The Miscarriage: A Silent Film by Douglas Kearney

If you have never heard a poem without reading it aloud, then let me introduce you to Douglas Kearney’s poetry in his book Patter. Kearney delivers performative, typographical poems that remind me of the 1980’s American neo-conceptual artist Jenny Holzer (man, if these two could meet and do a project…). Jenny Holzer brought word art to the streets and Douglas Kearney brought a bit of street art to poetry. Inside Kearney’s book, Patter, poetry exists not only as words but as a visual medium in the form of street art, a screenplay, a wordfind and a sonnet interrupted by graffiti. On the surface, his poems are pleasing to the reader’s eye: they are deep and compact, yet lively. There are so many layers in Kearney’s poems; each unwinds a narrative in an overlying structure of wordplay and some with graphics.

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