Timothy Kelly

Paper $15.95
(ISBN 978-0932440334)

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"Timothy Kelly's The Extremities might be called Kelly's Anatomy for its incisive mapping of the vulnerable human body. Carving his astonishing strands of images, all the way from the pelvis as an 'alabaster birdbath' to the 'jewelsmithed bridge' of the bones of the ear, Kelly makes much other poetry about the body appear under-informed. After reading his poetry, you won't be able to raise your arm without a new sense of the intricate and tight net of correspondences between muscle and bone--and the way deft language can lead us to a fresh realization of the mysteries that are always with us."
--Lee Upton

"The Extremities rescues from the drab columns of textbooks the clinical language of tendons and bones, unlocking an enormous, previously unguessed range of metaphor and reference. The poems are unique. Their brilliant engagement with the concrete and objective brings the inner life to light with a crystalline concision for which I had not known I hungered. This is a wonderful book, something truly new."
--Christopher Howell

"Human body as earth and sky, machine and animal flesh, cathedral and marketplace--Tim Kelly continues, in tightly packed and brilliantly constellated language and lines, to explore what it is to live an embodied life."
--Patricia Y. Ikeda

The Muscles of the Face

The front of the skull's alive
with them, dabs, brushstrokes,
dashes, slants, a knifed-on map
of confederated dutchies, a quilt,
a weave, an underlayment of moving
parts, muscles whose single task is
shaping the complex weather playing
over the eloquent plain of the face.

The morphing mask is, in the end,
simple mechanics, solid electrical
engineering: motors and anchors,
feedback loops and force-couples
which embroider, enlarge or eclipse
what's spoken, or to signal, sell
or frankly sabotage in the absence of
actual speech. And working always,
arguably, in the service of a thornier,
more complicated truth. Think

of your mother, young, her face
a sweet treasure reopened exclusively
for you each morning: its comfort
complexion, dimensions and depth;
its hidden rooms, shadows, silences.
It was the book you learned to read

long before a first word, jacketed,
jigsawn, coded, cruel, whirred suddenly
on the page and, with transfiguring, still-
compounding consequences, opened.

Copyright c 2008 by Timothy Kelly. May not be reproduced without permission.

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