SUEDE MANTIS / SOFT RAGE by Jennifer Soong
149 x 203mm, 105 pages, Black & white printing, Perfect bound, Softcover, 2022
Swaying between command and curiosity, acquiescence and destruction, distance and proximity, Jennifer Soong’s Suede Mantis / Soft Rage proffers tenderness that teeters on the precipice of loss. Premised on this peril is not a paralyzing grief but a generative poiesis of “cruel desperation,” in which poetry pronounces itself in contrasts and conditionals, had beens and renunciations. Like a tongue that tans flesh, like passion that’s made pliable by the pulsing and glistening of language, Suede Mantis / Soft Rage is the negotiated labor of a process rather than a product, raising interior operations to the surface while presenting an antithesis to mimetic construction. Neo-romantic and post-pastoral, the poems in Soong’s second collection reinvigorate lyric possibility.