Salvage: Poems

Salvage: Poems

by Cynthia Dewi Oka

Paperback(New Edition)

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How do we transform the wreckage of our identities? Cynthia Dewi Oka’s evocative collection answers this question by brimming with what we salvage from our most deep-seated battles. Reflecting the many dimensions of the poet’s life, Salvage manifests an intermixture of aesthetic forms that encompasses multiple social, political, and cultural contexts—leading readers to Bali, Indonesia, to the Pacific Northwest, and to South Jersey and Philadelphia.

Throughout it insistently interrogates what it means to reach for our humanity through the guises of nation, race, and gender. Oka’s language transports us through the many bodies of fluid poetics that inhabit our migrating senses and permeate across generations into a personal diaspora. Salvage invites us to be without borders.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810136298
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Publication date: 12/15/2017
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

CYNTHIA DEWI OKA is the author of Nomad of Salt and Hard Water. Originally from Bali, Indonesia, she is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a recipient of the Fifth Wednesday Journal Editor’s Prize in Poetry as well as grants from the Leeway Foundation and Vermont Studio Center. Oka is an alumnus of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and her work has appeared in the anthologies Dismantle, Read Women, and Revolutionary Mothering. She is based in the greater Philadelphia area, where she works as a community organizer with immigrant and faith communities.

Table of Contents

Merapi                                                                                                             5
What is Believed of Paradise
Though We’ve No Chance of Escape, Encore                                               8
Ishtar in Suburbia                                                                                            9
For Khalil, First Responder, Whose Name Means “Friend”                          11
The American Dream Writes to Orpheus                                                        13
Lazarus Reconsiders His Awakening                                                             14
Elegy for the Hellfire                                                                                      15
Orpheus is Mugged in the City of Brotherly Love                                         16
Garden State                                                                                                   17
After Hurricane Sandy                                                                                   18
The Men Who Turned into Air                                                                       20
Nom de Guerre                                                                                               21
Anthem                                                                                                           22
Jesus is Tested in the Downtown Eastside                                                     23
Small Stubborn Gods
How to Watch The Act of Killing                                                                   25
Self-Portrait as One Day on My Home Island of Bali                                   27
Suppose You Were a Komodo Dragon                                                          29
Elegy for Red: A Zuihitsu                                                                              31
Sixteen                                                                                                                        33
Winter Country                                                                                               35
Promised Land: Sonnets for My Mother                                                        36
Self-Portrait as the Last Will of Lot’s Wife                                                   40
Remission                                                                                                        41
Pulses                                                                                                              42
Portrait of My Father as a Pianist                                                                   45
Poem for Prisoner #46664                                                                              46
Howl in Our Hands
Arboretum                                                                                                       48
After Coltrane                                                                                                 49
Siege: In Response to the Man Who Asked Me, “Where is
the Courage in Your Poetry?”                                                                        50
Aubade                                                                                                           54
Res Domestica                                                                                                55
The Argument                                                                                                 57
Time Stops on Mount Batur                                                                           58
Tabuh Rah                                                                                                       60
From a Talisman’s Point of View                                                                   62
Breach                                                                                                             63
Tonight We Drink Whiskey & Dive                                                               65
Salvage                                                                                                            67
Epilogue                                                                                                         68
Acknowledgments                                                                                         73

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