By Keith Jones
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Lyrically inventive, ekphrastic poems that interrogate art, race, and humanity's dark history.
These poems stress the weight of what it means to speak from and in an already "known" world. In this debut collection from Keith Jones, the opening poems tarry with and think alongside the paintings of Cy Twombly. If Twombly is a painter of the Middle Sea, this song series conjures the longue durée of the Middle Passage. The poems then turn to resituate a "you" and "I" in a world, our world, disfigured by false and deathly approximations of the "human." Perched on the jagged-edge of how many known and unknown catastrophes, how do we remake, rethink, reimagine, repair in language and act our relations to one another and to the earth? In the thinking and feeling of these poems, the great recursive swirling arcs of Twombly's painterly line recur and intersect.
Beyond the materiality of Twombly's paint, beyond the materiality of the poem, we arrive at a profound place of thought, a kind of state, perhaps a republic of many worlds, alive to all our relations and how much they matter.