Futureless Languages by Cynthia Arrieu-King
You have no future because you are in it. And so, what is now? What does it feel like, what is its real language? Is someone or something dying, going on, or gone? Cynthia Arrieu-King is a gifted, present poet, but I forget her, reading this (and it is hers) account of a world going more and more "off" — off-base, out of kilter, not like some previously perceptible "normal": it is real, and it is a dream. The souring world is a dream. But this is such an interesting book! The author is an honest tracker, so you never know, finally, what she'll say, in her own futureless language.
Futureless Languages is a manual for you written in the sound of the wind, in the language “the air in the rock speaks.” A mixed tape of things “beyond interpretation.” Manifesto made all of questions and a very listening speech: “how did I get here? what should we do?” King writes a poetry of now that bears out how language already accesses tomorrows: a simple switch of tense changes everything, like the time traveler who butterfly-effects their own birth. While they hold language’s paradoxes, these poems hold the world’s too. “Every time I watch the news I delete a few more poems.”—but the ones that remain brim with the fragile power of the poet’s word. That power whose truth still get poets detained. King’s poems work as embodiments and records, laments and wishes: “To walk outside at/ midnight with zero fear.” Locations, languages flow, revealing observation for translation, syntax for alchemy, and poetry to be “a toil and an art,” time-spinning and thing-keeping. Futureless Languages is tender, brilliant play: read it aloud.
-- Ana Božičević
Poetry | First Edition 2018 | 6x9 | 82 pages | ISBN: 978-1-73-281450-9 (PB) | 0 lbs. 6 oz.
Cover Art: Cynthia Arrieu-King
About the Author
Cynthia Arrieu-King was raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She is an associate professor of creative writing at Stockton University and a former Kundiman fellow. Her other books of poetry include People are Tiny in Paintings of China (Octopus Books 2010) and Manifest, winner of the Gatewood Prize chosen by Harryette Mullen (Switchback 2013). She edited the Asian Anglophone edition of dusie magazine and The Soluble Hour (Omnidawn 2017) by the late Hillary Gravendyk. Her next book of poetry, Continuity (Octopus 2019), works as a “double album” with Futureless Languages. She divides her time between the East Coast and Louisville, Kentucky.