ASTRAL PROJECTION by Kyle Flemmer (Released by above/ground in 2017)
Review by Greg Bem (@gregbem)
Causal periphery: Short Passing Game by Davy Kehoe
VISITATIONS OF / THE AFTERLIFE / (SEMI- / PERMANENT)
A musing on permanence. A musing on muses. Permanently fixed as paper can be, as the folds into the book. I’ve read this of Kyle Flemmer as a poet in 2017, and here privileged as pinnacled by a sober chaos, the rumble of the essence spoken aloud of becoming, being, in transit, the reader as the fix and as such fixed, or the post-transit, above and through, this book too understated, is a book of how to move, how to be open and up, whether the breath rises or falls, and we focus. And strumming around I’m diving left and right, page to the right first, then the left, hands go to fists, thinking about the line, the flux, the certainty to mark the page. Right or wrong but under no knowing of moral obligation or a mindfulness that begs to know better, I imagine the author as we always do: hunched over a thought, peering into it, examination roomy and complex, but no complaining, magnifying glass over book, the projection of the voice amplified by the echo of its own voice, its own owning of substance.
But here the other layer, the layering is the act of placing up and up, positioning and uttering. This work as the enhancement process, the prepositions and the postpositions, and the knowing of the directions, alchemical or at least ancient, a logic, an arithmetic, cold and to the touch, but the paper is warm. The paper worn from me flipping, though not much to flip, this title is as obviously a sentiment as it is a notation, my breath slowing as I am on the verge of realization of attitudes in the age of inquiry needing the crux of the curious: the parked press of a spark as we read: “ASTERITE: / GEMSTONES KNOWN / TO ANCIENTS” and lights light though it also was the bedding to the cheeks, kept swollen and worn, warmly, through the star, and the hunch is the night, peer looking at peer through the flight of a narrowly open set of words and meanings. It is a gasp of air flushing through. ASTRAL PROJECTION a morph of our own positions “IMPACT EJECTA / LOCKED INTO ORBIT” the way the family spins out of control, family of controlling mechanisms, the knobs and dials and turns and spins aloof, spinning through bound and unbound laws and sets of laws.
As hypnotic in flush as hypnotic in pensive as a thorn’s embedded brush, the notifications in Flemmer’s work are tame but hushing and their effect is a result of the symphonic influences of the everyday, mirrored with the mire of the deluge of the unknown, a deluge as invocational as performative, a quest to peek, a question of peaking. In this case I imagine the self, an utterly incomparable being of universality, who is as much spearheading a vision of the iceberg floating across our climate-changed-oceans, as the self who stares upward into the oblivious cosmos, mapped stars a bouquet of bold guidance. Or perhaps we’re all frozen through the quaking malcontents of beings beyond our boons and brazen shims and slams: “GORGON’S HEAD / UPON HER BREAST” as the locomotion to get up, feel right, push better. Flemmer, with his diagonal poetics, offers the sour spatula from which we must rest our lazy, equitable tongues, and move forward like frolicking mimicry into the dust, like dust, as dust, once more unto a breached midnight blue sky.
Propped like a crypt of imagery, fastened like knobs and dials to the machine, which is a map calling your name, therapies of folding engagement, the hissing beep of the oven made ready, the historical nuances of what could be said to be kept tight, and what could be tossed, relieved, into the older space beyond, that distance which we know of, refer to, rely upon. Spiral bodies are these reliances, often referential, and often confronted. Utterances. “NATURE IS / REVENGED / BY NEMESIS” and “NATURE IS ORDER CONTORTED / REVENGED / BY NEMESIS” as the way it should be an utterance, the way it should break open with egg-like ooze resting upon the surface of your eyes, that dangling splurge, the effect of your eyes, twin sponges in the gangway, calmed by a fresh wheeze of the poetries that boost, boutique indexes of “RUBBLE PILES, BINARIES” toppling over the comfort of the cheeks.