Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kendra Grant Malone | Everything Is Quiet

Kendra Grant Malone's
Everything Is Quiet is a chemical reaction yielded from the mixture of confusion, hate, disgust, sex, body parts, love, and cats. These spectrums of emotions explore those inner crevices of the brain--the author takes the unknown, makes it known, and then puts it back in a pocket or a drawer. In this collection of poems, Malone doesn't show any restraint, but instead, not only does she reveal her cards, she shows her poker face, and then, she'll splash the pot. In addition to this 'in your face' tone, Malone, amazingly, at the same, creates this gentility that both softens and hardens the human condition. Take, "Faceless," for example:

he said he wanted to
destroy my face but
he did me no such favor. (22)

In "Three Hundred Dollar Coat," the narrator conveys this push-pull feeling, creating this quiet chaos surrounding the concepts of guilt and love and the need to feel both, exemplifying the complexities of emotions. Here is the guilt:

i walked down the sidewalk
in my three hundred dollar coat
i felt absurd
because my rent doesn't cost
that much more. (74)

The love is shown when the narrator explains when she bought the coat--when her father had visited her and they had gone shopping together:

he saw the three hundred dollar coat
and touched the fur collar
and smiled
when i tried it on
he grabbed my hand and spun me
a vision he said
and i knew
it did look nice
and i bought the three hundred dollar coat on credit. (74)

And it is these combined emotions that create these realms of profound conflicts, providing glimpses into the intricacies of the mind, and this tugging and tapping can be found throughout the collection of poems. Everything Is Quiet is a pillow. Sometimes, it's a cold pillow, and sometimes the pillow is warm. And sometimes the pillow is damp, and sometimes the pillow is lonely. Through its quietness, there is this power that glows from underneath--a certain sense of vulnerability that deceives, because at the end of it all, the poems are full of muscles.

Everything Is Quiet
by Kendra Grant Malone
89 pages
ISBN 978-0-578-06801-5

Scrambler Books, 2010

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