November 22, 2017KR OnlinePoetry


Therefore, at every moment of its flight, the arrow is at rest.
      —Aristotle, Physics 239b5-7

Poems are about sharp arrows
a friend writes. Where at any moment an arrow is
its own perfect fit. At any moment is
at. So at it never arrives. In such a constant state of piercing
it never does. So stags
propagate. Another friend of mine
writes about the legend of Saint Eustace who sees God caught
in the antlers of a stag. Thank God
the poem is
about the sharpness an arrow is at
any given time. The given as what is possible. There would be
no God
without the stag otherwise. That stag would be
dead. Would at least not be
there without the friend whose arrow
is meanwhile in the poem perfect and sharp. That
the poem is. So without my friends
where is God. What is he
left with for a ground of dependency.

My friend who is into monism
compares me to Alyosha who wants to but cannot be
more holy. Over Chinese food with him I compare
how I think
to how his wife thinks. Unlike his wife who is also
a friend of mine when I see
on a walk in the fall through the neighborhood
a gable or a fanlight I am not drawn
to its structural participation in the apparatus as a whole nor its status
as an object in itself. That
is its resistance. That in supporting
in being
supportive it supports itself. I want
to know instead where can it take me. To whom.
Charismatic events like seeing
God in the antlers of a stag
are more porous
less viscous
resist less. Are deeper. I can be
borne out on their outflow. A house doing its own foundational
dismantling. Its own erosion. Ungrounding. The ground too
saturated the house too centered
in the valley the
softening of its Sheetrock in the spring flooding my father
leaving the house in pale yellow
waders in the downpour at one in the morning. The possible
damage. The possible
sheet of rock. Liquid pane
marbled with light. For me on the other hand I want
to extract from that marbling for instance that reflection
of the ceiling fan cast against the restaurant glass
suck from it like fat
marbled on flesh
a vision. I want it to suck from me
suck me after it
a headwater. Branching. Tributary. That this is
for you is for me. Brought
back seeing to the ground of dependency. The at that
a delta is. That

a sea is. That a sea is
means sea fog. The reason there are redwoods
around is that they live porous
on this. Dependent
on suspended dispersal at a height. Breathing it. Head
-lights shafting parallel through it
arriving only so far. Only partially arriving
and less and less
on each return. The consequence of consequence. Pluralist
mist. The next
exit being signaled
with an arrow. Where my father’s mother will tell me
she has winnowed down
the porcelain lighthouses on her shelf to only
those found up and down the state of California. Arranged
in a line from those southernmost to those most north.
Line of points. Infinite line
of at to at. Brandishing
of antlers there could be
on the way home
in dense fog the
high beams on. Where there is
as much not
as might be
antlers as fog. Suspended at
head height. Suspended as coming

Kylan Rice
Kylan Rice has writing published in RHINO, West Branch, Seattle Review, Booth and elsewhere. He has an MFA in poetry from Colorado State University and is currently a PhD candidate in literature at UNC-Chapel Hill.