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October 17, 2013 / barton smock

review of Mikl Paul’s ‘Dandelions That have Held your Breath’

Dandelions That have Held your Breath
selected poems and writings by Mikl Paul
2013 Olivia Eden Publishing

http://www.oliviaedenpublishing.com/publications

(review by Barton Smock)

Mikl Paul is a poet of place after relocation. There is a cottoning in the work here to the notion of losing one’s way; and it follows that in order to do so one will need a map. I don’t know if this is the map one needs, or if it was intended to be. There are footfalls and a hovering above water. Someone, unnamed, named BreEle. From BreEle: Daydreaming of how You float:

“…loving, that
you have become
a country and that I
have become
an accent.”

Note that the speaker becomes an accent, which can leave said country. Note that the speaker does not say government, or landmark. Paul’s preciousness has guidelines.

“…and you taste
of the memory of god abandoned.”

“…where has a single breath
been left unadored?”

both from There Will be bodies We will never Say

The poems, the writings, in this gathering are oddly shaped, but adult like. Many of the titles are ‘untitled’ with a title, or legend, following. Capitalization is intuitive. As a whole, the work is an unsure bravery. An apple eaten under the hunch of the arbitrary. Not only precious, but housed in the precious afraid. From Untitled. Underwait:

“…and
is any of this bearable?…

…and with silhouette
revealing how all
once was a once…”

I don’t want to say cadence, but there is a beneath asking for it. Paul wants to praise, it seems, in formation and because of this want there is a gesture of hymn, but it disappears. Paul internalizes the eulogy of idolatry.

“…there is only one name his fossil is the echo of…”

“…But if he wrote the path to there while here and they chose the now of it to consecrate the then, as a tribute, or monument or song…”

both from A History and the Thick Mouths. Chapter Two.

The book is full of an imagining that occurs not to project but to flatten itself beneath a grade school transparency. Poetry is a false prophet but a reverent student. Paul learns in A History and the Thick Mouths. Chapter Three. to begin with “I need you a symphony and you are restiform; the fable lowered from the highest window.” and to later gut the work for guts with “You are the raindance above me.”

This collection, it is very young. Let me explain. The young presented with what they yearn to recall. The young using deja vu to predict the future. Read it twice.

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