Today I found myself reminiscing about Ken and about the furtive nature of blogs. Blogger time is different than real life. It’s more ephemeral, unreal. It’s like a dream world come to life. It exists, it has consequences, but it’s not tangible.
The blog ofStranger Ken, titled Dark Sparks, disappeared a few months ago. Suddenly. Apparently for personal reasons. Yet the spirit of his blog is still with me.
Since he deleted the entire blog, my experience of his character and poetry is quickly becoming mythologized.
First, there is the intensity of his blog and user names. Dark Sparks conjures something primal, the spit from the bubbling cauldron, effervescent fireworks. It implies beauty, complexity and change. The name Stranger Ken evokes another edge, a hooded mystery. Stranger in the dark. And ultimately, he was a stranger.
Stranger Kenâ€™s photo further belied this alluring enigma. He looked like a character from Lord of the Rings, a shaman of sorts, perhaps a wizard. The glint in his eye was a resigned stare with a latent sparkle. White hair and beard further obfuscated his interior.
The layout of the blog was a standard Blogger style sheet, but in black. A shadowed cave in which to place his poetry.
His poetry was focused, clean and intense. All his poems were well written, timeless, accessible. His subjects were varied, including animals, a carved box from his time in the far East, a destitute woman in a market, again from the Far East, and the city of London He also wrote poems poem about himself, as an adult and as a child, which outlined a complex, moody soul.
Occasionally he achieved a mythic quality. A simple, detailed description went from the personal to the universal and left you hovering. I often had to read his works several times to hear it more deeply.
Unfortunately I can only remember a poem or two, particularly the one about some kind of hedgehog (what was it?) His words gave resonant depths to the character of the animal he wrote of, gave it a unique life.
His comment strings were filled with relevant discussion of poetry and well deserved praise for his work.
I write about Ken because he made an impression on me. His poems were high quality. He was one of the few male poets to give me any consistent notice. I appreciated that attention. He always gave generous and meaningful comments. His blog etiquette was gentle and honest.
I learned from his poetry. He offered clear explanations of any question about his poem.
I miss Ken. He was a poet through and through. With a living edge. I wish him well.
On a related note, I’ve noticed that most of the poet bloggers I associate with are going through a dry period right now. Syncronicity in a ghost world…