Love, loss, and loneliness all pop up in Kendra Keller’s (aka Lady Longdrop) lively and tender first collection of poems Hey Moon! Lady Longdrop demands a conversation that leads us away from an elusive state. With an active, empowered voice, she uses the moon the way many of us use it – to connect to the hidden self from, the self that is terrified of being seen. Poetry to her is a form of meditation.
In the section ‘Moon Poems’, she takes the reader out to see the moon, and in the poem, ‘Full-of-it’ lies a powerfully vulnerable question that requires sight:
Great fat moon
Why do you look at me and ask
Whether I am as fully human as you are fully stone
What would it take for many of us to articulate the pain our mothers and fathers caused us? To articulate back, to them, their state, and ours, through a question? Lady Longdrop insists that we rest before this journey – to connect with our larger selves.
What would it feel like if we took our problems to the moon, then feasted on her light as the narrator of the book does? Would we perceive love in ways suggested in ‘Love Is’?
A forgotten dream
Would we then dig deeper into our memories, and say:
Love is some clothes I threw out cos they didn’t fit anymore
Love is some papers
Dusty with nostalgia
That I had to burn
Where would we go? The ocean?
If we are to find ourselves, to find where we belong, we must find the things that truly know themselves. In her poem ‘As Though it is OK’, Lady Longdrop poetically displays the human demise when we compare ourselves to others without the knowledge of our capacity to transcend our conditions.
You hang there
As though it is ok
As though there are humans who can cope with your perfect
mirroring of yourself
Lady Longdrop consistently draws attention to the possibility of opening up the quiet softness that lives in all of us, and directs us to fire poems that ignite us the way a burning building might.
Kendra Keller (Lady Longdrop) is a multidisciplinary artist working across poetry, spoken word, dance, and physical performance. Throughout this collection, her versatility is exemplified in how she constructs the physical form of the poems, and she uses rhyme as a pulse for them, and line breaks as a mechanism for inviting readers to engage with each poem fully.
Hey Moon is available from the Melbourne Spoken Word online shop.