Kim Parko - Surreal, uncanny and perverse poetic fictions balancing on that fulcrum between scientific observation and an exacting madness

Kim Parko, Cure All (Caketrain, 2010)

"Kim Parko’s Cure All is the first-ever out-of-competition manuscript selected for publication at Caketrain. In this collection of linked vignettes, the preoccupations that have driven Parko’s years of written invention—crises of identity, parallelisms, anthropomorphism, transformative horror, epistles, flights of poesy, philosophical interrogations, psychic penetralia—all crystallize to form her finest effort to date. Shot through with mysterious reflexivities and haunted harbingers, the pieces of Cure All at once stand ably alone and reflect the whole of the larger narrative arc—a feat accomplished through the distinctive quality of Parko’s imaginative lens."

“These surreal pieces are quietly intense and fervently alive. They offer visions both meditative and alarming. Animated by hyperacuity of consciousness, Cure All balances on that fulcrum between smoldering control and pregnant invention, scientific observation and an exacting madness. The literal and the figurative, fact and fancy, degeneration and rebirth all chase each other, mate and merge. The mind, the body and the seething natural world engulf one another. Cyril Connolly wrote, ‘Imagination… is the liquid solution in which art develops the snapshots of reality.’ That elixir is the rich, rushing lifeblood of this collection.” - Amy Gerstler

“Uncanny and perverse, the poetic fictions of Kim Parko’s Cure All act as electrodes to stimulate unsuspected and possibly long-unused yet sublimely meaningful circuitry in the brain.” - Daniel Grandbois

“Parko’s Cure All is a wonderful combination of striking images, clever word play, and personal heartbreak—all simmering together and shining in a book that is sure to make many ‘best-of-the-year’ lists.” - Shane Jones

“To call these pieces unique isn’t enough. With her fractured shards of advice, sweet little nightmares, tunneled eyes and sprouted scales, Kim Parko presents a twisting puzzle of fire blights and lonely spines. This book will crawl into your house.” - Amelia Gray

"Kim Parko's Cure All is the newest release from Caketrain Press. I've really enjoyed read Parko's work, and I'm looking forward to seeing this book both for the text, which I'm sure will be great, and also the design, which - judging from the cover - once again raises the bar what a small press book might look like. Joseph Reed is one of my favorite cover artists and book designers, and once again he's outdone himself with Parko's book.
In hopes that it'll entice you as much as it enticed me, here is an except taken from Parko's "Learn," available in the PDF sampler for the book:

I was diagnosed with failure to thrive so my mother took me home and put me under the grow lights. I spent my younger years among the chlorophyll-skinned. When I finally grew a sprout from the top of my head, it was time for kindergarten, but I only knew how to communicate through photosynthesis and was mocked or ignored by the other children. Daily I waited to get home and sit under my lamp and idly grow toward the false sun with my seedlings.

I was diagnosed with fire blight. They put me in a basement room all day and I came home cracked and wilted. Mother worried about my health and upped the dosage of fertilizer. When I entered grade school the principal was made weary by my size relative to my intelligence. “These are dangerous times,” he said."
- Matt Bell