Our Lady of the Hunger—poems by Kat Georges
In Our Lady of the Hunger, poet Kat Georges hungrily devours love, politics, memory, sex, feminism and whimsy and transforms them into a muscular poetry demanding to be read aloud. Her poetry is an homage—not an imitation—to that black humor both the Surrealists and Dadaists championed.
Our Lady of the Hunger is loosely built around the theme of raw desire—and what’s rawer than hunger? Both the poems Hunger Sinner and Lithium (in my view, the best two) go right for the open throat. Georges’ poems combine both conversational Walt Whitman prosody and the D/C direct-current wire of sonic, clipped enjambment that runs from Emily Dickinson down through Sylvia Plath. But wait—there’s more—many of her poems have that rarest of spices—humor! Yes! In Hunger Sinner—maybe the best poem in the book—she dishes out nearly slapstick text:
I am…A new vacuum cleaner, and just look at those dirty carpets
Let me at them. I’ll suck it all in
The dirt, the hairballs, the little wheels off of things.
Give me your tongue, your dick, your socks, your shoes.
Give peace of mind so I can chew it apart.
It’s her attention to detail—“the little wheels off of things”— that make her poetry sing. Georges humor includes that funniest of subjects—sex. Take these lines from Every City Is Its Food:
you fuck standing up
easy quick deals
couple sucks and
But don’t assume it’s all fun and running with scissors here. Georges also delves into some naxty stuff—the terrifying rape relived in Esperanto shows her calm ability to recount the darkest incidents. Georges can dance on reality’s knife edge without becoming the sliding onion. She’s also quick at querying love and philosophy a la Yeats. From Ruby:
basic human nature blanks the word
from consciousness and seeks
revenge to make the isn’t is.
My advice? Get this book—it’s cheaper than cognac and better than cable. Plus if you get the chance (as I did), show up at one of Kat Georges’ readings and hear her poems in all their sonic glory and subtle razzmatazz.