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Creating the Faces and Other Poems

Creating the Faces and Other Poems

A stunning collection from Tito Mukhopadhyay. As Steve Kuusisto says in his introduction:  


Tito Mukhopadhyay has been a pioneer in disability poetry over the past decade. In Creating the Faces and Other Poemshe writes assuredly about what he does not know and skips customary “likeness” for freshness. Seeing a man with reading glasses on a bus he says:


“I was relieved never to know his face. Looking directly at a human face is not easy for me. Faces blur or begin to turn into something else every time I try to look. I preferred a pair of reading glasses reflecting through the window - how the outside reflected back through the reflection”... 


For Mukhopadhyay the imagination circles outside of normative conventions:


“The Greyhound bus was a random moving point anywhere on earth, my eyes anchored to the reflection of Otto Manfred’s reading glasses, my head searching a story. These journeys are never long.”


The lyric is hazarded imagining and its nearly always providential. One finds by indirection the particles of revery. We may say this is true of all lyric poetry but in the case of disability the poetics is always aleatoric like action painting. Its discoveries are always impossible to have imagined before setting out for there is no framing of the eye, no anticipation of sights, but merely a sequence of astonishments. One relays them back to the reader much in the way a shaman tells a story of something discovered beyond the physical world though in truth it’s the world itself and its own reward. These are rewarding poems. Inside them the outer world is never what it seems.

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