Open the Window and Drown
Art is dangerous. Life is dangerous. Kathleen Tyler’s marvelous, truth-telling Open the Window and Drown records the dangers — and also the revelations that come when those dangers are embraced. Tyler unwraps the puzzles of Kandinsky’s art with more enticing puzzles: “sleepless I mull/ over this painting that calls the crow’s bluff.” She defines her own life with, “…it is my job to face always/ the wind the flat bay// my heart that nothing gets past.” The poetry constantly surprises us, thrills us. As the poet and her vision are transformed, so are we, her readers. Dangerous, yes — exhilarating, of course. Kathleen Tyler’s Open the Window and Drown is masterful, a highly welcome addition to the poetry of our time.
Kathleen Tyler’s Florida is a wild and terrifying place, a savage place-but “what was savage, I adored,” she tells us. And so these poems are full of the deepest kind of heartbreak, too, the kind of heartbreak that’s irreparable. “Death cures of our terror/of death,” Tyler writes, “What cure is there for the terror of love?” In My Florida, a hubcap scuds across the road, a child hides under an ironing board while her mother is beaten, a heron with orange eyes feasts on hatchling alligators, and a girl swings a bag of snakes tied with a pink, satiny ribbon, asking, “Oh, whose porch can I leave it on?” Tyler’s poems are often shocking, always brave, and bravely, shockingly beautiful.—Cecilia Woloch, author of Late
The Secret Box
Dark yet beautiful, THE SECRET BOX unveils the mysterious and dangerous world in which we live. Tyler’s craft is provocative, sharp and graceful; she courageously explores images of erotic and passionate love, a destroyed marriage, childhood abuse and family death. Cecilia Woloch compares this book to the “flickering intensity of film noir.” THE SECRET BOX dares you to open it, then leaves you in awe of its enduring truths. Kathleen Tyler is a fifth-generation Floridian who was born and raised in Tampa. Since 1979 she has lived in Los Angeles, California. She teaches English and Creative Writing at Los Angeles High School.