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At the Kinnegad Home for the Bewildered

Authors: Jeffrey Levine

Published by Salmon Poetry

ISBN: 9781912561384

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Jeffrey Levine?s poems hover and oscillate between moments in and out of
time, between states of being and nonbeing, between the body and the
body within the body. ?What is the imagination's job but to blur one
life into the next?? Levine?s modus operandi is the process of osmosis
and the seepage itself that moves, ?drop by rusty drop,? through porous
scrims. This liquid is the ink on Levine?s page, the physicality of
words that strive to exceed their dictates. In this way, the book?s
language works like the impasto technique of the poet?s beloved
Rembrandt, paint layered thickly on paint, to make for a rough surface
on which golden light may play and sparkle. ?Light the candle, conjure
that halo / of amber, reveal the dancing shapes / upon walls that weep
with tears of dampness, / the fallen ceilings, the unhinged doors, /
through which, bright / moons in the courtyard / glow countless.? We
need not choose between affirmation and humility, Levine argues, in
tones that are at once urgent and agnostic (?The one neither, the other
nor?). On the page, at least, we get to have it all: ravishing desire
and feasts, prophecies, ?night dreads,? ?a lost thought boxed within a
certain light,? poems that upend tradition.

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