A Song of Dismantling
88 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Feb 2018

A Song of Dismantling


University of New Mexico Press

In this dynamic debut collection, Fernando Pérez employs lyric and nonce forms to interrogate identity politics and piece together a complex family history. The book embodies fragmentation in form and story, exploring how migration affects relationships between people of different generations. Pérez invites readers on the journey as his family story unfolds over time and distance.

A culturally rich poetic history of generations. [Fernando Pérez] applies the meaning of lenguaje and vivid imagery to his poems that retell his family's memories of their immigrant experience.'--Superstition Review
A Song of Dismantling is a marvelous debut. . . . Pérez knows that for us Latinx the personal has always been political. Indeed, the speaker's abuelita, both curandera and familial warrior, will tell us how 'she shared / her pillow with a rifle.' . . . These poems bring me hope that our ancestors remain with us as we struggle ever forward. I am grateful for this book.'--Jennifer Givhan, author of Landscape with Headless Mama
Fernando Pérez shows how we are sums of a past that both tethers and strangles us, that enriches as much as it drains. . . . Pérez's poems are ballads that resurrect the violent passions and hungers that we need to feel whole. A Song of Dismantling is as beautiful as it is gut-wrenching.'--Maceo Montoya, author of The Deportation of Wopper Barraza: A Novel
These poems move fluidly through transnational spaces; Pérez carefully breaks apart--syllable by syllable--the stories we've been told and sutures them back together again, different. Images turn and turn again with freshness.'--Jane Wong, author of Overpour
The fragile opulence of Fernando Pérez's first collection lyrically glides, processing absence . . . to transport the reader deep into the languageless horizons of exilic consciousness.'--J. Michael Martinez, author of Heredities: Poems
Fernando Pérez teaches at Bellevue College. His poems have been widely published in literary journals, including Crab Orchard Review, Más Tequila Review, Exquisite Corpse, and Hinchas de Poesia.

Part One
The Mariachi's Ending
Corridos, Zig-Zags, and a Half-Moon
Book of Promises: The Tongue
A Folkloric Truth
Bull's Eyes
The Burning Garden
When Work, Men Disappear
Dry River, Worn Dress
Alchemy of Space
The Men in Saguaro Suits
Dragging Daughters
Dolores en Los Ángeles
Grandmother, Curandera
Counting from the Rooster
War Flowers
Breathing Room
Their Eyes Like Dandelion Clocks
Midnight Crossing

Part Two
Desert Floral
Getting Here
Lemon Grove Apartments
Street Sweep
Lunar on the Skin
Dream Child
Birds without Warrants Arrest the Silence
Minus a Tortilla Press
Recipe 34. Dismantling
Gutter Water River
All Souls

Part Three
Rocks in My Pockets
Gravity in Threes
March in Los Angeles
A Son above Ground
How the Moon
Black-Eyed Blues
A Long Walk, A True Rib
When the Saint Came Marching
The Math between Lips
Mama Lola
Letting the River
Behind the Welder's Mask
The Woman in His Watch
Defrosting Curses
At the Conquistador Hotel
Between T-Bone and Porterhouse
When She's With Me
The Root of Ugly
Lovely Little Fucker
Slight: A Requiem
Staging the Invisible

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