The Sun & the Moon. BlazeVOX [books], 2014. Available here.
Praise for The Sun & the Moon:
“By then I could barely speak,” Kristina Marie Darling writes, in a collection that mirrors the dissolution of a relationship: mythologizing, erasing, reinventing, and, finally, reinvestigating itself. The Sun & the Moon is rooted in the liminal, where the ghosts that populate these poems become more human than the couple whose house they inhabit, whose drawers they open, whose clothes they wear. Everything is simultaneously burning and freezing, brightening and dimming, so that the stagnancy of a relationship becomes eerily unsettling—claustrophobic and violent—a place for knives and locks and ash. “It’s the strangest things that keep me from leaving.” It’s the same devastatingly strange things that will make readers stay.
—Corey Van Landingham, author of Antidote
“From what I understood, the ghosts had always been volatile.” Kristina Marie Darling’s The Sun & the Moon is a homage to the mutability of consciousness and memory. These prose-poems and erasures achieve a kind of Victorian noir by turning the cluttered, dangerous spaces of desire and mourning into irreducible images. Smudged with ash, soot and dark red stars, The Sun & the Moon renders a universe of jagged, dazzling relics that haunt and captivate us long after the book is finished.
—Kara Candito, author of Spectator and Taste of Cherry
Kristina Marie Darling’s The Sun & the Moon takes as its metaphor the astronomical clock. The “I” and “you” of these poems are celestial bodies that inhabit the same system, yet are ever distant from one another. These poems become rooms of a gothic house haunted by ghosts that the speaker appears to be one of, at times, and threatened by, at others. The Sun & the Moon is a dreamscape of remnants—ashes, envelopes, and knives—that mark moments of misconnection as though erased from memory.
—Tyler Mills, author of Tongue Lyre
In poems lit by an incendiary marriage, Kristina Marie Darling traces a story that begins, as stories often do, “as a small mark on the horizon.” Brave and haunted, these poems burn down to ash and winter, daring to unlock the spell of memory’s silver flashings. The small remains, like distant stars, make a moving portrait.
—Mary Ann Samyn, author of My Life in Heaven
Reviews of The Sun & the Moon:
“Like her collaborative book, X Marks the Dress, Darling thus calls into question the gendered narratives that mark our lives. To see the sun rise each day, we’re nearly hardwired to see it go. When Darling writes, ‘I realized you weren’t my husband any more than I had been your wife,’ she asks us to consider the narratives that inscribe our most intimate relationships, leaving us to wonder how we want to write our days, and more importantly, suggesting the possibility of other narratives, ones not tied to an end, if we can remember to imagine it.” — The Iowa Review.
“Sometimes an extraordinary book lands on your doorstep and you’re grateful to be astonished again. Kristina Maria Darling’s The Sun & the Moon is a beauty to behold. A surprising, masterfully written long prose poem that reads like a novel, it weaves a story of a marriage deconstructed in a fantastical, surreal setting, whose strangeness is reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe: ‘I tore into the envelope & there was only winter inside, not even a card or a handwritten note.'” — The Lit Pub.
“…contradictory emotions are cataclysmic in Darling’s poetry, inspiring the speaker to mentally reorder domestic space, arrange it in the heavens, let its love affair burn out—desire, grief turned ash and snow fallen to an earthly ground.” — NewPages.