Kylan Rice


ISBN  978-1-952419-64-5          140 pages           $18.00


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The stone says it on which the phrase is carved: gnothi seauton, know yourself. Written in a book hidden in the temple of the goddess, book of which only fragments remain, we have Heraclitus: phusis philei kruptesthai, nature loves to hide. The word, kruptesthai, to be hidden, is where this word so intricately endeared to Kylan Rice’s wondrous, labyrinthine, collection of essays emerges from—a crypt, an encryption. And it is as if from in between these two ancient shards the bright-dark dazzle of this book arises. Or does it descend?—deeper into mind, into memory, into the earth itself. It is a lie, but I want to believe it, that trick and truce (that imperfect rhyme) derive from the source. Then the trompe l’oeil still life that fools the eye into thinking real what isn’t, makes peace with the world hiding underneath appearance, that essence, that dark quiddity, we fear we never reach, even as we live within it. Here, ironies function as nervous conduits, and the profound risk this book bravely takes, is to trust that somehow the whole coheres, all if it, the world. Even the lives we do not lead continue to live themselves inside us. Emerson says, “For all symbols are fluxional; all language is vehicular and transitive, and is good, as ferries and houses are, for conveyance.” Kylan Rice is often on the road in these pages, on the highways of the Mountain West, and overseas in foreign lands. He is bringing us with him, such is the generosity of these pages, this mind, not to take us far from home, but to bring us closer. “My job is to channel a channeling,” he says. Part mystic, part sober-eyed skeptic, but poet through-and-through, Rice invites us into the mystery of our lives, helps us point at what is hidden, opens the crypt, gives us a hand as he helps us climb in.

                                                                  Dan Beachy-Quick