Mandible Wishbone Solvent
by Asiya Wadud
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Pub Date 19 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 15 Mar 2024
The poetry of Mandible Wishbone Solvent is situated in the space of bridges, fragmentary overlays, spectral reach, and the desire to keep reaching. Asiya Wadud’s poems engage in this act, not to stake a claim or to fasten themselves, but to hold fragments together in order to offer possibilities for connection and extension. Throughout the collection lies an acknowledgment that any hold will drift, meander, and find new paths, with each separation making space for new entanglements. Drawing on a keen interest in tactility and ekphrasis, Wadud mines the repetition and extension that comes with any fractured state of existence and considers the nature of a residual and roving we.
Following this selection of lyrical, ekphrastic, fragmented poems, the book concludes with two prose pieces that dwell on the concepts of “isthmus” and “drift,” respectively, which offer further grounds for contemplation and provide a frame for the poems.
“Wadud’s astounding new poems—many of them ekphrastic, all of them rigorously intricate, supersaturated—come across to me as both hard-edged and liminal. Enacting the dynamic relationship between figure and ground, center and edge, they frame the constant unfolding of meaning’s dimensions, its reverberations.” -- Mónica de la Torre, author of "Repetition Nineteen"
“Composed of lyric poems, artwork, and prose, Mandible Wishbone Solvent distinguishes itself in both form and inquiry from much of the poetry currently published in the US. Wadud’s aesthetic, in which the lyric permutates, shifts, and merges with what flows through, is ethically aligned, as the prose makes clear, with shifting natural (rather than unyielding geopolitical) borders and with those who are ejected and must drift from place to place. Gorgeous, meditative, and spiritual, this immersive collection offers a terrain of lush language that seems precarious and vulnerable but is ultimately ungovernable, by border patrol or otherwise. ‘How can we become capacious in our rendering of the journey itself?’ Wadud asks. And this book is an example, with every gesture, of that elasticity and generosity.” -- Rosa Alcalá, Phoenix Poets consulting editor and author of "MyOther Tongue"
Average rating from 4 members
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection! I was drawn in by the title of the work and found myself really blown away by the first two sections of poems. In particular I adored “poised in hover hours”, “seven desire lines one map”, and “In the checkpoint I was all arms / all face”. There was one page where it looks like an editing note was left on accident (page 17). Can’t wait to purchase a physical copy of this book and recommend it to friends and customers!
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