The peculiar predicament is Kaschock’s first principle and her philosopher’s stone, to which she adds precise diction and a fearless, macabre imagination to concoct an unnatural product that frequently resembles gold.
The Constant Critic
I recarve us from the wooden air. You would not believe the times I’ve done this. I use as tools what is sharp about me. The blue-block sky ceases to be impressionistic as I get closer with my weapons. It is pocked, botched, adolescent. There is fabric-shaping: a red sail opening into the air with the generosity of poppies. I’d rather be a sail. I’d rather be Christo. But I am blessed only with what I have. This wit and lashing tongue: bull-whips mostly, but when they stop time sometimes, they are the longest, most eloquent and thinnest scimitars—curving up into the solid sky. And I use them to remove the empty space I want us to inhabit.
It’s another way of wanting. It’s another way of looking at our lives, crimson nightblooms stretched before us, without rejecting the spousal crowns. Ordinary crowns. Always, the gold moves impossibly inward, and a small dense circle forms within the skull. It is suspended tautly in the crux of the corpus callosum among the lines that make long distance a thing of the past. If I moved out of my own mind, I’d wager something would still function. Some awful perfect part that would inflate my lungs and pump my heart out to my extremities. I wouldn’t be sharp then. And I don’t think you’d want to do the art without me. If this ever happens, slip the rings off my finger and place them on my tongue. The red carpet will roll back, and no one will burn more than I burn. You were the only man to call me Queen I didn’t kill.