Saturday, April 25, 2009

Collin Kelley & the Charge of Poetry


"I want to drive away into the morning light,
headed for Spain, hurting like hell,
but with my head up
and the taste of him on my lips."
Collin Kelley, from 'Why I want to be Pam Grier'



We feel it as a jolt, a surge, as though we've received some invisible electrical charge: then, a window opens up, there's a flash of recognition, a recollection, a memory that had been dimmed, dulled or denied, then, a slow opening of the mind - a thought, emotion, sentiment, perception - our finger is on the pulse of something, an inkling, that we were, previously, unable to identify.

Whether spontaneous, structured, confessional, or historical, Poetry condenses meaning into tight, terse, tensile language: "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways"; one phrase engenders an endless stream of impressions, iterations, and interpretations. Poets might be whimsical, reclusive, oblique, or explicit, remembered as defiant or ignominious... Whatever the destiny or description, all Poets use words as they choose them: as tools, as weapons, seeking to exact revenge, some positing a particular vision of the world, others, a plea for redemption.


David Herrle writes: "Collin Kelley's social/political poems are never mixed to go down smoothly like, say, a Sea Breeze. They're Tanqueray served neat." Kelley achieves the sweepingness of love's paradoxical emotion in one phrase:

"I want to drive away into the morning light,
headed for Spain, hurting like hell"

and exquisite nuance in the next:

"but with my head up
and the taste of him on my lips."


The charge, the surge: Poetry.

1 comment:

Lisa Allender said...

Hello Ms. Vanessa Daou, Collin Kelley never disappoints me in his sensitivity to life. His poetry elates, even when it is dark.....
btw, I love your "Heart of Wax" song, and plan to pick up your CD this weekend. Peace to you.
www.lisananetteallender.blogspot.com
www.lisaallender.com