Head on over to Full Stop to check out Jacob Kahn's review of Black Lavender Milk by Angel Dominguez!
Read the rest at Full Stop!
"I keep telling myself not every book’s a book of poetry. I have to remind myself genre is so mediated by milieu. It takes me a while to not just call it poetry. Oh that, that’s poetry. That hybrid. Whatever that is. It’s a book of poetry. It is.
It is. Or it isn’t.
It doesn’t matter. Or: not always clear.
I was introduced to Angel Dominguez as a poet. The label though, as with other hybrid or genre-bending poets like Bhanu Kapil and Ronaldo Wilson (both of whom Black Lavender Milk speaks directly to), is vexing. Dominguez is a poet, sure, but he is also (and perhaps more instructively) a failed novelist. He terms his debut, Black Lavender Milk — a book tumbling between dream requiem and pastoral ritual, a retracing of Dominguez’s Yucatec Mayan family heritage and a fragmented elegy for a grandfather-like figure, Xix — a “failed novel.” Over and over, Dominguez writes of this “novel” he is writing, and not the one we’re reading. Over and over, he references a “book” not present here, of which we glean perhaps glimpses, there and then there, the book he is failing to write from which Black Lavender Milk — like the shadow of a shadow, the shadow of a liquid, say black lavender milk — arises. The book becomes the book’s protagonist. Its metaphor. Its wound."