Leicester Kyle: A Machinery for Pain (1999)

Jack Ross, ed.: Spin 33 (March 1999)

A Machinery for Pain, by Leicester Kyle, Heteropholis Press, Millerton, c/o Postal Agency, Ngakawau, Buller, $10, 44pp, Jan 1999.

Leicester Kyle: A Machinery for Pain (1999)

Dear Leicester,

I’ve read A Machinery for Pain through a few times now. The central body of it works very well, I think. A nicely ironised set of prescriptions. Personally I’d feel inclined to do something more complex with the formatting of the various herbal remedies – put them as footnotes or marginal notes, but it’s not really a big problem. The ending is quite lovely: invocation of the Neinei tree “whose sap is the sorrows of God.” Moving and effective.

My real proviso is with the first section, “The Pain.” This seems to me 1/ too long, and 2/ too indirect, to give the utterly desolate impression I take it you’re going for. I think it could be cut down to a page or two without great loss. As it is, it somewhat detracts from (by anticipating) the tone of the central – and most original – section.

I’m sure you’ll totally disagree (in fact, nobody ever does seem to agree with my readings of their poems, but never mind). You can get your revenge on some of my works when I get down there. We can get pissed on Miner’s Dark and try and kill each other, then have a weeping, maudlin reconciliation.

Love, Jack


Spin 33 (1999): 63.
[Available at: Leicester Kyle: Index (2011)]

[223 wds]

Spin 33 (1999)

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