Ice Floe Press is proud to present our first in a series of micro-chaps that will be available for sale on our website. Dawn’s Fool is a wondrous mini-collection, a drifting meditation of prayer-poems by Kyla Houbolt, who is an emerging poet, sage and political activist. Of the poems in Dawn’s Fool, only one, ‘[getting around]’, has seen text publication, in Mojave He[art] Journal. The book also features a cover painting and line-drawings by writer and visual artist, Robert Frede Kenter. We hope you enjoy this lovingly produced chapbook.
from What Only the Earth Remembers
A body sinks
into a pool.
The body is mine
as i join the stone
that sang in the night
while i was alone,
sang of the wish
to melt in a fire
or dissolve in a deep
The poems in Dawn’s Fool were written over a period of years and came together out of a desire to express a communion with the living planet which I experience in the sentience of non-humans as well as other human beings. The communion with non-verbal sentience in particular is often very fugitive of expression – even if one experiences it, it often does not translate at all well. Poetry is a conveyance for such expression and goes further than other means. Yet there is often a sense of incompleteness at the attempt.
The title poem, ‘Dawn’s Fool’, is the oldest of the group, written in the mid 1990s. The dove herself – does she know the burden we’ve placed on her slight wings? Or is her living simply going about dove business?
More recently I feel the non-speech of the creatures more potently. We live in a time of urgency and belief in the trustworthiness of science. Yet the animals would have speech with us if we could listen to their non-words. Will the rocks unburden themselves? How would we live if we could hear in that way?
I hope you enjoy these few poems. They are love poems, to the Earth and to you.
“If bees followed me / I would carry them all on a kite,” Kyla Houbolt writes. Like John Clare, she is a poet of feeling and experience, and her imagination is intact. It would be foolish not to pay attention.– Jordan Davis
“What a beautiful collection this is. Kyla’s poetry reminds me again and again to stop and listen to the wisdom all around us in the natural world. Thankfully, she is transcribing this wisdom for us in her poems, the wisdom of the turtle, the fish, the bees, the trees, and the waters. And yet, Kyla Houbolt’s work goes beyond a passive gathering–she is also urgently calling us to action– “I want waterfeet to walk this burning world/ (Where are the frogs?)” She is calling for us to commit, to bind our bodies to the world in wisdom and praxis, remember our oneness with the natural world–from which it impossible to separate ourselves– its crisis and catastrophe is our own. So what are we going to do with our lives at this moment, when the earth is calling us to remember to whom we belong?” — Heather Derr-Smith
“One of my favorite things about Kyla Houbolt’s poems is the marriage of dream logic and sincerity, how she pushes completely through an image — the same way a parent guides an infant to crawl, then walk, then run. She’s deeply spectacular.” — Julia Beach
“I love the turning from the searing and burning to the cooling and soothing. Sun to ocean. Fire to water. It’s a prophetic movement that warns and threatens but also offers the possibility of solace. It’s a beautiful book.” — Lee Potts
A Review of Dawn’s Fool by Alina Stefanescu:
A Review of Dawn’s Fool by K. Weber
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Kyla Houbolt writes from an urgency to offer into the world a quality of being she can only express in poetry. Her life has not been one devoted to poetry though she’s been writing some version of it since she was able to form words on a page. She has no higher degrees and did not seek publication until early 2019. Previously, and before joining the internet world, she found venues in open mics, small group sharing, and individual gifting of poems. She has lived in most areas of the United States during her life, including many years on the West Coast, and has recently returned to her home state, North Carolina. Along with publishing poems in online journals (listed below) she has taken to sharing poems by sticking them up on trees in a local walking park. These poems, some written from that place, will form a future collection, and have yielded some local interest in her work.
Kyla’s work is published in or forthcoming from journals including: The Hellebore, Neologism Poetry, Black Bough Poetry, Barren Magazine, Juke Joint Magazine, Kissing Dynamite, Burning House Press/The Arsonista, Mojave He[art] Journal, Parentheses, Crepe and Penn, Muskeg, Headline Poetry, Dovecote, Nightingale & Sparrow, Back Patio Press, Silk & Smoke, Picaroon, goodbaad poetry, claw and blossom, Cabinet of Heed, Detritus Online, Taco Bell Quarterly, Ghost City Review, Diametric. She is a Best of the Net nominee 2019. You can find most of her current work at her Link Tree, here: https://linktr.ee/luaz_poet and follow her on Twitter @ luaz_poet.