Complex Knowing

Complex Knowing

Chris Katsaropoulos


These poems send the reader on a journey into the hidden realm of the subconscious, where the sixth sense of knowing overwhelms the other five. Chris Katsaropoulos has written a collection of poems that turn words and phrases inside out, bringing forth the intricate truths that can be found within a frozen landscape, a lost tribe of warriors, a funeral cortege, or a chrysanthemum weathering a drought. The dark existential themes capture the uneven and inexplicable nature of the human soul as it tries to muddle through a world that sometimes seems designed to thwart every attempt to love, while at the same time filled with beauty and overflowing with life.

Novelist Katsaropoulos (Fragile, 2009; Antiphony, 2011) offers his first poetry collection. These abstract, interpersonal poems buck form and embrace contrast. Traditional syntax and line breaksare abandoned for a richly poetic tone, and in this manner, Katsaropoulos hits all of the big themes: the archetypal, the idiosyncratic, and the fragile. The many shades of meaning and great depth of perspective are rewarding. Just shy of 50 short poems, this book digs deep, as in the moving “Benediction,” which reaches past failure to capture love: “According to their need. / Say the words you / Want me to say, / Tell me what we must / Do, to flail the ways / That come between us.” The same sentiment seems denied in “Blackness Heart of the Night,” in which the speaker offers, “What was held / There / All along hope inside / A dream that never / Came to pass.” Such offerings make Katsaropoulos’ collection a poignant and necessary delivery of the most wonderful of human capacities, our ability to withstand the hurt and the joy.— Booklist

Everything outside our little tube of limitation is more than we can ever hope to know. Occasionally a diamond so settled in the crust of the earth can go unnoticed, perhaps lacking the light it requires to send dazzling prisms to the eyes of the chaotic mass of shufflers preoccupied with the instant gratification of technologies competing with the air itself for push-button attention. Such is the case with this mesmerizing collection of poems COMPLEX KNOWING by the Indiana writer Chris Katsaropoulos, a book so eloquent and brilliant that it requires time – that precious entity few seem to have saved for exploration of the arts – to explore this obvious treasure. It is related to the great works of literature – James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Solzhenitsyn, Dante Alighieri, Roberto Bolaño, Seamus Heaney, Proust, Kazantzakis, Kafka, William Blake, and Percy Bysshe Shelley are a few that come to mind. We have been dazzled by his novels ANTIPHONY and FRAGILE and the manner in which he seduces/invites the reader to explore our sixth sense – that extension of our thinking that enters the realm of the unconscious or dream state or feelings not accessible immediately to the other five senses. Reading Katsaropoulos it is obvious he believes a reliable critical course can be plotted by following a poetic sixth sense. Chris Katsaropoulos’ mind is so attuned to poetry, classical music, metaphysics, physics, science in general and mans search for meaning that his poems have passages, not unlike cadenzas in a piano concerto where the artist takes a pause from the orchestral score to expound on a note or phrase or thought that shows muscular and spiritual dexterity before returning to the work as a whole, that sing like few other poets can write. It is this gift that Katsaropoulos displays in this masterful work. One of the ways he accomplishes this is his apparent disdain for the confines of phrasing or punctuation or the manner in which he places his poems on the page: once the reader takes the time to read the poems aloud, the myriad levels of meaning surface – levels influenced by the life circumstances and experiences the reader brings to the poem. He writes as though a passing word or phrase or thought draws him to pen and paper and form that initial seed his imagination and stream of conscious sensitivity weave extraordinary images. He allows a certain ambiguity of thought that opens a passage for the reader to enter the creative process, introducing here and there phrases that may be read with several levels of meaning. Gently tucked into his poems are moments of strangely chosen rhyming words that adds to the mysteryof the fluidity of what he is expressing. Make no mistake: once his individual poem is completed the thought process is there: it is the discovery of the process, that idea, that 6th sense place that is the joy of reading his work.Chris Katsaropoulos knows what he is about: he has served in the roles of editor and publisher with such prestigious houses as McGraw-Hill, Pearson Prentice Hall and Macmillan, he has authored trade and technical books (some dealing with the Internet as business) and he and his wife founded Luminis Books after encountering out-of-body experiences. This is a collection of fragments not unlikethe encounters we all face in life – moments that seem coincidental and unimportant at the time but which later lead to insights and even behavior changes completely unexpected. But most of all it is the serene beauty of his writing that mesmerizes and results in starting the book again once finished that proves this is a man of letters who has an enormous gift and future.

~Grady HarpPoet, War Songs Critic, Literary Aficionado, Art Historian, The Art of Man and Vitruvian Lens and PoetsArtistsWriter for art museum catalogues

“These poems are illusive but very human, accessible and complex, cosmic and archetypal, a study in contrasts. Taking the time to understand them is the “Rosetta Stone” for this collection, and the reader who searches will find a wealth of meaning and enjoyment.” ~ Sylvia Andrews, Indianapolis Books Examiner

Chris Katsaropoulos is the author of more than a dozen titles, including the novels, FRAGILE and ANTIPHONY and UNILATERAL, ENTREVOIR and the poetry collection, COMPLEX KNOWING. He has traveled extensively in Europe and North America, and enjoys collecting books and music.

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Publication Date2014-11-01
Publication StatusIn Print
Trim Size5 x 7
Page Count96

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