About the Book:
“All the mythical elements / blend at some point.” Like a woodsman in a glade surrounded by the beloved obstacles of her livelihood, Kristine Ong Muslim marks the materials of her enterprise and fells them one by one: a teacup, a tissue box, the soul, a man on a bench–milled, constructed and brought to life by the poet’s gaze. Her poems lead us out of the forest, into light.
—JoAnn Balingit, Poet Laureate of Delaware and author of Words for House Story
Kristine Ong Muslim has dissected life’s parts and crafted updates carrying a calm punch. Her precise and mournful vision shows us that the NOW refuses to be lulled by “last year’s domesticity” and that every object exemplifies a contradictory present. When a carpet in “Songs of Dead Objects Content in Their Husks” claims “the texture of silence” it can only do so by asserting its presence. While the eye in “Director’s Cut, Exterior Panel: The Eye” can’t quite focus it is “yet functional.” Willfulness subverts the tragic. Protects the soul. That same eye “. . . ignores signs, misreads instructions, fakes loneliness.” Repeat: “fakes loneliness.” Muslim moves beyond the trope of modern isolation. A Roomful of Machines provides companionship for the wise.
—Sarah Sarai, author of The Future Is Happy