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Karren Alenier
Karren LaLonde Alenier
for more info on Karren, visit the Gertrude Stein Opera site


your gravity
juxtaposes mine
as a child I too
stood on my head
or hung from my knees
to see the world
in reverse
wondering what held
women and men
to the earth
I laughed
feeling the difference
only in my face
a sudden thermometer
an incubator
for foreign
or foolish ideas
like the serious thought
of a child
on its head
inside my womb

Winner of the first Billee Murray Denny Award. Published in Spectrum (Lincoln College, Lincoln, IL) and in Alenier's collection Looking for Divine Transportation


Aller où? Aller où?
asked Dr. Chaboux.

So in Bilignin they stayed:
Gertrude, burying the gasoline
can in the garden; Alice,
assassinating the carp
in the kitchen because
the fishman had blackout
curtains to hang. Here, Hitler!
Dear Hitler! Kitty, kitty. Kitty,
kitty -- mustache covered with
milk; mustache quivering on Pussy's
pouty lip. How could the tobacconist
in Belley refuse her fags, give them
to boys eighteen? Mama Woojums had to
grow and roll her own. Mama Woojums
and Hitler huddled at the fire cooking
delicacies in her head: tournedos of beef
with truffles in creamy, madeira sauce,
toasting her Lovey, her Baby Woojums,
with champagne so dry it was invisible
to the naked eye -- a Jew dreaming
of three slices of ham floating
on a antique plate while in Paris
the Gestapo, sausage-eaters all, stormed
their dark hall, kicking down the unprotected
door, leaving the Picassos and Braques,
stealing only the linens and silver forks.

Published in Lightning & Ash (Minnesota) and in Alenier's collections Bumper
Cars: Gertrude Said She Took Him for a Ride
and Looking for Divine
This is part of Alenier's libretto Gertrude Stein Invents A
Jump Early On


"I heard the noise of their wings,
like the noise of great waters...."
Ezekiel I:24

I have wandered
into the Garden lured
by the fragrance and color

of delicate blossoms. Among
jabbering children speaking
innocent words I cannot repeat

and tragic characters in felt
hats, I search for those angels
who are wheels. With no visa

to be here, no encyclopedia
to guide me, I conjure
an image of you, let you

be my bible of common
sense: how to find my way
in; how to find the way out.

Published in Alenier's collections Bumper Cars: Gertrude Said She Took Him for a Ride and Looking for Divine Transportation.

Karren LaLonde Alenier is a poet and fiction writer. She is author of four books of poetry, including: Looking for Divine Transportation. She is the editor of Whose Woods These Are, an anthology of contemporary American poetry and co-editor of Winners: A Retrospective of the Washington Prize. Her work has been published in such magazines as: the Mississippi Review, Poet Lore, WordWrights!, and Jewish Currents. Her three act verse play Gertrude Stein Invents a Jump Early On about the life and work of Gertrude Stein is being developed as an opera by composer William Banfield and Encompass New Opera Theatre of New York City. Ms. Alenier is president of the Word Works, a literary organization publishing contemporary poetry in collector's editions and presenting public programs both in the United States and in Europe.




December 14, 2010