Exhibit 22.3

Bird Eating Bird

Today's post leans toward the poetry side of this blog's stock photography/dog pictures/gross food/sports/poetry theme. I have plenty more to say about street signs, but that will all have to come later. Naca's book is simply one that you shouldn't wait to read.

A National Poetry Series winner, these poems lend themselves to a variety of readings but for me it's a book of distance. The poems here span the globe and cross languages and what makes it such a touching experience to read is that in all the traveling there never seems to be a home here, something that becomes clear long before the book's center section "House" which agency to the object itself (the house, naturally, chooses to wander). Instead it's a book of vagabond poems, poems that speak in different tongues and argue with each other, poems that seem anxious when forced to settle for even a moment. From "One Foot":

Each footstep, I mill bones to chalk.
Then, sink in soot wherever I stand.
I dream I give up my cane and walk.

But it's not a sad book, not exactly. The disconnection that gives the book a sense of longing gets used just as often for humor. A grandmother struggling with the 'h' in English cries, "My art, my art!" A girl receives junk mail offering her a 'chance' to become Miss USA. The house argues its own pronunciation. These same failings of language, half understandings and tortured vocalizations, can be as universal as they are isolating when with a guide and a funny poem like "Grocery Shopping with My Girlfriend Who Is Not Asian" sees itself undone by a poem like "Uses for Spanish in Pittsburgh" which loses any Virgils. It ends:

And then, if I choose to speak like this
who will listen?

The book travels to answer this question from Pittsburgh to Mexico City, from the present to the past, from English to Spanish and back again. It's an impressive journey across great distances done with a remarkable amount of care.

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