On the surface, L. S. Klatt’s poems are airy and humorous—with their tales of chickens wandering the highways of Ohio and Winnebago trailers rolling up to heaven and whales bumping like watermelons in a bathtub—but just under the surface they turn disconcertingly serious as they celebrate the fluent word.
Under the heat of inquiry, under the pressure of metaphor, the poems in Cloud of Ink liquefy, bend, and serpentine as they seek sometimes a new and sometimes an ancient destination. They present the reader with existential questions as they side-wind into the barbaric; the pear is figured as a “wild boar” and the octopus is “gutted,” yet primal energies cut a pathway to the mystical and the transcendent. The poetic cosmos Klatt creates is loquacious and beautiful, strange and affirmative, but never transparent. Amid “a maelstrom of inklings,” the writer—and the audience—must puzzle out the meaning of the syllabary.