pH Neutral History

Lidija Dimkovska, trans. from the Macedonian by Ljubica Arsovska and Peggy Reid. Copper Canyon (Consortium, dist.), $16 trade paper (88p) ISBN 978-1-55659-375-8
Dimkovska doesn’t ask the easy questions: “To dig out what is live in my writing/ do I have to bury those living in the world?” This 10th collection (though only the second to appear in English) grapples with a world at once delightfully surreal and painfully real, where religion is as absurd as the absurdities it attempts to explain (“Islam: If shit happens, it is the will of Allah./ ...Christianity: Love your shit as yourself”), and where, to counteract loss, the dead are welcome to haunt the living (“since my brother hanged himself with the telephone wire/ I can talk to him for hours on the phone”). Acidic in its wit and unsurprising in its subjects, this book uncovers meaning in meaninglessness and gravity in unbearable lightness: “I too, like my brother,/ have been splitting hairs since birth,/ revelation at any price, unmask the meaning./ And the souls of those who split hairs/ end up three ways: hanged with a telephone wire,/ in the body of a poet, or both.” Dimkovska is a poet English-language readers would be poorer without. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
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Ebook - 120 pages - 978-1-61932-029-1
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