Babel’s Moon

by Brandon Som

$9.95

“…with the poems in Babel’s Moon, the through-line is never in doubt: the struggle to obtain the self blooms with a certainty of images. A loose knot in the tie of his grandfather’s funeral clothes becomes a swallowed bird; in searching for the bird’s nest sought for its infamous broth properties in China, the speaker instead pulls out a fob pocketwatch; the horizon transforms into “our own inarticulate selves,” the enormity of which we can hold in our hands if we dare. The landscape is bound to Som’s articulated anxieties, anxieties that come to life through the tiny theater of legends near and far from the speaker.”
— Natalie EilbertThe Rumpus

Format: paperback

ISBN: 978-1-936797-04-2 Categories: , Tags: ,

*Winner of the Snowbound Chapbook Award, Selected by Aimee Nezhukumatathil 

Babel’s Moon eulogizes an immigrant grandfather, and in doing so explores boundaries that are at once geographic, historical, and cosmological. Brandon Som’s first book moves between vigorously detailed descriptive poems and austere, atmospheric lyrics as he finds new ways of reaching for (and even crossing) the horizons.

Advance Praise:

In Babel’s Moon, Brandon Som demonstrates a stunning musical perceptiveness on a global scale. These poems are rooted in the senses, with a rare ability to unsettle and awaken the reader. I trust in his weird and delightful imaginings of the moon, cactus, kites, and the origins of tea. And he carries this responsibility well ‘… because the opaque, in its refusing / of the light, affords us reflection.’ What a sparkling debut!
Aimee Nezhukumatathil

The marvelous texture and phrasing of Brandon Som’s poems, tempered by sincerity, travel far into the landscape of memory: ‘Crickets were out, too, and, as if they sightread / stars, settled in to leg-kick song.’ One might readily say of his capacious and moving Babel’s Moon what this poet says of the horizon: ‘My fingers felt as if thousands / Of miles were between them.’
Mark Irwin

Additional information

Weight .4 lbs
Dimensions 6 x .5 x 9 in

Brandon SomBrandon Som holds degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Pittsburgh and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Creative Writing and Literature program at the University of Southern California. Recent work has been published in Best New Poets 2007, McSweeney’s Poets Picking Poets, Barrow Street, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere.

“…with the poems in Babel’s Moon, the through-line is never in doubt: the struggle to obtain the self blooms with a certainty of images. A loose knot in the tie of his grandfather’s funeral clothes becomes a swallowed bird; in searching for the bird’s nest sought for its infamous broth properties in China, the speaker instead pulls out a fob pocketwatch; the horizon transforms into “our own inarticulate selves,” the enormity of which we can hold in our hands if we dare. The landscape is bound to Som’s articulated anxieties, anxieties that come to life through the tiny theater of legends near and far from the speaker.”
Natalie EilbertThe Rumpus

“Most of Som’s lines seek to lull and are beautiful enough to do so unabashedly. But I’m drawn to the collection’s sparer moments, moments of stronger emotional acuity that jut from the poet’s dewier speech.”
— Hayden’s Ferry Review blog

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