Books and Other Writings

Language has the capacity to startle, to inspire, to incite rage and to bring life. At their best, words have the capacity to draw us into new understandings of ourselves and others. They can cave in our expectations of the way the world is, and they can give us new and deeper insights into things that we no longer pay attention to because we no longer find them inspiring or worthy. Here is some of my own work. For more, you can check out my blog Sandals at the Gate.


tribe: fire-songs

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k. m. yarian brings to life the joy, anxiety, and self-discovery of their own gender transition and its impact on self-image and sensuality in this new collection of poetry. 

This collection is a confession, in the truest sense, of the ultimate freedom, beauty, and delightfulness of our human bodies and the celebration of them by the Universe that brought them into being.

“Yarian’s poems are lush and lovely rides through exquisite landscapes of lust, life, death, dreams and divinity’s seeming omnipresence. Yarian is a master — no, a sorcerer — of words, able to string together seamless and stirring images that provoke the reader into his or her most intimate intuitions and emotions. Love shows up everywhere in their work. These poems are intensely personal and naked dives into being alive and vulnerable. Mostly, they are a loving call to action. If we don’t wake up as their poems call us to, we die.”

-JD Cerna, GLAAD Media Award Nominated Writer

You can purchase a copy on Amazon.

Reviews

“I arrived home after a long, stressful day to find K’s beautiful book of poetry waiting for me. Love, loss, joy, pain, peace. I let my mind become lost in the words. In today's hectic world, sometimes you need to slow down and enjoy a book of poetry!”

“Read this collection slowly. Treat each poem like a coveted piece of chocolate. The words simply melt into you. The sentiments are easy to access (not all poetry can boast this). This is a collection that will prove to be timeless.”

"This collection is a wonderful gift.  It is short enough that it may be consumed in one sitting but, you’ll feel guilty if you do.  The writing is strong and passion filled, I found each individual poem called for its own quiet consideration. Reflections, praise, and laments; each piece is filled with deeply personal and open love that inspire me  to self examination/inventory.  Have I yet allowed myself to love this honestly?  I don’t usually re-read books, in this case, k.m. yarian has provided a work that I will return to for periods of reflection"

“The writer has a way of connecting through poetry that I really enjoyed. This was a amazing read. I couldn’t put it down until I had finished it.”

“Couldn't put it down, was captivated!!! Every poem poured through my body and came out in tears. “

“k.m. yarian is able to achieve a complex, non-dual, and interdependent vision of love in this extraordinary compilation of poetry. Resplendent in detail, shimmering with light, the lushness of Fire-Songs simultaneously stimulates the senses while calming the spirit. Like the Bayeaux tapestry, Fire-Songs is a work of great effort, devotion, and beauty, vast in concept, retelling iconic moments in life in individual images. Yarian is at their best using couplets. Since each of their poem's is a picture, each couplet is a picture within a picture. A perfect image worthy of the time and effort of reflection in and of itself. The couplet structure provides that moment of rest necessary to fully comprehend the breadth of the vista laid before me”

“k.m. evocatively draws readers into each selection in this collection, deeply sating a desire to know and express love. Each time I’ve read any of their poems, I’ve derived deep satisfaction. In re-reading them, both immediately and after a period of time when I would just let the poems sit inside my heart, my understanding and appreciation for them calls out, loudly, so that I am blessed with new joy and empathy for my fellow humans.”

“Read slowly. Be deliberate. Be ready to laugh. There are so many ways they play on words and stretch one's sensibilities. And for you Christian readers, take note. This is fine, fine theology.”

“These poems flow like a dream. The unbridled passion for life, for the mystery of God...for lust and love and even death are flawlessly interwoven into a quilt of words that drenches the reader in mystery and magic. These are poems to curl up with quietly and intimately, like a good lover.”


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How To Be A Disciple and Digital

Social media has become a virtual world in which all manner of human communities are being formed, including many centered on prayer, faith, and spirituality. But with the benefits also come liabilities in terms of attentiveness vs. distraction, self-assertion, consumption, and anonymity—all enemies of healthy community. How to Be a Disciple and Digital provides a framework for an ethic of social media community to help foster the growth and stability of prayerful spiritual communities online. (Available for pre-order at Amazon)


In Love and Service Bound

Before there was the “New Monasticism” there was the Brotherhood of Saint Gregory. This first authorized history of the groundbreaking Episcopal religious community known as the Gregorians, explores the growth of a budding community coming of age. Chronicling the history of the Brotherhood from the turbulent sixties through its first forty years, In Love and Service Bound offers a personal glimpse into the struggles, successes and personalities that helped guide the community in its unique expression and renewal of the face of religious life in the Episcopal Church. Detailing the vision and character of its founder and first Minister General, Richard Thomas Biernacki, this book offers an honest appraisal of the pivotal moments and inner workings of a community striving to live out the Gospel in the midst of an often skeptical church and world. It is available for download HERE.


Winter Breviary: A Poem of Some Reverence

“Winter Breviary” is a reflection on post-modern spiritual anxiety. The piece explores the themes of our relationship to the Divine, the emotions we confront when faced with moral and ethical choices, and the power of love. It is at once a poem and a prayer patterned after the form of western monastic prayer called the Divine Office. The hours of prayer form a movement from spiritual darkness; through the awakening and subsequent struggles and occasional rebellion of faith; to the surrender and peace of the fulfilled spiritual life in death. “Breviary” travels the road of the experiences of our human longing for meaning in stark prose and the musical rhythms of prayer. It was released in February 2019 on Amazon.

MY DEATH is on the page, is in the book,
is on the shelf, is in the house, a tale –
ribbon marked in red by father’s calloused hands
freshly from the plow, a virgin field,
in the hour when enough was never quite.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

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Poetry and Essays

“Briefly, he, hungers for pears to fill his mouth. Night waxes, humid, dreaming of soft plums. He loves her, because she is a pearl in darkness... she eats his song; her mouth a turtledove.” — from “Pearl in Darkness”
Br. Karekin, BSG

I have been writing for over 30 years, and studied creative writing at San Francisco State University. I enjoy social critique, spiritual reflection, and poetry that is at once transgressive and narrative. I tend toward the neo-modernist school, and I'm not particularly fond of most contemporary academic poetry. I find much of it to be obtuse, inaccessible, and self-indulgent. 

I am inspired by authors such as James Merrill and his poem "Changing Light at Sandover," David Jones' "Anathemata," and the works of Jorge Luis Borges and Rainer Maria Rilke. I think that H.D. and T.S. Eliot are two of the finest poets of the 20th century and the last of the great narrative modernist poets. 

My personal approach is to create work that re-asserts the elegiac spirit and up-ends our mythologies so that we hear them again. The language of faith inhabits my work, but in ways that are unexpected. The language of the heart is more important than heady intellectualism, but I hope to make room for both to call my reader's to make meaning of our shared experience, or the unexpected experiences of the stranger.

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Many of my shorter reflections on spiritual practice and social critique will be posted in my blog "Sandals at the Gate." See my Poetry page for representative pieces of my poetry. The collection will grow and what is posted here is copyrighted by me, but available under Creative Commons, No Modification, with Attribution. That means you are free to share it, without modification, attribute it to me, and include the CC BY-ND 3.0 license as a link.