“It’s Getting Late” by Karen Moulton

Karen Moulton


Charlie Daniels is blaring from the jukebox
as she strolls into the bar, surveys tonight’s
selection, then sidles up to the guy on the end.
He admires her ass, curls his arm around her waist.
“Hammer’s the name,” he says in a loud voice.
She looks him over: alligator boots, green cords,
plaid flannel shirt unbuttoned to show off
his medallion. His greasy gray hair blots his collar.
She tips her chin at him, pulls a folded twenty
out of her skinny jeans pocket, puts it down
beside his upturned shot glass, spent lime,
and spilled salt. Through the window, the moon
gives his eyes a stormy look, all wind and water,
just the type of disaster she likes to drown in.

from Rattle #67, Spring 2020
Students of Kim Addonizio


Karen Moulton: “By the time I found Kim Addonizio online, I had taken a few Stanford online writing courses. While I feel as though I learned tons from the courses, working with Kim was a completely different experience. I was writing to cope with my husband’s debilitating and ultimately terminal illness. Throughout those eleven years, I turned to reading and writing poetry. From participating in over ten online workshops from 2011 to 2019, and two La Romita summer programs in Italy in 2014 and 2018, I gained confidence in my work and learned so much, it is hard to crystalize that knowledge. But three big ideas emerge as I think of what I’ve learned from Kim. When writing about grief, it isn’t always natural to lay yourself bare, but that is just what Kim wanted from me. More times than I can count she advised me, ‘not to flinch.’ Just as I was getting to a tender point, I’d divert or end the poem. It was only after hearing that from her several times that I was able to push myself to find the vulnerability that made the poem complete. Kim is famous for her invention of the sonnenizio, a version of a sonnet. So when I began experimenting with forms, she taught me to vary the pattern slightly. No one expects it, and it makes the poem much more interesting. This was great to hear after trying and trying to get a form just right. Here was an out that would pay off. I am so grateful to Kim for working with me from the tragic to the erotic—a new phase of my life and of my writing—having met someone who brought me out of my ‘griefdom.’” (web)

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