{ in honor of its one year in the seen world, a former reflection on Devin Kelly’s ~In This Quiet Church Of Night, I Say Amen~ }

reflection from April 23rd 2018:


In This Quiet Church Of Night, I Say Amen
poems, Devin Kelly
Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2017


‘…Father turns his head, I think,
to watch me, & this goes on forever.’ – {from} The Wind In Galway

With confession’s nostalgia for the crystal ball, Devin Kelly’s In This Quiet Church Of Night, I Say Amen gives away blood’s belongings and yawns itself over a lived-in kindness known maybe once or twice to you as a child when clicking you went with your bones through the sigh of a strange house the morning after a sleepover. This is a precise and expansive poetry, a poetry of scope and spotlight, somehow able to amble oddly behind inquiry while at the same time calling out distance for the shortness of its answer.

‘…The body is holy,
because I miss it.’ – {from} My Grandmother Is Holy

I have long held that the reading and writing of poetry be made of either a great avoidance or a sudden thing, or both. What Kelly does here is generous, and disproves such superimposed withholding. It is old and it is young, and possesses the frail form, not to own it, but to cheerfully accompany its grief, on that shaky bridge, as a carrier of its welcome mat and holder of its prayer.


reflection by Barton Smock


book is here: