Read a poem featured in As Men Do Around Knives:
ADVICE FROM STEVIE NICKS ON DATING
That girl who watched her father burn cigarettes
on cattle & later saw him cry in the barn – take her
some place soft. Some place where the salt blocks turn
to cheap boxed wines the color of a kid’s rusting wagon,
where there is no memory of a time without water
when wives whispered if we have taken too much from rivers
why haven’t we become lush in return? Play her
a song on your phone, one where a man’s voice
trembles to match a clarinet warping out of tune
making everything in the field sound like a pond melting.
Now kiss her, but only during the moment where
one horse remembers & the other scratches for wings.
Kiss her so your chests are no longer dark woods
but box-springs breaking vinyl in a Chevrolet. Whisper the name
Honeybeast so she will call you Moon. Understand when you kiss,
you are two beaks filling a guitar with string & hay, one asking
the way to name a crow & the other folding the wings.
Understand that the crow’s a dove & might not last.
Walk her home. Know the lantern might burn you both
before the dove settles back to the husk you lay in her hair.
*originally published in pioneertown
Tyler Kline's first chapbook, As Men Do Around Knives, is due out from ELJ Editions in the summer of 2016. Click here to buy it.
"There’s nothing predictable in these poems, which are as wild and surprising as the landscapes they inhabit. Tyler Kline’s elastic, inventive syntax gives the work heft and authority, and allows him to venture into deep emotional waters without a shred of the self-consciousness so common in early work. These are smart, exhilarating poems, packed with genuine moments of revelation. An extraordinary debut."
Chase Twichell, author of Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been: New & Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2010)
"The precise poems of Tyler Kline’s As Men Do Around Knives present a surreal world of disjunction - a world where you 'carry yourself like a suitcase past women/ who carry themselves like drawers' and the body is an acre filled with 'one hundred deer that won’t stop pretending to be geese.' Such metaphors enact a terrible beauty, the sublime landscape where suddenly a field of squash are 'rotting into faces of people we didn’t know we missed.' Kline possesses the wonderful ability to reveal the extraordinary strange depth in the seemingly ordinary."
Keith Leonard, author of Ramshackle Ode (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016)