Manifestation Wolverine: The Collected Poetry of Ray Young Bear

Ray Young Bear. Open Road (, $18.99 trade paper (456p) ISBN 978-1-5040-1415-1
Young Bear, a Meskwaki Native American, gathers his three previous releases and introduces a set of new poems in a volume that is predominantly concerned with the natural world and Native ritual beliefs. The book's tone alternates between reverential and ominous: "there are plants breathing wisdom," the land is "slender with meanings," and the sun is seen "ripping its face apart/ and dividing the skin to the eager crows." Elders figure throughout, including one who speaks to the recently deceased in order to "hand them/ their last dream." Another elder's chance encounter with Marilyn Monroe is elevated to mythological status over years of repetition. Young Bear exhibits a jadedness regarding alcoholism, violence, and corrupt community politics, as well as justifiable vitriol for the disregard to nature exhibited by the local whites with their "17th century/ instincts" of exploitation. His new material deals heavily in psychic visions, which were hinted at in earlier poems: one speaker intuits clues about grisly crimes while seated in an enchanted recliner, while another receives information about a missing airplane directly from his kidney. Some elements of Meskwaki tradition may seem inscrutable to newcomers. There is a distinct pleasure in watching Young Bear's work mature and grow more playful over the arc of his career. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 12/07/2015
Release date: 10/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 456 pages - 978-1-5040-1414-4
Open Ebook - 456 pages - 978-1-5040-1412-0
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