By Peter Balakian
From "Ozone Journal"
Bach’s cantata in B-flat minor within the cassette,
we lounged less than the greenhouse-sky, the UVBs hacking
at the acids and oxides after which i'll pay attention the difference
between an oboe and a bassoon
at the river’s part less than cover—
trees breathed in our respiration;
there used to be whatever at the different aspect of the river,
something either one of us have been itching toward—
radical bonds have been damaged, historical past turned science.
We have been by no means the same.
The name poem of Peter Balakian's Ozone magazine is a series of fifty-four brief sections, every one a poem in itself, recounting the speaker's reminiscence of excavating the bones of Armenian genocide sufferers within the Syrian wasteland with a group of tv reporters in 2009. those thoughts spark others—the dissolution of his marriage, his lifestyles as a tender unmarried father or mother in big apple within the nineties, visits and conversations with a cousin demise of AIDS—creating a montage that has the texture of historical past as lived event. Bookending this series are shorter lyrics that span instances and destinations, from Nairobi to the local American villages of latest Mexico. within the dynamic, sensual language of those poems, we're reminded that the heritage of atrocity, trauma, and forgetting is either worldwide and historical; yet we're reminded, too, of the sweetness and richness of tradition and the resilience of affection.