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Math, Heaven, Time

Mandy Kahn Math Heaven Time Los Angeles 1

Poetry is the most esoteric of the written forms. It can be unavailable and unfriendly, an unintentional riddle for willing readers and annoyed students to attempt decode. The sparse words are carved into their pages with little room for context or clues. The feeling of looking at a poem is much like staring at a monochromatic Rothko: where do you begin to decipher it’s meaning?

Angeleno Mandy Kahn‘s poetry is far from being difficult or burdensome. Like the California surrounding they originate from, they are light and airy, each with their own unique kindness. Instead of trying to push you away from herself and her subject—only giving you a squint into the matter—she embraces your presence, as if she is telling this poem to you, in this moment, in this perfect little place. Her new collection of poems—Math, Heaven, Time—may sound distant, alien, and even too sophisticated for anyone who isn’t a subscriber to Poetry Magazine yet it welcomes you with open arms.

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Fertile Ground: An Interview With Mandy Kahn

Mandy Kahn Los Angeles Poetry 1

In her new book of poems—Math, Heaven, TimeMandy Kahn attempts to provide solutions to all of our problems. A poem called “How to Solve” answers many day-to-day, Angeleno quandaries. “Put tulips in the middle of the problem,” it starts. “Don’t clean if you can’t. Don’t eat / if you cannot bear the smell. Put tulips / on the table, beside the mail / and papers and coupons and trash.”

The poem continues on for a stanza, spreading itself across a little page. A poem called “Very Long Haiku” watches from across the gutter. There is also a poem called “Why There Are Dishes Growing Scales In My Wet Kitchen Sink” and one called “To the Couples Who Argue on Reality TV.” Likely the shortest poem is “No Bones,” a serious little analogy representative of her ability to fade into surroundings. It alludes to a self-aware shyness, a theme echoed in many of her poems, reiterating a keen observational outlook she has. Mandy’s poems are very much Mandy: understated, full of incredible wit, and lovely to encounter.

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Ghana Must Go Fiber CAFAM Los Angeles

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Fit, Form, Function Compton

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