Kerry Shawn Keys
One of the poems in Broken Circle, Kerry Shawn Keys entitles “Voyage.” It’s about a cricket, but also about dreaming a cricket, and even a cricket’s dream. The poet with his lips pressed against the cricket’s wings, weighs anchor “on a round-trip into the blue night.” Many of these poems are mysteriously intimate and beautiful in just this way–the way of a voyage from within nature, seldom a description from without. Keys is no dualist–he’s right here, part of the crossfire “of bodies and souls coming and going.” The poetry is lyrical, lush, and intelligent, making it almost un-American. I would suggest a voyage through this world, a world not yet given over to urban designs and decay. Here, immanence reigns, a wild belonging, a pastoral harrowing where wolf and lamb share the same golden fleece, where the broken circle of the seasons is still a circle. Keys has over forty books of poems, prose, and translations from Lithuanian and Portuguese, and throughout there is always the masterly touch of metaphor, rhythm and phrasing, and numinous moments when the darkest and lightest of epiphanies rhyme, where “all the flies on the ladder are angels” and “a Paleolithic lingam resembles a beached fish in the garden.” Do angels go fishing with fly ties and catch lingams or ladders? You might, while reading these poems.
cover design by vario burnos | workshop of concepts
incorporating artwork by Paco de Nada