48. I Felt It Once

Kate Greenstreet

900 words and every photograph preceded by a warning.
You’ve forgotten, I think, but I was guided by your dream.It has something to do with my father, sure. I understand
the desire. The wavy glass in the door—it all started so long
ago.I understand the willingness. The keys in the ignition.
Secret things that belong to God.We used to wonder how old we’d be in heaven. I understand
the trance. Recording angels. The ones that read our deeds.

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Kate Greenstreet’s previous books are Young Tambling, The Last 4 Things, and case sensitive, all with Ahsahta Press.

A video that she made for today’s poem can be seen at

In curating cartography together with lyric, poly-vocality with loneliness, and even the unspeakable with common speech, poet and artist Kate Greenstreet has created a surprising hybrid with The End of Something. The intimacy in Greenstreet’s partial narratives and slow admissions contrasts with much of what we consume as Americans, which is fleeting and feigns being “factual.” … The last of Greenstreet’s four-book series questioning how an artist can show “the inner life,” The End of Something asserts a conclusion without actually pulling its doors completely shut. As Rick Meier said of Greenstreet’s previous book, Young Tambling, “This book doesn’t want you to understand it so much as to begin talking back to it”—something that might well be seen as the larger purpose of all Greenstreet’s work.

“At the start of 2013, when Young Tambling was published, Max and I returned to the States from Ireland. We began a year on the road, basically one long book tour, with no idea where we’d go after that. We wound up in a former textile mill on the border of Maine and New Hampshire. I didn’t come here to write a book. Mostly I wanted to answer the question “Am I still a painter?” This morning I’m sitting at our plywood table, looking out at the tops of trees. It’s May 2017 and we’re still in New Hampshire, still listening to the river. I didn’t think I’d be here for so long. Across the room, the pages of The End of Something are taped up: a rectangle 38 inches high, 192 wide. The sun rises over the trees and throws a window shape of light onto the wall.”
—Kate Greenstreet

“Kate Greenstreet’s The End of Something is a mesmerizing rumination on flux and trust, wisdom and the divided self.”
—Mary Jo Bang

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