Tag Archives: Lithic Press

KYLE HARVEY.May 2018


KYLE HARVEY

Photo by Jeff Sirkin


 

from COSMOGRAPHIES

for Neeli Cherkovski

II.

In the beginning

the spiritual absolute

even nothingness was not

but there was

something else, too

some semblance

of sly possibility

the chaos of

attractive truths

a struggle of soul

an assemblage

of spheres

knowledge, moon

precious stones & soon

first light of logic

magic of mind

jewelry of reason

jasper of time

the Jack of Hearts

quartz & quill

wearing white

& laying still

the woolen oak

along the river.

 

IV.

Can

self-exile heal

that which

language will

be, as

language is?

Never to be-

come a com-

plete nation,

never further

than a woman

can walk

in a day,

unless

governed as such

love will

always come

& go, save for

old, exalted

withdrawal of

Thought. How

we do love

to order all—

the candle

drips

when darkness

falls, plant

seeds in rows

quench thirst

in sips. Poems

come & poems

go, taking

with them only

what we

let go of.

Whole oceans

of meaning

revealed

cannot be

replaced

by that which

you feel.

Don’t ask me

what I mean.

Don’t tell me

what you mean.

Meaning

is the murder

of process.

 

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*** ** ***

 

THE ALPHABET’S BOOK OF FIRST FIRE

I.

The magic of all theater gives us a sense of place:

 

There is a lamp in the desert

gathering light

from pure darkness

It is our job to keep it lit—

I’d like to suggest                  forever

When I say suggest, I do not mean as an action

& when I say forever, I do not mean as measurement or duration

What I mean to say is:

Is    /    Just    /    Be    /    What if not this

 

II.

Fever your way into my dream

 

13,000 years ago                the Pleistocene’s final heave:

—it was a particularly dry year—late summer/low waters—

the last obstinacy of antique bison making its way down

from the Uncompahgre to cross the Grande River

 

Paleolithic Rock Clickers, first peoples of this place, follow

etymologies of their own geographies

wearing heavy wet leathers

carrying whatever they can

first things which might define a world

 

Upon crossing they walk themselves dry in the last syllables of the sun

& in the first syllables of night

find themselves here

they are right here tending

to their fire

an 800,000 year-old fire

they are clicking their rocks

they are clicking their rocks

they are clicking their rocks

they are singing their song

their          deep          song

they are singing this song

this          deep song

they are gathering light from pure darkness

 

first things which might define a world

 

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*** ** ***

 

WESTERN SUITE FOR DANNY

ON HIS 60TH BIRTHDAY

 

Grace to be born and live

as variously as possible,

 

this desert air carries

promise this morning

and beautiful tears

have blossomed in my eyes.

Jack Mueller is dead.

Apollinaire, too,

and Mallarme.

Neeli has asked

that I keep him

alive when he goes.

And so I will.

 

Grace to be born and live

as variously as possible,

 

let us rejoice

in the Gathering Light!

And let us rejoice

the supermarket is full

full of peas and full of men

who love peas,

men, who love peas, with guns on their hips!

Ah! I think I’ll let my beard grow!

How strange to be gone

in a minute, how strange indeed.

 

 

Grace to be born and live

as variously as possible,

 

just yesterday I was washed

upon some distant shore

but a chance inside someone else’s dream—

just yesterday I was born

and tonight I will die

in light having traveled

for billions of years

atoms of us

carrying love

this far

only to die

just yesterday, even nothingness was not

and it still is

it only wishes

to convince us

otherwise

 

 

Grace to be born and live

as variously as possible,

 

this knowledge of moon

this magic of mind

this dumb submarine

this quantum cluster

of what the fuck

this Gathering Light

this Vision of Johanna

this reverb oil slick

this peace seed

thumbed in the soil

of wars

this beautiful reminder

of who the fuck cares

this love and that

this love and that

this love and that

this Gathering Light

this beautiful reminder

there are no straight lines

and there are many straight lines

this deep mystery

this wonder of what

this beautiful reminder

this beautiful reminder

of Jack in hospice

kissing my hand

and I kissing his

“You’re a source,”

he said.

 

 

Grace to be born and live

as variously as possible,

 

(from a working translation
of Camino del Ñielol
by Teófilo Cid)

 

Solitude is a reflection

of the sacred hours

 

White ribbons

spilling into the deep black

compact mechanism

 

Memories worn

by pointy shoes

on the cushions

of quiet temples.

 

Solitude is a pond

filled with animals

of alcohol

 

Thousands of nicotine tribes

leave on fragile canoes of thirst

under skies of intoxicated clouds.

 

I am overcome

by the rivers full

of dead leaves

 

Trees of sugar

flood of Angelica

dried in the sun

 

My solitude

is an umbrella that breaks

like a piece from my voice

 

 

Grace to be born and live

as variously as possible,

 

Danny turns 60 today

and he has lived

as variously as possible

he has wandered about

and within himself

a cosmos within a cosmos

an ocean full of oceans

it’s 11:17 AM and the sun is shining

no one wants to shoot me today

it’s 11:18 AM and the sun is shining

my coffee is still warm

it’s 11:19 AM and the sun is shining

I am thinking of my beautiful daughter

it’s 11:20 AM and the sun is shining

the Nuggets won last night

and Joker had a triple double

it’s 11:21 AM and the sun is shining

somewhere a woman is forgiving herself

though she has nothing to be sorry for

it’s 11:22 AM and the sun is shining

I know Art Goodtimes!

it’s 11:23 AM and the sun is shining

I feel such great despair, but I’m alive

 

 

Grace to be born and live

as variously as possible,

 

Danny if I go first, hang a rock from every tree in Pollack Canyon.

If you go first, I’ll stack rock upon rock until they reach an agreement.

 

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KYLE HARVEY


“KyleKyle Harvey
is the author of the poetry collection, Hyacinth, a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, and winner of the Mark Fischer Poetry Prize. His work has appeared in American Life in Poetry, Dirty Chai, Dream Pop, Empty Mirror, Entropy, Heavy Feather Review, HOUSEGUEST, Metatron, Pilgrimage, Pith, Poems-For-All, SHAMPOO, Think Journal, The Wallace Stevens Journal, and elsewhere. He has published two serial poems, July and Farewell Materials (Lithic Press), as well as a package of broadsides titled The Alphabet’s Book of Colors (Reality Beach). He is working on a documentary film about Jack Mueller called Portolano, a manuscript titled The Alphabet That Never Recovers, and a translation of Camino del Ñielol by Chilean poet Teófilo Cid. He lives with his wife and children in Fruita, Colorado, where he manages Lithic Bookstore & Gallery and designs books for Lithic Press.

 

To download a printable PDF version of this page, click here.

 

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May 2018.KYLE HARVEY