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Kimberly Lyons

Poetry reading of various selections, including Of Materiality Oh Ugh, Celetná Street, and Itinerary For Vyt Bakaitis

2014 Season

Kimberly Lyons read her poems for the opening of Alyson Shotz’s exhibition, Interval.

What are French sentences, I asked
No one was there to reply although the hotel chandelier was fascinating
To look at, my dissimulated beauty of ugh
How did “you” or “that” or “it” get chained to
“Me” in this intermediary location
By an invisible Lucite hair
Of materiality oh ugh, to an impulse to extract
Its memory and disperse “its” weight
I guess a gondolier shifts “them” to do the same
Think of all “the” bodies in all “that” history
Passing through under the glass like drops of light

Lynn’s fairy sticker book is
Divided into fairies of the seasons
And is under a potato masher
And the hand bag of a thousand fin de siècle nights.
The brown and yellow Czechoslovakian glass beads
Strung on a wire were sent all the way from Celetná Street
To Gabon and back to Margaret’s
Grandmother’s best friend’s daughter’s basement in Prague
And lay there for thirty years like sand that receives the waves.
A symbiosis of being and being taken away.
Which is a little what the dark does
To the box with string and rocks inside
And now, all the blind soapy gray swans
Are a disembodied tribe
On a metal lake.
Recycled clothing can only carry us so far.
come awake on the neck
Of strangers
Which everyone is, in a sense.
All necklaces are strange and all necks familiar.


The fairies of summer flick just within
Awareness outside the porch
And a bee hovers

Hit the earth of it with one foot
Other in reserve, kicking the wind
Coming from any direction. Know which
Way is north. Head there with a light bag
On your back. Carry knife, fork, book.
Sniff for water. It may not be visible.
Or it may engulf the head
Momentarily. See through green
Glass, momentarily. Notice
Pine cones, doorways, door handles.
Notate labels on the bottle. Street names.
Which alcove for which saint’s
Bone. Carry a small comb.
Dry pants on neck in sun.
Wet ears on sea.
Move around the big rocks.
Climb the semi-big rock
Casually, carefully.
Chew rind of bread
With La Rioja
Remember yr goat moves, Cap Number One.


Keep (me) in mind. Back of is okay.
Move forward at sunrise
And I-

Kimberly Lyons is the author of the poetry collections Approximately Near (Metambesendotorg, 2016), Calcinatio (Faux Press, 2014), Rouge (Instance Press, 2013), The Practice of Residue (Subpress, 2012), Phototherapique (Ketalanche Press/Yo Yo Labs, 2007), Saline (Instance Press, 2005) and Abracadabra (Granary Books, 2000). Her chapbooks and chaplets include Asterisk 12 (fewer and further Press, 2011), Soonest Mended (Belladonna*, 2015), and From Restorative Analects (Envelope #9). Her poems have appeared in The Doris, New American Writing, Pallaksch Pallaksch, Vanitas, Peaches and Bats, the Poetry Project Newsletter, Eoagh, Bone Bouquet, Ladowich, The Hat, Zen Monster, and Unarmed.

Lyons grew up in Chicago and participated in the Urban Gateways poetry workshop for high school students, which afforded Lyons and other students in the program to read with Gwendolyn Brooks. Lyons attended Columbia College where she studied poetry with Paul Hoover, and Bard College where she studied with Robert Kelly. She moved into the NYC’s East Village in the early 1980s, where she was a part of the poetry community at the Poetry Project, the Ear Inn, Biblios Bookstore, the Zinc Bar, and the Bowery Poetry Club. She assisted Mitch Highfill with his press Prospect Books; a series of perhaps the last poetry books printed on a mimeo machine.

Lyons served as the program coordinator at the Poetry Project from 1987 to 1991. Her essays on poets Bernadette Mayer, Joe Ceravalo, and George Quasha have been published in Aufgabe, Jacket 2, and Talisman. She has co-organized all day conferences on the poetics of Robert Kelly, Basil King, and George Quasha at Anthology Film Archives. Lyons worked in publishing and as a social worker since 1993. She now lives in Chicago where she publishes Lunar Chandelier Press.

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