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July 3, 2018 / barton smock

a review by George Salis of R. Keith’s ~ Airy Nothings ~

ISACOUSTIC*

Airy Nothings, by R. Keith, Dink Press (2018)

~review by George Salis~

In the beginning of R. Keith’s Airy Nothings, with the opening poem “Dummy Letters,” the reader is ejected into a void of subliminal word associations strung together by velocity and ethereal filaments: “luminescent limb/ logically numb […] womb conscience/ ascend champagne […] chemist techniques/ chlorine hymns […] pneumonia ghost/ whether knot […] psychic columns/ kneel chaos.” The common dark matter here is that which is invisible to the ears, but not to the eyes. As Keith explains in the acknowledgments, the poem contains words with at least one silent letter. It’s a list that would make a hyper-dimensional Italo Calvino drool (while also scratching his head).

“Maxim Shuffles,” as the poem’s title suggests, is a rearrangement of proverbs. There’s a translucence in which the reader wades through a mental estuary of the familiar and the…

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