Previous selections from the ongoing Spiritual Letters project have appeared from Reality Street Editions (Spiritual Letters (I-II) [i.e. Series 1-2] and other writings) and Stride Publications (Spiritual Letters (Series 3) ) as well as in small, limited edition publications. The present collection is easily the most comprehensive to date, a 104 page book comprising all of the first five series. Spiritual Letters is, for the most part, an exploration of poetry in (as) prose.
The word “spiritual” is, in this volume, ripped away from the New Age and returned to its sources in Kabbalah and early Christian (gnostic) writings. But it carries with it the world as we have it now. A heap of horrors, remnants, a sense of the feminine under assault, and the drive to love. Therefore the dimensions are multiple and unstable. To be human is to be a spiritual entity more aligned with nature than with culture, and therefore to rebel. I am happy to have and to hold this book.
If “experiences at the limit of what can be apprehended” be the working definition of “sublime”, then Miller’s is and is not a sublime work, since it hovers within and beyond the limits of what can be apprehended, and in this is a speculative and phenomenological poetry.
What the text of these Letters suggests, in part, is a meditation on the (im)possibility of a rationally conceived aesthetics of writing which would represent us in our moments of transcendence, in our acts of remembrance, in our experiences of poverty and isolation....
It takes a strong writer to insist on the prose element in prose poetry. Miller succeeds by enjambing the stylistic signs of prose (direct speech, a narrator, even devices of plot) with parts that are poetry (sometimes lineated as such, more often as images and lines that simply by their referential and unhurried quality are poetry).
Spiritual Letters (Series 1-5) is available from the Chax Press website (www.chax.org) – enquiries can be made to the publisher, Charles Alexander (email@example.com). The book costs US $17.00 and can be ordered from either the Chax Press website or from Small Press Distribution (www.spdbooks.org. ). It can also be purchased from the author for £10.00 (cheque payable to David Miller – please send to 99 Mitre Road, London SE1 8PT).