Epigrams Both Ludic and Regicidal. Delete Press. forthcoming 2019.
Epigrams Both Ludic and Regicidal. Delete Press, forthcoming 2019.
“You enter the door of Tim Earley’s new book—someone has led you here—but it takes time, once inside, for your eyes, brain, heart, to adjust to the dim light. You knock against something in the dark and wait. Even what you can begin to glimpse doesn’t quite make sense: it looks something like a Chinese apothecary abandoned on a busy day—jars and vials of various sizes on rows of shelves, tools and curious devices in glass cabinets. It feels a bit like you are drifting underwater in a grotto or aquarium. You stare at things in the jars—powders and gruesome objects arranged beside cheap toys and gadgets from our own age, emblems of pleasure and shame. You peer closely at the labels on the jars, bristling with instructions, recipes, proper names in strange tongues—and more than a few made-up words, it seems: “solar pap / red hairy profits / an inquiring frost / singing teeth / purpureous gravities / a fillerstein’s ear.” You can feel it as you settle into the dark: a cure begins with its own name and the proliferation of that missing name. And you remember that this room is a place that exists only to speak to the needs of those in pain. Then you notice, to your horror, that there is a faint layer of dust over everything. Breeding dust. The suffering of every sort of friend, and of the herbalist himself, fills the room. And you leave that dim place, squinting at the sunlight, confused between two worlds, but filled with simple gratitude for these astonishing poems.”—Daniel Tiffany
"I’ve been a fan of Tim Earley’s work for years. It is sonically wonderful and texturally strange. His poetry is testimony to what happens when you trust language as a multilayered, multidimensional art form. Narratives are germinating everywhere in this book. What’s so beautiful about these poems is they change every time you read them."— Nikki Wallschlaeger
“Tim Earley’s crazed, ceremonial ceramic concoction—Epigrams Both Ludic and Regicidal—got me thinking on Keats’s illustrious and illustrated urn, all glazed with double-dipping truth and beauty and whatnot. But the Jeroboamian vessel here is awash in a goddam gouache of red-figured language and is smashed to smithereens by the most loquacious of syntactical sledgehammers, a perfected ball-peening into these totemic, shamanistic, sublime and subliminal shards. These proems—let’s call them contemporary divining ostracons—banish us to the sensuous land of necessary nonsense, strangers in the land of nod where we nod yes and yes to these epic epigrams, and yes, to these moving moments, generated by this earnest earner, Tim, right on time.”—Michael Martone