Poetry, 96 pages
Luminis Books, October 2014
These poems send the reader on a journey into the hidden realm of the subconscious, where the sixth sense of knowing overwhelms the other five.
Chris Katsaropoulos has written a collection of poems that turn words and phrases inside out, bringing forth the intricate truths that can be found within a frozen landscape, a lost tribe of warriors, a funeral cortege, or a chrysanthemum weathering a drought.
The dark existential themes capture the uneven and inexplicable nature of the human soul as it tries to muddle through a world that sometimes seems designed to thwart every attempt to love, while at the same time filled with beauty and overflowing with life.
The Sixth Sense of Knowing
Guest blog post by Chris Katsaropoulos, author of Fragile, Antiphony, Unilateral, Entrevoir and Complex Knowing
Some recent interviewers have asked me why I wrote Complex Knowing, and I suppose the only thing to say is that I’ve been writing poetry for a long time, and a few years ago started posting my poems to my blog page. After a while, I had about thirty poems on the blog and realized that there are many common themes among these poems and that they had become a collective work with a strong theme of subconscious “knowing” running through them.
I had titled several of the poems Complex Knowing and numbered them, because I was exploring the idea that the subconscious knows and understands things at a deeper and more complex level than our waking/surface consciousness is able to. Not that one form of understanding is better than another, but that the subconscious mind –the soul—has access to layers of wisdom and understanding that are not as accessible for most people in everyday life, because our thinking is wired to analytical processing of sensory input from the “normal” five senses. I typically write my poems and novels in the middle of the night, just after waking, because this time affords me the most solitude, quiet, and also, I believe, enables me to tap into the creative well of the subconscious most directly, the deep well where the most magical, mystical, and, ultimately, most universal understanding comes from.
So, the poems in Complex Knowing have a bit of a dream-like feel to them, as if you have just woken up in the middle of the night, and you’re remembering fragments of a really interesting dream that don’t quite fit together, and you’re trying to make sense of what it means. I believe it is those kinds of visions and dreams that provide us with the most intuitive insights we can have—the messages that tell us what our innermost soul wants us to know.
This is what I mean by the sixth sense of “knowing,” which is the subject I explore in the collection. I believe it’s important for all of us to take a step back from our busy, hurried lives and un-plug from all the technological input we receive from our gadgets and screens, so that we can allow ourselves the quiet time for reflection that enables us to receive these bits of knowing. Otherwise, we are missing a vast resource from which to draw guidance and fulfillment.
Complex Knowing – Number 4 is an example of the style of poems in the collection; brief, lyrical, with minimal punctuation to allow the phrasings in the poem to be read in several different ways, which creates nuances and different meanings and allows readers to interpret the poem by bringing their own understanding, their own knowing, to it.
Complex Knowing – Number 4
Great star gone
Planet kept reflection
Days we hoarded and days we lost
Paralyzed by sensitive
Dilation growing days and time
Dogs running great
Stars gone shimmering
Left angry and alone how
Could it be
We have known?
Drifted days drift
By and by the
Wherewithal to love
Us one begets the
Other stars forget the
Skies before them days we
Held close and days
We squandered and
These poems are more about a feeling – more like listening to a nocturne by Chopin or Ravel, rather than trying to convey a message or tell a story, though there are meanings and episodes from my life and a few current events buried and woven through them. My objective in writing a poem is not to convey a certain specific meaning to the reader (or listener), but to open readers up to a sensitivity that allows them to find their own meanings in the poem. I want readers to be able to bring their own knowing to each poem, leave the work open enough so that each reader can take away their own understanding from it.
[You can read more of Chris’s poems at http://antiphonyck.blogspot.com/ ]
Praise for Past Releases from Chris Katasaropoulos
“Antiphony” by Chris Katasaropoulos
“‘Antiphony’ is a book so eloquent and brilliant that it requires time— that precious entity few seem to have saved for exploration of the arts – to explore this obvious treasure. It is related to the great works of literature – James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Solzhenitsyn, Dante Alighieri, Roberto Bolaño, Tolstoy, Proust, Kazantzakis, Kafka, Melville, and Conrad are a few that come to mind.”
– Grady Harp, Amazon Top 10 Reviewer, Literary Aficionado
“With the debate between supporters of evolution and creationism (recently highlighted by Bill Nye and Ken Ham), ‘Antiphony’ is an intriguing timely tale.”
– Midwest Book Review
“‘Antiphony’ is, in many ways, an awe-inspiring novel…Writer Chris Katsaropoulos has a way of delving deeply into what seem like small moments…It makes me wonder how he did it.”
– Al Riske, author of “Precarious” and “Sabrina’s Window”
“Hold on to your chair or you will be totally transported out of your comfort zone by ‘Antiphony’…Katsaropoulos is an emerging fresh literary voice not to be overlooked.”
– NUVO Newsweekly
“‘Antiphony’ blends reality and non-reality in a fabulous way. There are dreams and visions, there's science and of course the piece itself is fiction but could be a real story theoretically. Interesting!”
– Kathryn Vercillo, diaryofasmartchick.com
“Fragile” by Chris Katasaropoulos
“‘Fragile” is a beautifully-written novel…the writing is uniquely refreshing. After reading Fragile, I found myself feeling very contemplative. Readers will enjoy Fragile and will find meaning in it that applies to their own lives…Highly recommended.”
– Paige Lovitt, Reader Views
“Mesmerizing and beautiful, a truly stunning book! Katsaropoulos is new to writing fiction, and his first novel sets the bar incredibly high.”
– Lauri Coats, ReviewTheBook.com
For more stops on this tour go to the JKSCommunications Tour Page
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Katsaropoulos is the author of more than a dozen books, including four critically-acclaimed novels, “Unilateral,” “Antiphony,” “Fragile” and “Entrevoir,” as well as “Complex Knowing,” the first collection of his poetry.
“Unilateral,” his latest novel, is publishing in September and deals with the conflict in the Gaza Strip and Middle East. Chris has been an editor at several major publishing houses and has published numerous trade books, textbooks and novels over the course of his career. Chris enjoys traveling, playing the piano and hiking in out-of-the-way places. Visit antiphonyck.blogspot.com to read more, including his most recent poems. Chris lives in Carmel, Ind.