Doctor of Silence: Fictions

Robert Kelly, Author
Robert Kelly, Author McPherson $12 (180p) ISBN 978-0-914232-91-9
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
These 27 unconventional ""fictions'' by poet Kelly (A Transparent Tree) are by turns introspective, erotic, fantastic, impenetrable, troubling and amusing. To quote from one of the characters, the eccentric Dr. Perkunas, ``There is no beginning. You would understand if you read slowly, and thought about every word as it came along.'' The protagonists include a man whose apartment is ``stripped down to the essential instruments and techniques''; an old Gypsy with ``special new ancient Gypsy tarrot cards,'' which depict, among other things, sewing machines and blue jeans; and a woman for whom ironing a white cotton skirt becomes a sexual experience and an act of liberation. Kelly's subjects range from the meaning of love to the life of a chicken (``these poor virtually flightless birds, whose life was all scratch and furtiveness and fear and haste''). Some tales are brief and plotless, mere ruminations; others reveal intricate and mysterious developments. With his extraordinary imagery and language, Kelly creates a masterful, magical fusion of poetry and prose. (May)
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