Drawing upon Navajo history and enduring tradition, Sherwin Bitsui leads us on a treacherous, otherworldly passage through the American Southwest. Fluidly shape-shifting and captured by language that functions like a moving camera, Dissolve is urban and rural, past and present in the haze of the reservation. Bitsui proves himself to be one of this century's most haunting, raw, and uncompromising voices.
. . . Jeweled with houseflies,
leather rattles, foil-wrapped,
ferment in beaked masks
on the shores of evaporating lakes.
This plot, now a hotel garden,
its fountain gushing forth--
the slashed wrists of the Colorado River.
Sherwin Bitsui was raised in White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He is the author of two other books of poetry, among them Flood Song, which won an American Book Award. He currently lives in Arizona where he has serves on the faculty of the Institute of American Indian Arts.
"The formal integrity of Bitsui's lines enables seamless transitions from the momentary to the timeless, from each disorienting and dazzling idea to the next... Bitsui's exhilarating poetics lay in the blur of time, the slow and sure slide from ghostlike ideas into haunted-looking things, in constant erasure and redrawing: 'No language but its rind / crackling in the past tense.'"--Publishers Weekly
"Bitsui's poetry returns things to their basic elements and voice in a flowing language rife with illuminating images. A great reading experience for those who like serious and innovative poetry."--Library Journal
"When one runs across a young poet of incredible ability, it is hard not to pay attention. Sherwin Bitsui is such a poet, and his second book (Flood Song) presents a startling approach to Navajo experience... These untitled sequences of lyrics are disturbing in their familiar beauty and draw the reader into internal states that only a poet of an ancient land could translate into universal understanding."--Bloomsbury Review