The first two-thirds of the book elaborate multiple readings from a one-page prefacing poem called “The Artifacts.” Its core images provide the impetus for long poems and a “novella-in-verse” made of 11 “chapter” poems. They are followed by “vacation” poems on “Skiing away from Manhattan.” This serious framework of proliferations provides a strong sense of constructedness—a structure actually evoking Legos. The poems are solid, and yet their parts are moveable. We dig into feelings and their origins here in an archaeology that constructs or re-constructs a past and, as in Charles Olson’s “archaeology of morning,” a possible future of a city of possibilities.
In “Post-Nostalgia,” the concept of interactions through language helps define this city with “Will you articulate back / to me to teach me / the vocabulary I lose as I speak it?” That loss and recovery are the aesthetic core, as is San Juan de la Cruz’s epigraph: “Vivo sin vivir en mi / I live without inhabiting myself.” Lest that be another old Rimbaud bit re-hashed, Tabios works it fully as she links with many autres. No poem is cut short; thought carries them on beyond succinctness. Worlds are elaborated from the boundary where irrealities meet the real: “while the air, too, begins / to become physical // by taking on the tinge / of fire, rose, ruby, / sunset, dawn, sunset …”. The images for all the senses are strong, but they also cross back and forth over that line between thought and image. That is the thrust of this book.You can see entire review HERE.