Renewable Resource”, op. cit.
[13] “Lost little Girl”, p. 22.
[14] Idem.
[15] A reference to “Search for Poetry”, by the Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade.
[16] Idem.
[17] “As things should be”, p. 23.
[18] “1,818 Miles away”, p. 34.
[19] “Tastes like Tango”, p. 31.
[20] “Anybody, Any Body”, p. 10.
[21] A reference to “Poetics”, by the Brazilian poet Manuel Bandeira.
[22] “The Night”, p. 9.
[23] “Anybody, Any Body” (op. cit.); “The Big Head” (p. 11); “Fate” (p. 37).
[24] “For the Poet Who Lives on Kerlerec Street” (p. 15); “Wired” (p. 18); “A Prayer” (op. cit.); “As things should be” (op. cit.); “Instructions” (p. 29); “1,818 Miles away” (op. cit.); “Dream Guy” (p. 36); “I want to be your cat” (p. 40).
[25] There are also sets of words and expressions that point to a concrete approach for the very act of living and, then, writing poetry: “wallet”, “dollar”, “a homeless man”, “purse”, “streets”, “grass”, “in a rush”, “coffee”, “scent”, “teeth”, “bed”, “breakfast”, “hair and skin”, amongst many others.
[26] “Ode to Weeds”, p. 42.
[27] “Renewable Resource”, op. cit.
[28] “Soul Mate”, p. 45.
[29] “Soul Mate”, op. cit.
[30] “Untitled”, p. 47.

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