Kristin Kowalski Ferragut, a contributor to Beltway Poetry, anticipates release of her debut poetry collection, Escape Velocity by Kelsay Books this April. With chapters inspired by Newton’s Laws, Escape Velocity is divided into four sections: Reaction, Force, At Rest, and In Motion. Within these different temperaments of movement, Kristin studies moments that shape one’s sense of place and identity while reflecting on larger themes. As poet Lucinda Marshall says of Kristin’s work, “With deep compassion, she delves into relationships with family, loves and loves lost, the joys and sorrows that come with the bits and pieces that make a life… sprinkled with delectable moments of wry humor. This exquisite debut poetry collection takes us beyond our usual understanding of self and place in a “rare conversation that matters.”
Here are two poems from her collection.
You Say We’re Like Magnets
Let’s talk about magnets and electricity, how like poles repel,
how stirring is all that’s needed to make energy.
Let’s talk breath, blood, iron and the fever you got in the hotel
room when you allowed me to wipe your brow. Remember
you so still, my orbiting around you? how you wanted to stay.
Remember staying? The current versus the potential so rare in
your moving on. Let’s talk about wind, water, heat and steam
that fuel movement to change charges to make objects attract.
Let’s talk about the center of the earth, the magnetic field protecting
us from the sun, how you crushed the hornet’s nest outside my window.
Let’s talk about how you laugh when I say time is relative, then note
I’m right and laugh again, your eruption, my explosion. Let’s talk about
quantum physics and how things take up more space when still than when
in motion. Let’s talk about magnets not needing to touch to exert force.
Let’s talk about your relationship to nickel, how your silver hair shines,
how I align more closely with copper, the common penny trying so hard.
Steady before the drop that calls
for falling I fix my feet
as though braced in a fight
with a lover that’s about to get
a little violent. Proximity to
precipice speaks of shattering
lines and edges, but for roots
that anchor earth to itself.
And the way she says, “Shhhh,”
not like the professional sushers at
children’s theaters, but like the
old bunny in Goodnight Moon.
Dancing light and heady musk
inhaled into memory to be unfolded
later on my sick bed, with the hush
of the river’s song. So I guess
I’m saying the falls are my
sister or my mother, if
family means solace.
Kristin Kowalski Ferragut Kristin Kowalski Ferragut teaches, plays guitar, hikes, supports her children in becoming who they are meant to be, and enjoys the vibrant writing community in the DMV. Her work has appeared in Beltway Quarterly, Fledgling Rag, Nightingale and Sparrow, Bourgeon, Magnolia Review, Mojave He[Art] Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Little Patuxent Review among others. She is the author of Escape Velocity (Kelsay Books, 2021). Kristin's children's book, Becoming the Enchantress, will be published by Loving Healing Press in 2021.