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The Stumble Fields / Malaika King Albrecht

$14.00 $8.50

Product Description

The Stumble Fields

poems by

Malaika King Albrecht

ISBN: 978-1-59948-784-7, ~76 pages, $14 (+ shipping)

Projected Release Date: March, 2020

An Advance Sale Discount price of $8.50 (+ shipping) is available HERE prior to press time. This price is not available anywhere else or by check. The check price is $12.50/book and should be sent to: Main Street Rag, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001. 

PLEASE NOTE: Ordering in advance of the release date entitles the buyer to a discount. It does not mean the book will ship before the date posted above and the price only applies to copies ordered through the Main Street Rag Online Bookstore.

About The Author

Malaika King Albrecht is serving as the inaugural Heart of Pamlico Poet Laureate for eastern North Carolina. She’s the author of four poetry books, including the most recent The Stumble Fields published by Main Street Rag. Her third book What the Trapeze Artist Trusts (Press 53) won honorable mention in the Oscar Arnold Young Award and was a finalist in 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Her chapbook Lessons in Forgetting was published by Main Street Rag and was a finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received honorable mention in the Brockman Campbell Award. Main Street Rag also published her second book Spill in 2011. Her poems have been published in many literary magazines and anthologies and have won awards in several contests, including at Poetry Southeast, the North Carolina Poetry Council, and Salem College. She’s the founding editor of Redheaded Stepchild, an online magazine that only accepts poems that have been rejected elsewhere. She lives in Ayden, N.C. on Freckles Farm with her daughters. When not taking caring of farm animals, she’s a yoga teacher, therapeutic riding instructor, and reiki practitioner.

Comments

The poems in The Stumble Fields buzz, bristle, and hum with energy and unfurl themselves in several dimensions, knowing that the veil between this world and the next is leaky as an old rowboat. Albrecht’s talent is everywhere apparent in these elegant lines, the music reflecting both her compassion and visionary engagement with the fading Natural World that surrounds us. It is a rare thing to find a poet so committed to her craft and so conspicuously awake at the same time, whether she is cataloguing the protocols of ghosts, documenting her own transgressions, or tenderly attending to her children, each creation is a circle of pure desire. ~Keith Flynn, editor of The Asheville Poetry Review, and author of Colony Collapse Disorder

 

Malaika King Albrecht’s The Stumble Fields moves in a fury of images as if the poet’s holding her breath to get the words out: “I can’t stop the horses from running.” Shadows and ghosts seek solid ground. Truth appears instinctively in the musical pulses of animals—the deer, red fox, rabbit. The known seeks infinitude. Waking up lets the poet ponder—“where’s the dream?” The Stumble Fields—a triumph of imagination and memory. ~Shelby Stephenson, Poet Laureate of North Carolina, 2015-2018

 

Malaika King Albrecht’s stunning new poetry collection, The Stumble Fields, is a slow-motion lightning strike straight to the heart. In poem after radiant poem, she allows her readers to experience along with her, the pain of profound loss; the ache and fulfillment of desire; how motherhood carves into us for all time, the names of our children; and finally, the healing grace of being grateful for what is. In this haunting and must-read collection, Malaika King Albrecht guides us across The Stumble Fields with the sure-footedness of a survivor, the tenderness of a beloved. We are safe in the hands of this master poet—her work in this fine collection, nothing short of brilliant. ~Terri Kirby Erickson, author of Becoming the Blue Heron.

Samples

The Stumble Fields

 

Our feet in the dark
still find the way to each other.
Hold me and we unfold
with creases smooth as wrists,
the body’s origami opening.

The heart’s insects whir,
cicadas into the sun.
Thoughts are not lanterns
though we follow them.

The body demands only the world,
the river rock unlocked,
our hands wet.

 


 

Grave Rubbing with my Daughters

 

Some things break, my youngest says,
after the charcoal stick snaps in her hand.
I hold her hand beneath my own
and glide our hands over a winged hourglass.
I tell Serena the image means that time flies.
She laughs, Time’s not a bird, mommy.

My eldest daughter beside us
presses paper along the next stone.
Like she’s brushing her hair,
Amani slides the charcoal in long strokes
down the surface until the space
between images and letters
fills gray as dark clouds.

A daisy barely visible beneath lichen
appears, and sunken images reveal
themselves through absence.
Like a secret message, Amani says.
Her name was Mary Elizabeth.

The child’s birth and death day are the same.
A mother and her child though I don’t say so.
It hasn’t yet occurred to my daughters
that a child can die. Or a mom.
An expression swift as a bird’s shadow
crosses Amani’s face. Something in me kneels,
familiar as a childhood prayer.

 


 

Grave Rubbing with my Daughters

 

Some things break, my youngest says,
after the charcoal stick snaps in her hand.
I hold her hand beneath my own
and glide our hands over a winged hourglass.
I tell Serena the image means that time flies.
She laughs, Time’s not a bird, mommy.

My eldest daughter beside us
presses paper along the next stone.
Like she’s brushing her hair,
Amani slides the charcoal in long strokes
down the surface until the space
between images and letters
fills gray as dark clouds.

A daisy barely visible beneath lichen
appears, and sunken images reveal
themselves through absence.
Like a secret message, Amani says.
Her name was Mary Elizabeth.

The child’s birth and death day are the same.
A mother and her child though I don’t say so.
It hasn’t yet occurred to my daughters
that a child can die. Or a mom.
An expression swift as a bird’s shadow
crosses Amani’s face. Something in me kneels,
familiar as a childhood prayer.

 


 

Catalog of Ghosts

 

ghost of disasters, mudslides, fire, floods, and wind
ghost of broken hearts, of broken bodies
ghosts of murdered women, of migrants,
of brown skin, of children
ghost of overdose, of hanging, of knives
ghost of lovers, ghost of best friends
ghost of myself as a child on a porch swing
ghosts of gun shots
in our streets, our churches, our schools
ghosts who sell the land we have no right to own
ghost of a mom gluing valium on a canvas
ghost of a dad with shoes on the wrong feet
ghost of childhood fevers, of hallucinations,
of dolls turning their heads in the dark
ghost of light rain becoming fog in a dark field
ghost of a lone blue car with all of us inside
reeling into the ditch

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