By Ron Kolm
(Today’s poem originally appeared via Brevitas, was published in the poetry collection Divine Comedy, and appears here today with permission from the poet.)
Ron Kolm is a member of the Unbearables, and an editor of several of their anthologies; most recently The Unbearables Big Book of Sex! Ron is a contributing editor of Sensitive Skin magazine and the editor of the Evergreen Review. He is the author of The Plastic Factory and, with Jim Feast, the novel Neo Phobe. A new collection of his poems, Divine Comedy, has just been published by Steve Cannon’s Fly By Night Press. He’s had work published in the Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, Live Mag! and the Poetry Super Highway. Kolm’s papers were purchased by the New York University library, where they’ve been catalogued in the Fales Collection as part of the Downtown Writers Group.
Editor’s Note: At a recent reading in Brooklyn featuring SPS-beloved poet Leah Umansky, a man walked up to me believing we’d met at another poetry event. I told him I did not believe that we had, and in response he gave me a copy of his most recent poetry collection. This is poetry. Community. Going to readings and meeting artists whose work you love. Books given as gifts because poetry is connectivity; poetry is love.
I read Divine Comedy from cover to cover on my way home on the train that night. Gritty, blunt, and overtly sexual, it is not a book for the faint of heart. But what I found was that the backdrop of harsh reality made the book’s quieter moments shine more brightly. Today’s poem was found within those pages, a peaceful and meditative beacon of calm amidst an ocean of neon lights, graffiti, and chaos. There is room for all of this in poetry, of course, but I am a sucker for the beautiful, for the contemplative, and, of course, for Walt Whitman. Whitman who, as Ron Kolm so simply and eloquently points out, “Like God,” is “everywhere all at once.”