005.1: Kyle Schlesinger:: Let it Rest & Goes Without Saying & First Person & Don’t Be Aloud 005

A poet of Kyle Schlesinger’s caliber might find a comparison between his recent work and the classic arcade game Donkey Kong offensive.  As tenuous as such a comparison might seem, I encounter Schlesinger’s poetry in much the same way I play Donkey Kong: moving from line to line, knowing that meaning will develop as a particular pattern of tumbling, cascading moments.  Each line is a girder, each epiphany a barrel.  In both cases the notion of a splintered whole (the line ended prematurely, the girder architecturally compromised) expresses a sensibility akin to the aesthetic of cracked vases: in minimal ruin one can approach the object with tenderness, a strong desire to impart meaning, and then walk away to a world changed by the subject’s altered epistemology.

A poem like “First Person” can’t help but indulge this strategy towards juxtaposing self-awareness against perpetual otherness: “Cronies love hoodies/Vicodin blue afternoon” posits a wonderful contrast between familiarity and concealment in the first line and sexual potential in the second.  “Mishap with friends/Like that the riot act” similarly puns, this time with assonance as a strategy to associate “Mishap” with “riot act”, the accident and its legal consequence. These shards, fragments, and pieces of language remind us that fracture produces the evocations of lyric. Ryan Winet

Let it Rest

       for Rich

Spooky foxes seem
Alright meaning the
Message is ajar trance
Doesn’t do it live
Like possible question
Intuits other habits
Crave snug gaze in a
Relative clause where
Irony seats itself
What difference does
It can count on thing
Of the past under the
Bridge to beg your
Pardon FYI just the
Two of us last to know
You know who’s to say
What’s happening and
What’s not at your own
Risk like it is up to
Here keep the change
Eight days a week

Goes Without Saying

      for Michael

Split infinitive goes
Without saying what’s
A synonym for COD how
Many riddles have you
Squirreled away the
Road to hell is paved
With permanent marker
Blacking out as night
Moves in or have you
Seen a feeling for
Leaving track without
Trace or didn’t you
Come along for ride
Dog eats dog picture
Perfect perfect picture
Anything you do every
Thing you are take it
Or where do I sign
Double click one room
Over sparked déjà vu

First Person

      for Anna

Cronies love hoodies
Vicodin blue afternoon
Televised suffice to
Say you know tomorrow’s
Gonna be another day
Mishap with friends
Like that the riot act
Tangerine dream just
Kidding this shit’s
Amazing beg to differ
Be the wiser soul
Searching sounds fishy
Wish me well until we
Meet again send my
Regards to yesterday’s
News like nobody’s
Business that aside
Six of one so many
Words all in your head

Don’t Be Aloud

      for Larry

You know the story is
Generally lavender
Start over skip to
Scrimmage go figure
Feeling starts with a
Black ribs lock arms
At a loss for words
Trip you up continues
Strike through cut to
Second person singular
Number one what else
Is there facts of life
A screwy sensation
Sets in what begets
Beg to differ cinnamon
Soap you dig dodge
Hold it in thinking of
Stand and deliver hi
I’d like that you could
Clear some doubts that
I have something’s up