From The Lava on Iceland

Katy Didden

Four of Katy Didden’s erasures appear in the May/June 2017 issue of the Kenyon Review. We are pleased to present three more of her erasures here on our website.

The Lava on Iceland - 1

Images endear
        anyone fated to careen
                whale-like

between homes
        to the extraordinary
                postvolcanic landscape

of Iceland.
        A hand-tinted photo
                of Laki, its craters

of dove-gray
        ashes matted with snow,
                attracts artists

who stage eddas
        in the rills:
                tales of the year

I shut out the sun.
        Tourists nap
                in the road.

Primary photo: Katy Didden, 2016.

Primary text: Muldoon, Paul. “Paul Muldoon Reflects on Reykjavik, Iceland.” Newsweek.com. Nov. 26, 2012. http://www.newsweek.com/paul-muldoon-reflects-reykjavik-iceland-63887

• •

The Lava on Iceland - 2

The easel leaner
        aims to unblur Iceland.

She edges even blanks
        to her argument: slant roofs

stripe a jade acre,
        and the cliffs

are an archive of gestures.
        There are the landscapes of Iceland,

as well as ideas which block the view.
        Still, this is art, as real as stone,

a window to see land
        clean, chilly and open.

To honor the water in you.
To make it possible to rest.

Primary photo: Larissa Borteh, 2016.

Primary text: Ashbery, John. “On Louisa Matthiasdottir.” Louisa Matthiasdottir. Jed Perl, ed. Manchester, VT: Hudson Hills Press, 2000.

• •

The Lava on Iceland - 3

I add land
     and undo the maps.

Leaders stride
     across trackless paths,

following the turning law
     back to the source.

As eagles see,
     one sees

valleys
     spliced with flows

and coastal towns
     revolving

in processions, coalitions,
     parades.

Called to duty,
     one sees

forms evolving,
     amends

our land’s armor:
     the law.

Primary photo: “Seyðisfjörður.” Kevin Tseng, 2016.

Primary text: Ring, Trudy. “The Legacy of the World’s First Out Lesbian Prime Minister.” Advocate. http://www.advocate.com/politics/politicians/2013/05/03/legacy-worlds-first-out-lesbian-prime-minister. May 3, 2013.

 

Read more poems by Katy Didden by purchasing a print or digital copy of the May/June 2017 issue here.

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