Poetry. In REVV. YOU'LL—UTION, Brenda Iijima enacts a gorgeous, terrifying zero-degree literalism of interiority and internality cum fold, forcing us humans to see down and deep and also up and out into our global and galactic symbiosis. "Sing here archaeology/recovery Sing here sociology/legal aid": this work speaks through the canny avatars of REV and RAW and THIS IS THIS, whose muse brushes with the supermax, diamond trade, Agent Orange, torture, Katrina, and Iraq—oil spills, ice floes, extinction, and oceanic peril—till they are universalized to the touch. As Iijima limns petrified cultural, political, and biological distinctions to dilate and explode them, "animal" becomes "sibling breath," screen memories echo cell memory, and biometrics reveal our starred carbon and murder-marred marrow. Through a vision that strips us down and builds us up, she re-inserts and -inscribes us into prehistoric technologies, habitus, and aggressions, paths of past-as-present earth metamorphosis ("Is us was us is"). Yet Iijima's textual "electroencephalogram" works the synchronic and diachronic in tandem, alerting us to "our attendant bacterial compatriots" as to slave resistance as root of modernity—its utterly innovative, engaging cyber-primordialism forcing a clearer cutting of our teeth through its molarized language. As "police" are reconnoitered as "pig" as "amino acids," "dumb and doom" are finally im-muted to voice forth a spectral and de-spectralized nature whose "Glossolalia blushes syntax shut" and spurs us to "see without names." With its willingness to undertake the grunt-work of (a peculiarly linguistic) metempsychosis, REVV. YOU'LL—UTION imagines human being and impulse into sane coexistences, its concern and urgency engined by a material and intellectual beauty worth hymning. Let the pulse of its tumultuous mulch engulf you--"I puke up the pupae of change," as Iijima writes, "Intestine isn't this eye isn't this lyrical eye." This tour de force peptic brain-cleanse is also itself our renewed "connective tissue."
Brenda Iijima is the author of six full-length collections of poetry including EARLY LINOLEUM (Counterpath Press, 2015) and IF NOT METAMORPHIC (Ahsahta Press, 2010) as well as numerous chapbooks and artist's books. She is also the editor of the eco language reader (Nightboat Books, 2010) and editor of ECO LANGUAGE READER. She lives in Brooklyn.Author City: BROOKLYN, NY USA