Released yesterday and available via Amazon! "Fingers/Dedos" Selected Poems, bilingual (English/Spanish), $10.00 USD.
Sabne Raznik’s latest collection of poetry Fingers, Selected Poems / Dedos, Poemas Seleccionados contains four powerfully emotive poems (“The Bearded Prophet,” “Poetry,” “Through Our Skin,” and “Fingers”). The English original of each poem is followed by an illustration and then by a Spanish translation by María Del Castillo Sucerquia. It concludes with a photo of the author followed by a one-paragraph biography in English and then its Spanish translation. The four poems are extremely different thematically and make use of different poetic languages. The common denominator between them is an underlying existential anxiety resulting from the inability of human beings collectively to understand each other and set aside greed and self-interest, and individually, in the case of the poet, to find consummation in love, and to discover the language in words and images to capture and communicate the essence of her experience. The poet notes in “Bearded Prophet,” she finds herself in “the era of pain -stampeding pain,” one which paradoxically leads her to identify with the “dumb hillbilly,” the bearded prophet who wears a sign that says “The End of the World Is Near.” Impending doom is suggested by images of the destruction of the environment, the open gashes of Appalachian strip mines, trees stripped bear of life to a height of eight feet by herbicide, and the violent midwestern storms intensified by climate change. “Poetry,” the most abstract of the four poems, prescribes in the form of a series of commands (“arm yourself, “leave the figure,” “Virgin love grow bold” which do not lead to consummation; they prove impotent. “Through the Skin” evokes the locus of creativity, where books, and papers, paint and turpentine are present on a table along with cup and saucer, the place where the written word and the painted image are crafted. The poem leaves the reader with a sense of a purpose shared by the “us” of the poem: “to sketch an idea to live by.” The last poem “Fingers” evokes images of a painful, repeated sexual encounter described as a violation, “like cactus thorns raking down my shapeless lines,” but the violation seems not to result from the violent impulse of the other, rather from the inability of the speaking subject to make good on the promise to the self with the words “Never again, never again.” The four poems are satisfying both as individual compositions and as panels of a multi-media whole. – Yndiana Montes Fogelquist and Jim Fogelquist, Appalachian Latinidad
Fingers/Dedos is a powerful chapbook with 4 elaborate poems in English, with the same poems being translated into Spanish. The poetry captures strong images and emotions: "You sat cross-legged in the grass/And the earth framed your face." I was pulled into these poems and transformed into a cocoon waiting to be released into something with such fingers that would "Feel the bone crack,/Grind against my teeth/As I scream [...]" and become new in the aftermath. – John Compton, the castration of a minor god and how we liberated what secrets we modified
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