Author(s): Aimee Nezhukumatathil
In her fourth collection, Aimee Nezhukumatathil hums a bright blue not: a sensuous love song to the earth and its inhabitants. Oceanic is both a title and an ethos of radical inclusion, inviting in the grief of an elephant, the icy eyes of a scallop, "the ribs / of a silver silo," and the bright flash of painted fingernails. Nezhukumatathil approaches her encyclopedic range of subjects with a reverence for life and the material world, but she does not shy away from that which startles and disturbs-whether the heat and combustion of human desire or the shock of animal extinction. With heartfelt directness, Oceanic speaks to each reader's place in the extraordinary neighborhood to which we all belong-ecstatically, emphatically naming what it means to love a world in peril. But what is it called when creatures on this earth curl and sleep, when shadows of moons we don't yet know brush across our faces? And what is the name for the movement we make when we wake, swiping hand or claw or wing across our face, like trying to remember a path or a river we've only visited in our dreams? Book jacket.