Flexible Bones
96 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Feb 2010
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Flexible Bones

The University of Arizona Press

The remarkable and wholly insightful poems collected here bounce the reader through a world where words are not bricks but trampolines--springy, un-static-y things. Feisty, spirited, serious and comic, these poems address a wild range of subjects with an equally wild range of tones. As readers, we find ourselves holding on with white knuckles, but we always want to turn the page.

The most modern of roller coasters ride on soft rubber tires and slithery smooth tracks. Gone are the days of jouncing along on steel wheels, smacking over hard metal joints. So it is with this book. Although readers are hurtled through time, space, and a universe of emotions, the ride is seductively smooth--and the transitions surprisingly seamless.

In the prologue, our attention bends to bridges, free-tail bats, soldiers, and peacemakers. These poems prepare us to watch for hopeful signs in the work ahead. In the first section, the spiritual seems to flow into the geopolitical--not in a hammer-you-over-the-head kind of way but in a blood-through-the-heart sort of way. In the second section, the spiritual mingles with the organic in a more personal way. By the end of the ride, we are aware that we have taken a trip with an intellectually fearless bushwhacker leading the way.

Anyone who has ever contemplated The Simpsons, sex-offender registries, desert internment camps, bats in flight, wars that never end, "la virgen," grasshoppers, Google, or the cosmos will find a kindred spirit in Maria Melendez and a warm welcome in her work.

'Flexible Bones is a wicked book, flexibly manipulating languages with a satiric tingle, touching the way we live (and are killing ourselves with contaminants) now. And as to race: How does it feel to be a problem? Melendez bites down hard on that one. And on the savage need to protect what she loves.' --Alicia Ostriker, author of The Mother/Child Papers

Maria Melendez has published two collections of poetry, the chapbook Base Pairs and the full-length collection How Long She'll Last in This World (Arizona, 2006). Her poems also appear in several anthologies, including The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry (Arizona, 2007). She lives in Pueblo, Colorado, and is the editor and publisher of Pilgrimage magazine.
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