Atomic Theory 7, a collaboration in the truest sense between the fiercely-imagined poems of Shann Ray and the sacramental art of Trinh Mai, considers a most uncommon union between the lover and the beloved: the body at rest and war, in beauty and peace, in violence and despair, in the finality of darkness and the atomic fusion that beckons new life. The unity between dark and light in Atomic Theory 7 is open, composed of untold force, robustly unknowable, and intimately attuned. Even the most forbidding trauma is not in vain. From the ashes of holocaust, love becomes an essential human gift found not only in casting one's eyes upward, but in visceral, physical gestures: a healing hand on the chest of friends and strangers, a loving embrace between enemies. The breath of the holy over the wristbones of a child. A touch of the numinous at the zenith of the shoulder blades. God in all things. Breath. Whisper. Song. Here it is not the Divine who commits genocide but people, and in the heartrending aftermath, we are given the grace to meet one another again, kiss each other in peace, and go forth fused with atomic responsibility.
|Resource Publications (CA)
|6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.34(d)
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“History can be read as a series of separations of death and life, light and dark. The intention behind that separation is sometimes holy, but often violent. Haunted by the space between these seemingly incompatible conditions, this collection conjures again and again the light that has the power to both destroy and redeem. . . . To live without hope of life is a burden no person can survive. The distance between the atomic and subatomic, between sun as life-giving and sun as life-consuming is the distance between the universal and the personal. That the same sliver of matter can both make and unmake life depending on a certain slant of light, the position and velocity of bombardment, is the contradiction that energizes this devastating collection of poetry.”
—Kristin George Bagdanov, poet, author of Fossils in the Making