Excavating the Sky, by Konstantin Kulakov

November 11, 2015

Kulakov’s poems find the holy in the unsettling yoke of disparates: in the Bible and Qur’an lying side by side; in a mango glowing from within an aluminum can; in Harlem, where “flowers of blood nailed Christ to the walls.” These are poems of displacement, as the poet wanders from D.C. to Moscow to Pakistan to Oxford to Georgia and beyond. In South Carolina he learns “life is a mute, gentle oppression / lined with rails near the edges of peril.” These perilous edges permeate his landscapes and define his journey as they do for anyone exiled from Eden. These are brave, bold poems, excruciatingly beautiful as they lay bare our predicament and direct our gaze toward what he labels “Reality.” Kulakov’s is a voice to be reckoned with, in his prophetic stance, in the power of his language, and in his linkage of poetry with the life of faith.