Marcelo Castillo's poems choose their wounds over their scars. The roots are exposed, the scabs freshly ripped. This is a poetry that locates equally in hives and in semen, that harvests what poetic fruit it can from suffering. Chronicled in these two selections this week are complex processes of desire, pain, and a kind of acceptance. We find ourselves agreeing—albeit begrudgingly—with the speaker that "[t]his is the only hand I'm allowed." Castillo manages to bring us into the troubling and heartbreaking situations of his speakers without asking for apologies or simple pity. The language of these poems may fester with knives, abusive fathers, and creatures that sting, but it also serves to remind us that a wound festers because it is filled with life.
"It stands to reason that the principal activity of form is an undoing—an unwriting—and challenges certain conceptions regarding the unity and historically linear trajectory of writing, and might be considered the paradox of writing."