Kathleen Tyler lives in Los Angeles where she teaches English at a local high school. Her publications include The Secret Box from Mayapple Press, and My Florida from Backwaters Press. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Visions International, Runes, Solo, Poetry Motel, Margie, Seems, Cider Press Review, and others. She has been the featured reader at many Southern California venues such as Beyond Baroque, Skylight Books, Coffee Cartel, World Stage, Venice Grind, and the Church in Ocean Park. A poem from My Florida was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Most recently, a poem of hers was a finalist in the 2009 dA Center for the Arts Poetry Prize.

from The Entry of the Animals Onto Noah's Ark

do not think the roar
of evening will save you

the moon frees its birds
into your fingers weaving
a nest of light

you bring to this dusk world
new water
no rainbow yet
molting its skin

and we have grown impatient
watching the dead unravel
each color

not even the smallest branch
left whole

nothing but the brown sheen of a leaf
warping in memory

the brightest hand a world
waving good-bye    

I want to burn my poem last I want its ashes to lie
on other ashes I roll it tight I want some pieces of it left

whole I want evening to court me in its old surgical suit

in defiance of everything I have ever wished
for or against the most minute particles excavating the bottom
of the bowl charred arms outstretched I envy

the possessor of the green flame Joan of Arc’s
hair shimmering the acid afterglow

of pure vision that flares against the dullest
background an old habit
the way the dead light certain causeways

a phosphorescence I have come to drink from

the corpulent body of Pliny the Elder sizzling
on the beach the world’s worst dying as yet
unknown the younger one described the eruption

as a giant tree    night fuming in its branches
only now night is an excess and a lack
another ancient philosopher claimed

“all things are an exchange for fire”

sometimes you can see jupiter mercury mars singed
red your head bent back

like the archer’s fiery bow his arrow blazing

Kandinsky, After Moscow
who could bear to not watch
them sleep pale-

faced girls blue roses in fists

yesterday sets itself into motion
each of its syllables a flower


a number is just another surface
    there were hundreds I hear

strolling around history and its dismal
gardens representations as tourists sporting
at the edges of old-world maps

petal by petal the subject

I have forgotten myself  

too much purity

in any given

liberates the eyes

                   what to do with the hands 

finalist in the 2009 dA Center for the Arts Poetry Competition

Kathleen Tyler Poet

© 2009 Kathleen Tyler

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