Abraham Smith on lines by Tim Earley

From Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery

Spring placed its finger on my spine. I am not some kind of zombie with a surfboard and ham. I am not some kind of pigeon cooing itself to death. The engine of my flatbed truck cuggles on the hill. The neighborhood wyvern sits alilt on the berm of its own brain. I am ready to have some babies. I am ready to be a bellicose producer and have some babies and toss them into the air for years until the Lord strikes them with the gift of speech and their tales turn the mountain’s insides out into the meat I eat for breakfast. Until then I will watch my squash grow and pine for the cleft of some long lost beauty’s historical chin. The daily path is riddled with deceits, dresses, yellow hems. We were merry once. We hung curtains. The Lord brought us together in a shallow pool, the water beaded on her fur. I loved and despised both her vicious and enduring parts.

[from Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (Horseless Press, 2014)]


from the pine hole the gush.  you’ll have to forgive my lackingness in any sorta critical distance or nuance here. tim earley is a favorite poet in the history of humans. his poems bedazzle and mesmerize. he concusses with the manna of anachronistic phrasings suddenly much more current than the buzzing present. his lines are an electric future. i am more than a little breathless to get on down the line. jonathan edwards reading the gospel could hardly get down a line & would routinely slap the door and bar the door & fall to rapturous weeping. not a far stretch from my responsorial to earley. the glory here is the elbow of the thought. every line is a corner on a mangy melony woods path. you can’t tell just how you will be loved and/or killed around the hinge of the next thought–lord earley’s mesmeric noggin & how.  & the pulpet puppeteer edwards is an apt echoing, as earley’s poems do delight. they are delightful: they trigger a ten ton somatic trigger. they slap at us. & slap at us. & slap. it’s startling music making. it’s too much: listen to the ‘wyvern [...] alilt on the berm of its own brain’.  yes, earley is chewing a piece of gum. what flavor? a glowworm riding a lightning bug. a luna luau.

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