the syllable that opened an eye

'Micah Cavaleri persists by means of the unexpected, by means of fecund lingual blinding. It is a language empowered by random laterality, crackling, seemingly imprecise, yet turbulent with concision. The poems seem kinetic, with aural waves, with dazed boundaries, with unnerving systemics. His lines being suns which arise and vanish. like a “trail of broken beings,” or “the Girl with the Rubbed Stomach,” or “...charcoal thighs in the smell of the sea.”' -- Will Alexander


the syllable that opened an eye, the first release from freshly founded Dead Man Publishing, quickly passes through the history of Western Philosophy, disposing of its empty claims to insight or intelligent reflection on the world. By turning us back to look at language and its very earthy roots as a tool for communication between hungry animals, syllable makes clear that our words may often be nothing more than the grunts of puzzled gorillas. Certainly, our language is not the precision instrument unerringly obeying the laws of logic that philosophers need in order for their problems and conceptual analyses to get off the ground. And so, we are left back at home in the world with a familiar language and a lack of philosophical confusion/insight.

The poetry of the second half takes us into the bird-twitter language that the book insists unravels the most difficult philosophical knots. As readers pass through Mexico, Nicaragua, Greece, somewhere in Africa, China, we feel through the words and spacing and punctuation on the page what is immediately, clearly communicated, rather than working to decode and understand the book’s meaning. The poems demonstrate the anti-philosophy of the opening essay in a way revealing what can be called a mystical atheism, void of metaphysics, soaked in language and the very real world. Poetry and Philosophy. 58 pages. Available at, at the Copper Country Community Arts Center, local bookstores, and online at