A calm testimony to time and the ways we repeat ourselves, Kyle Harvey’s “Farewell Materials” operates through echoes, with each reiterated phrase navigating its varying contexts to achieve broader meaning. If the collection’s opening page—“Adagio, let’s say // three // slow // beats // or so”—is equal parts request and statement of mood, then its final pages channel the older aesthetic of a record player, looping its final bit until being turned off.
Much like Harvey’s serial poem, “July,” this newer collection showcases a deep awareness of spatial minimalism and a word’s placement within. And being “a half-hearted // banjo gambler // singing // softly // to // the moon,” Kyle works with his words to craft them into sheet music, with each long caesura honoring all that waits for us in silence.
And yet, “Farewell Materials” is also the softening and hardening layers of adulthood. A prayer and a change—“for years / & years” the speaker confesses what surrounded him while he slept, the time spent waiting to reach up through the gravel. Like “bits of glass / treasured,” much of this collection is tucked away, desiring the reader like an act of extraction.
Download “Farewell Materials” from Lithic Press here
Kyle Harvey can be found on Twitter at @kyleharveypoem
Check out Kyle’s online poetry magazine: Fruita Pulp
Kyle Harvey is currently working on “The Alphabet That Never Recovers,” which includes parts of “July,” as well as “1987 & Other Poems,” another full length manuscript which includes prose poems, epistles, centos, and other pieces from the last couple years. For further background on Kyle Harvey’s work, here’s my earlier review of his chapbook, “July”
Review by Christopher Morgan