Review: Ko IV

Aleathia Drehmer
Single prose-poem
8 pages
2” x 2 3/4” booklet
Durable Goods
Painted Post, New York
Review originally published on 2/24/10


This teeny tiny pocket book is more a piece of art, almost like a sorrowful greeting card, than a zine or chap in any way. It’s just a moment, a fleeting thought, a scrawled handwritten story-poem, as fragile as the broken bird on the cover, folded from one single sheet of paper that looks as though it came from an Asian comic book, with an older man holding lovingly (and possibly creating a burial ritual for) a dead bird.

The title is intriguing, its many meanings each reflecting the sad inside story of Aleathia’s first kitten, the abuse it endured from her stepfather, and its possibly-tragic, possibly-hopeful end. Ko: ‘go’ in Hepburn romanization of the Japanese kana; a mountain, the second highest peak in Sikhote-Alin; an ancient Chinese dagger-ax; the Japanese sound in a name meaning ‘child’; a Thai word meaning ‘island’; an abbreviation for ‘knockout.’ I could find an excuse for all these meanings to fit the title: letting go of a knocked-out child, one drops the dagger-ax to become an island, overcoming mountains. Interesting and intriguing title of endless possibilities.

Very cute, a small labor of love for the craft; and I think it’s free if you ask.