cover image If This Is the Age We End Discovery

If This Is the Age We End Discovery

Rosebud Ben-Oni. Alice James, $17.95 trade paper (100p) ISBN 978-1-948579-15-5

The powerful and provocative second collection from Ben-Oni tackles major existential issues—creation, nullification, personal experience, objective truth—with grace, humor, and linguistic flair. A persistent refrain is the poet wrestling with scientific theories about the nature of reality as she applies her own poetic spin to creation. “Efes,” a Hebrew concept meaning “to nullify,” becomes the focus of these poems as they struggle to conceive of a universe possibly spiraling into nothingness: “Hallo I’m pretty sure my God thinks I’ve lost/ my way when I sing my ears {are} full/ of Dark Energy Efes/ & all these planets/ running away. Our universe/ on the run. & savage.” Here, there exists the profound and terrifying possibility that “One day, soon, there will be no more science fiction.” Yet, while the poet struggles with the big questions, she also makes room for a playful and wishful hope that the creative act can offer humanity a fresh perspective: “So place your bets/ that advanced civilizations don’t always/ not annihilate themselves. Woah./ Let’s try this again./ Reset.” This ruminative collection blends poetry and science to make the unknown sing. (Mar.)