We Call Them Beautiful

KC Trommer

We have decided to love trees. The living ones                are corralled along the sidewalks in cities.                                The dying ones, once glorious,                                                                    collapsed into dust from not being seen.                                                Those in forests                                                                    wave their hair and hands whenever the wind blows.When he runs the track, they are behind him and all around the park.                                Against the grey sky, they are like nerves pulled from the body,                waving, sucking air, sucking dirt.He starts clean but comes around                                                the seventh time sweating, soaking his shirt through,                                                                    giving me a little wave for my whistle.A sliver of Einstein’s brain blown up under the microscope shows                                                                    all the branches                                                of where his thoughts went. Still waving.                Around the track the trees wave through the grey afternoon sky,                                                like mute women trying to alert me to an emergency.

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Poet and essayist KC Trommer is the author of the debut poetry collection We Call Them Beautiful (Diode Editions, 2019) as well as the chapbook The Hasp Tongue (dancing girl press, 2014). A graduate of the MFA program at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, KC has been the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize. Her poems and essays have appeared in AGNI, The Antioch Review, Blackbird, The Common, LitHub, Prairie Schooner, as well as in VIDA Review and in the anthologies Resist Much, Obey Little; All We Can Hold; and Who Will Speak for America? In 2019, the Grammy Award-winning composer Herschel Garfein created the song cycle “Three Rides” for soprano, cello, and piano from her work. The cycle had its world premiere at Brooklyn Art Song Society’s New Voices Series in New York in July 2019. She is the founder of the online audio project, QUEENSBOUND, and lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, with her son.

"Rejoice all lovers of the word for the generous, gorgeous, and timely gathering that is KC Trommer's We Call Them Beautiful. The world needs these poems right now for they are fostered alike by Beauty and by Dread and they do what only real poems can: they leave us changed. We come away from reading them somehow feeling like the recipients of a benediction that makes us more merciful, more tender towards the world, towards ourselves."
—Lorna Goodison, Poet Laureate of Jamaica

"KC Trommer’s brave debut explores the power in doing: seeing, naming. touching, marveling, grieving. Some of the most heart-wrenching poems in We Call Them Beautiful explore divorce—the rage, alienation, and disappointment. As Trommer writes, 'Now is a matter of thinking of what tense / I choose to know you in.' As these poems wisely suggest, past, present, and future are all imperfect, but there is a hopeful courage in the voice: 'Wherever I go, I am this woman.' This woman—this poet—is a force."
—Maggie Smith, author of Good Bones

"To be 'broken and mended, broken and mended,' the poet, KC Trommer, writes for all of us, as she fearlessly and poetically confronts the corrosion—and tender maternity—of love’s scarred and unfathomable existence."
—Emily Fragos, author of St. Torch

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