cover image Lip Wolf

Lip Wolf

Laura Solorzano, Author, Jen Hofer, Translator Action Books $14 (120p) ISBN 978-0-9765692-7-5

In her first collection available to English-language readers, rising Mexican poet Laura Solórzano explores the risks and obstacles of communication through startling juxtapositions of images, dizzying word play and a masterful command of direct language. As the literal translation of the Spanish title suggests, Solórzano journeys into the “wolf's mouth,” where communication is risky and difficult. Written in the first person, these poems make demands of their addressees and engage in complex verbal stunts: “Serve yourself when you sense or say lilies in the city./ Lilies I've fixed to you, fireflies of lacteal lips.” Body parts, including lips, cornea, tongue, molar and tendon, appear throughout and often perform the impossible (“to oppress the melody in the musician's molar”). The tightly constructed 12-part sequence that opens the book deals with food, tasting and cooking: “dough lifts the debt,” fornication continues “until the saucepan shatters” and nibbles have motives. These layered, playful and sorrowful poems reward repeated readings. (July)