Book Review: Kindra M. Austin’s Constant Muses, by Mariah Voutilainen

a fresh review from Indie Blu(e)!

Indie Blu(e) Publishing

Kindra M. Austin’s Constant Muses is a eulogy, a message of comfort and a warrior cry

By:  Mariah Voutilainen

Upon opening Kindra M. Austin’s Constant Muses, I was immediately taken with the  noir-y feel of her poetry.  As Austin’s opening piece suggests, it is “eternally October” in the world that she paints with her rich verse.  Skies are heavy with the weight of autumnal storms, the air thick with cigarettes, tongues dipped in bittersweet alcohol.  Within this October specters lurk: female warriors, a mother with many faces, preserved memories.  It is a séance in which the past is called up to hold hands with the present.

Austin’s verse is brimming with clever language that indicates her command of poetic device as well as quirky turns of phrase.  In some poems the voices conversate; they speak truth through their easy-going innits, sammiches and lookits. In others, o’ers, ‘round

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mundane musing the twenty-sixth revisted

the process of poetry

two things:

one.  it is not without irony that i sit here thinking about writing;


on the simultaneous absurdity and gravity of everything literary

two.  last night, a story came to me while i sat in the darkness;

it was a fleeting idea

but one that sparked my curious nature.  i thought to myself

i should really get up and write this down before i forget

but just as quickly, the idea slipped

into the nether cobwebby reaches of my mind.

now it is lost

perhaps it will return someday

when i least expect it

and then i will greet it like a long-ago, once-met acquaintance.

but this time, i will have pen and paper in hand.

(written 31 march 2018)

no. 75


Joy escapes form the tiniest of spaces

when it’s least expected, it sieves its way through

and into places where it should not go


once i found it after reading of tragedy

halfway around the world from me

people perished senselessly, and yet there it was


the bloom of a flower


each petal a promise


another time Joy came to me as i

saw my daughter fall

her tears of pain and embarrassment

and then Joy revealed itself in the knowledge that


healing begins in picking oneself up


tomorrow i know i will find joy in a moment

of deep frustration and despair

it will raise its head to remind me that

the universe finds balance quickly

(written 16 january 2018)

no. 74

the return of the swans

three purposeful arrows they are

black iron-tipped and fletched white

from whose bow were they loosed

they do not wonder

their destination, their destiny

their synchronous flight marked

with such felicity by the hand

of some omnipotent deity

or perhaps by internal longing

for halcyon existence on a

distant but familiar lake

(written 27 april 2018)


no. 73


of light in the dark, no. 5

the ship, buoyed on all sides, knows neither up nor down

no push, no pull in this place where suspension is its only companion


the rendering of existence almost impossible in this place


that is how dark it is; obsidian and ink, ebony and pitch fall short

but all light has not been swallowed by infinitum’s jaws


like odysseus, the captain has tied himself to the mast

he sees multitudes, cosmic wingless fireflies

they are the stars that will serenade him


his crew will not listen, they plug at their control boards busily

as he bravely faces the music of the ages, traveling at the speed of sound


he hears all they refuse to note; sees all they do not wish to observe

he is consumed by its excruciating beauty and struggles to free himself

from his tethers to follow the brightest beacon


he knows they will soon be home

(written 16 april 2018)

mundane musing the thirty-first

the bed

had neither springs nor frame

just two thin mattresses upon twin pads

held up by the floor

just big enough for two and a baby

stretched out like sausages feet entwined

arms reaching head-ward for the wall

sheets a tempest of poly-cotton blend

of course, baby commandeered

the nest of blankets

treating them like odious intruders

whilst mama valiantly refused to relinquish

the sliver of bed she owned

and papa was satisfied, baby’s feet

massaging his neck with

the innocent violence of slumber

and though they woke every morning

bleary-eyed and muscle-sore

they wouldn’t have it any other way

because the cocoon of love

was far more important than

a good night’s sleep

(written 16 april 2018)

mundane musing the thirtieth


I long for the green saplings of asparagus

Inexplicably I savor even their woody stalks

Like a punishment, fibrous and cleansing

I am mostly disallowed from eating vegetables

Instead consuming processed sugars and

Refined grains out of necessity for nourishment

Of some kind

I dream that perchance, when not surveilled

I puree deep purple roasted aubergines

Savor courgettes fried in butter and olive oil

I barely season them

They are delectable in the nude

And I eat them in secret

My eyes wander the food desert of my


My wrinkled bag of a stomach protests

Its dedication to cheese and milk products

Searching for something less

Child-like to eat

The bitterness of gourds and greens

The spiciness of radish and dandelion

I open the cupboard

Chock-full of bread and noodles

Cookies and sweets

Bottles of wine sleeping on their sides

They appease me for a while

Strange, but sometimes I wish I were a


Gleefully grazing, a happy herbivore

Dutifully digesting multiple times

(written 22 april 2018)