Joy of Missing Out

Ana Božicevic. Birds LLC, $18 trade paper (100p) ISBN 978-0-9914298-7-5
Poet and translator Božicevic follows Rise in the Fall with another plaudit-worthy collection that is even more humorous, complex, and responsive to the world. Božicevic easily harnesses her position as a poet of quiet social revolt, writing in a contemplative voice that questions contemporary powers: the government, the police, the Internet. “We should all get to die under the sky,” she writes in elegy for Ralkina Jones, who died under suspicious circumstances while in police custody. The speaker of these poems might deny a revolutionary role—“I don’t pretend/ to understand what goes on/ around me/ that’s my superpower”—but the poems ring with the sounds of upheaval. Božicevic skillfully balances an understanding of modern communication with a defiance of such digital pervasiveness. As the title suggests, she possesses no FOMO (fear of missing out): “The industrial revolution didn’t/ Save us nor will the digital// Is what I’m thinking.” In saying so, she redirects readers’ attentions to more important spaces and conversations; offscreen, she reminds readers, “The snow is real.” These poems speak to “the overlooked, broken, the queer and dark,” and, just as clearly but more implicitly, to immigrants like herself. Božicevic’s words unify and insist: “Let’s suffer the great glacier together.” (June)
Reviewed on: 04/17/2017
Release date: 06/01/2017
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