Comedy Incarnate


by Ward Kelley 

I.S.B.N. 1-878431-33-5

There is nothing we could say better about this CD than that which has been said in reviews by some of the best and most respected poets around the world today; these are included below:

"It's a wonderful CD. Superb." -- Janet I. Buck

"Bravo, maestro, bravo!" -- Dr. John Horvath, Jr.

"A masterpiece. This is a classic that's sure to find it's way into many languages." -- Summer Breeze

"I highly recommend it." -- Pasquale Capocasa, editor of Poems Niederngasse


Janet I. Buck

(poet): It's a wonderful CD. Superb. In comedy incarnate, Ward Kelley takes the reader and listener on a pilgrimage through a wilderness of souls reviving their heritage with an emotive sense of history and crystal tenderness. It is an "inferno" we all deserve to know, but rarely make the dive to embrace. With "escorts" like Plath, Dickinson, and Joan of Arc, Kelley conjures every brand of emotion in the bible of self retrieved, made vivid by examination and catharsis. His words are like limbs of trees parted by wind, by his own breath.

David Jackson's musical score is subtle, penetrating, and it heightens the power of Kelley's message by respecting its tone at every move. comedy incarnate is not commentary but issuance. Kelley takes the meat of a soul and draws it up through a straw of song and we drink from the capable cups of his hands. The recesses of the deep are not fire and brimstone, never predictable, but raw emeralds in a forest that beckons us.

Dr. John Horvath, Jr.

(poet and editor of PoetryRepairShop): The poet here takes a great risk in beginning at the end: readers must believe the dead speaker of comedy incarnate who we meet in a restaurant; after he is wheeled out on a gurney, we walk, observe, and fly with him in his "soulish" body. The risk is well worth reading.

Ward Kelley presents a thorough and consistent view of the other side, that oblivion which the "breathing ones" like ourselves ignore -- the ever-present world we "nothe" as "nothing." The wondrous complexity of comedy incarnate is appropriately supported by the music behind Kelley's ease of reading and comfort with the text. Death is soothing.

comedy incarnate is Ward Kelley doing Dante's Divine Comedy -- a descent into death and dreams, hell as what we each make it, and our personal responsibility for the contemporary sensuality and commercialism that destroys the soul. It is a world of fabulous images that should last in our culture. And the guides through hell are a series of wayward women from history who comment on our times from their vantage point in the timeless world beyond. There are adult images here, handled with care and sensitivity. Rather than sex for the voyeur, Kelley shows us the all-consuming passion of the saints . . . ecstatic rather than erotic, thus all the more erotic. Bravo, maestro, bravo!

Summer Breeze

(poet and editor of Moongate and Motherbird Press): I needed a breather after Part One since I can only 'handle' so much beautiful, well-articulated truth at one time . . . an aspect of this masterpiece of work is that it helps one remember to sift their own ashes. I can say I've done at least a dozen complete versions of ashes-sifting in my lifetime . . . and still found comedy incarnate helpful. This is a classic that's sure to find it's way into many languages.

Lines I had to jot down as brilliant: "mist preferred over fog," "the child-woman radiated her acceptance," "sin against sin," that one will hold on, "thinking themselves out of hell" this should be a new caption for Rodin's thinker.

David Jackson's musical background helps draw the listener to full attention, attuned to the placement of poems on a background of forest with just the right amount of light. Kelley's reading voice is like a musical instrument . . . I'm thinking of a giant tree where they used to get sounding boards for pianos. This work will touch many people in many ways, all good, in the evolution of souls.

Pasquale Capocasa

"Ward Kelley weaves this incredibly complex piece in the most beautifully poetic way. Dante would nod and smile, and Robert Pinsky will surely take notice. I thoroughly enjoyed this grand piece, and I highly recommend it for its solid writing and state of the art presentation. A few more words came to mind when reading and listening: "Lovely!" "Excellent!" "Unique!" "Well Done!" "Fine Tuned!" "Well worth the price!" -- Pasquale Capocasa, editor of Poems Niederngasse


Ward Kelley has seen more than 600 of his poems appear in journals world wide since he began publishing in 1996. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Kelley's publication credits include such journals as: ACM Another Chicago Magazine, Rattle, Sunstone, Spillway, Porcupine Literary Magazine, Pif, 2River View, Oblique, Offcourse, Ariga, Artvilla, PoetryRepairShop, San Francisco Salvo, Writer's Choice, Moongate, IRELingus, Potpourri and Skylark. He has been honored as featured poet for Seeker Magazine, Physik Garden, Poetry Life & Times, and Pyrowords.
His web site is


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