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Mortar is a text of stealth and volatility, of both explosive and empathic interactions. Just as the title connotes both
the short smoothbore gun used by the military to wreak havoc, and the organic material made from cement, sand, lime and
water that bonds the bricks of a cityscape together, so, too, do these poems offer both the emergency of society’s
destructive failings and the sometimes vexed sometimes confoundingly transformative emergence of intimacy between self
and other. The fragments that construct these poems court grammar and turn from it, their slipperiness befits both the
anxiety and ambivalence—the pleasure and the trap—of attempting to name the known, the knowable, and then to find
oneself snared in the constructs that such knowing compels one to inhabit. Uneasy, vigilantly aware of the mire of
awareness, these poems wrest from daily encounters of city life a contentious consciousness that can open, albeit
explosively to each next instant.


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