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Myung Mi Kim. Sun and Moon Press, $11.95 (110pp) ISBN 978-1-55713-292-5

With the small press titles Under Flag (1992) and The Bounty (1996) Kim astonished readers in the know with passionate, formally investigative cataloguings of colonialism, war and rampant capital in the domestic and public spheres. Building on the achievements of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha and Susan Howe, Kim continues here to engage the reader in re-witnessing this morally arid landscape. The mythical first section, ""Cosmography,"" sets the stage for her reading of history's crumbling codex, a ""False vocalization of the consonantal text"" and a ""Transcription barely permeable,"" which is finally ""The beginning of things."" The next three sections collate cryptic tracings of the march of trade and ""civilization"" across the oceans: ""Swag drum/ Inland filth/ Surmise commodity,"" Kim writes. Each disjunctive, incantatory verse-paragraph of the long middle section, ""Thirty and Five Books,"" suggests a story: ""Percussive/ In the L.A. Times the picture was in color/ Body moving in circle be fire/ What looked like black in the Korean newspaper was my son's blood/ Body moving in circle be fire."" Throughout, Kim finds ways to make her very personal relationship to issues of immigration and cultural severing inclusive. This doesn't mean that these furtive, cartographic poems won't frustrate readers looking for straightforward narrative or coherence. But as Kim writes in a later section of the book, such methods are well suited to her subject: ""Call ancestry lost/ Collapse and valence/ Brevity and gesture/ House with rooms cut of various sizes/ An America as big as it is."" (Oct.)