Christianne Balk

Christianne Balk Biography

Christianne Balk is an American poet.

Life

She graduated in biology with honors from Grinnell College.

Her work has appeared in Pequod, Crazy Horse, Sulfur, The Centennial review The Missouri Review, Sonora Review, Prairie Schooner Harper's, and The New Yorker.

She taught at the University of British Columbia.

She lives in Sea ...

Christianne Balk Comments

Michael Parsons 16 April 2014

Might do better written as prose and punctuated?

0 0 Reply

The Best Poem Of Christianne Balk

The Kitchen Shears Speak

This division must end.
Again I'm forced to amputate
the chicken's limb; slit the joint,
clip the heart, snip wing from back,

strip fat from flesh, separate
everything from itself. I'm used,
thrown down by unknown hands,
by cowards who can't bear to do

the constant severing. Open and close!
Open and close. I work and never tell.
Though mostly made of mouth, I have no voice,
no legs. My arms are bent, immobile

pinions gripped by strangers. I fear
the grudge things must hold.
I slice rose from bush, skin from muscle,
head from carrot, root from lettuce,

tail from fish. I break the bone.
What if they join against me,
uncouple me, throw away one-half,
or hide my slashed eye? Or worse,

what if I never die? What I fear
most is being caught, then rusted rigid,
punished like a prehistoric
bird, fossilized, and changed

into a winged lizard, trapped while clawing
air, stuck in stone with open beak.

Christianne Balk Popularity

Christianne Balk Popularity

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