Jennifer Mackenzie Reviews Lưu Diệu Vân

Posted: September 16, 2016 by vequinox in Literature

To Koskino

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M of December
by Lưu Diệu Vân
Vagabond Press, 2016

Reading M of December is rather like going to a spectacular exhibition at a gallery where images of all kind swirl, proclaim, collide and re-form – the viewer takes the opportunity of a brief leave to attempt to come up with a coherent response. Having gone into this gallery, and exited on a number of occasions, what I have come up with is a response to the formed fragmentation of its individual poems, travelling through discordancy via the robust vigour of forceful lines and sharp elisions.

In the first section of the collection, ‘December’, individual poems read as constructed assemblages with dazzling juxtapositions of imagery. In ‘B.C. bees’, perception is presented as molten, contested, as chthonically and chronologically unsettled:

the fire has eyes that glide through lies
beyond B.C. and cunning centuries
the sage offers secrets to the universe
seeing…

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