Poetry: Kevin Holden

Selected by Dawn Lundy Martin as a finalist in Omnidawn’s 2019 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize


endless hours opening
a field flung in dark roses
slowing it is not a
hinge flowing
the snow, upon snow
branches infinitely in bark
your mascara clacking down the gearshaft
do you remember the busdriver all in numbers
these red tables for blue picnics
or, see the world
1,000 things all aglow or sparking feldspar
aleuromancer in finite powders bluster
love us all polychoral in there


a curve into the backlot a snowdrift
anthracite green partitioned uptaking
or cruciform asphodel in circular sunlight
witness to a crime in that emptylot
chainlinkfence & glinting brokenglass
late at night & a moving frame
hustler or john sideshifting in the shadows
move off that to a forest & recombine
in a vision of different men
lined up from the past, each
under a different tree
& the fountain or reflecting pool or rose garden
isotope of brain & a field a silvergreen sheen
at the circle of the pondcells & blades of grass
aligned & repeating in a bordered array
dashes & circuitry accumulating in muted gleams
& holding hands they make their way across that waterway
up jaw arrow arch & flowered stone


that would say onyx rigel system comb
child sitting at the counter
or a purpleshadow tricycle found at the corner
it goes in endless grains a terrace in the project
above the rafters loan in an interest a dark interest
mintyellow faggot blow through the edging poppies
bright green syrup peridot in a strong cylinder
it would mean
to be outside
to summon ghosts
fly out above the dissonant chimetune
the book flows not a space in this country lemonclouded
a hungry after x-ward
pink delirium under darker quadrature
flee a following
dandelion storm
sooo late a kid stumbles home
‘werqit in da cold’ says V
in the oak milk
the grain in wood seeking granular
o rounder cube hustling in the snow
through sugarmesh or, it came a dark storm
a piece of meat booking it, brightened heaps
over those hot boys hustling in the snow

Kevin Holden reading: boolean, styrax, & megaspace

Kevin Holden is a poet, translator, and essayist. His books include Solar, which won the Fence Modern Poets Prize, and Birch, which won the Ahsahta Press Chapbook Award. He is a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.