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The Moon Blooms in Occupied Hours by Anis Shivani

Price: $16.00

The Moon Blooms in Occupied Hours Anis Shivani BlazeVOX [books]

Praise for The Moon Blooms in Occupied Hours

In The Moon Blooms in Occupied Hours, the artist’s eternal wrestling match with the conundrums of identity and death, art and mammon, influence and originality are complicated by a wide-ranging sociopolitical critique of privilege and the cultural stagnation it has always engendered—from the building of the Great Wall to the Obama presidency. Assembling an exhilarating bricolage of postmodern parataxis in which “Mexican arias fly off to oven smiles” alongside aphoristic insights nailing “art, the fleabite to time,” or “why is the what of supremacy,” accompanied by modernist allusive musicality such as “I am slime, I am prime half-hearted guru/angered by loins, I am washed in turpentine,” Anis Shivani incorporates the poetic projects of the Tang Dynasty, Whitman’s humanism, Eliot’s modernism, Plath’s confessionalism, and Ashbery’s experimentalism into a dazzling poetics all his own in this exuberantly ambitious “solution . . . to complex/alterities.”

— Susan Lewis, author of This Visit and How to Be Another

The Moon Blooms in Occupied Hours opens with illustrations of dancing and a poem that functions as a prolegomenon heralding a collection that is vast in scope and steeped in ancient mythology. With echoes of Blake, Yeats, Lorca, and Vallejo, Anis Shivani’s verse dances between the extremes of the past and the present, the personal and the global, suffering and eroticism, and theory and myth. Rich details underscore the particularities of everyday life within the universalities of experience to insist upon a uniquely humanistic, political, and intellectual vision. Internal rhyme and diversity of form keep the lyric fresh while the unblinking eye of the narrative elicits an empathy that nonetheless confronts the reader with a visceral understanding of humanity under occupation. Shivani is at the height of his powers as his lens sweeps with cinematic confidence from the grand to the minute and his voice encompasses the roaring horrors of war and the quieter moments of reflection and grace.

—Wendy Chin-Tanner, author of Turn and American Terrorist

Anis Shivani’s The Moon Blooms in Occupied Hours jets us from China to Mexico to Poland to Los Angeles in a breathless, dazzling instant. Imagery shimmers in strobe light as cities rise and fall, and art propels a “naked urgency to hallucinate.” Shivani’s poems cast civilization as a kaleidoscopic, cosmopolitical carnival, which feels unreal until we consider the actual implications of our lives: information surging into us at every moment, where “rude newspapers” sing of “crisis and apocalypse.” This is poetry of velocity relayed via muscular syntax and formal dexterity. Entire worlds blur by and the speaker greets this “house of riot.” These smart, restless poems are also fueled by sensual energy as seen in odes to railway stations and imagined love affairs with Sylvia Plath and Allen Ginsberg. Above all, these are poems to be read aloud—Shivani’s lush soundplay captures the madness of an atonal saxophonist. The very clatter of the contemporary world threatens to destroy and charm us with its beauty (“Dream with me,” the speaker urges). From wars to weddings to volcanoes, we are certainly not safe in Shivani’s universe, but we are also defiantly in love.

— Hadara Bar-Nadav, author of The Frame Called Ruin and Lullaby (with Exit Sign)

Anis Shivani is a poet, fiction writer, and literary critic living in Houston, Texas. His critically acclaimed books include Anatolia and Other Stories, The Fifth Lash and Other Stories, Karachi Raj: A Novel, My Tranquil War and Other Poems, Whatever Speaks on Behalf of Hashish: Poems, Soraya: Sonnets, Against the Workshop: Provocations, Polemics, Controversies, and Literary Writing in the Twenty-First Century: Conversations. His work appears widely in such journals as the Yale Review, Georgia Review, Southwest Review, Boston Review, Threepenny Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Antioch Review, Black Warrior Review, Western Humanities Review, Boulevard, Pleiades, AGNI, Fence, Denver Quarterly, The Journal, Gulf Coast, Third Coast, Volt, Subtropics, New Letters, Times Literary Supplement, London Magazine, Cambridge Quarterly, Meanjin, Fiddlehead, Dalhousie Review, Antigonish Review, and elsewhere. He has also written for many magazines and newspapers including Salon, Daily Beast, AlterNet, CommonDreams, Truthout, Huffington Post, Texas Observer, In These Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Kansas City Star, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, St. Petersburg Times, Baltimore Sun, Charlotte Observer, Austin American-Statesman, and elsewhere. He is the winner of a Pushcart Prize, and a graduate of Harvard College.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 104 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-286-0



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