Poet and editor Isaura Ren has come to show the world their light with the release of their debut poetry chapbook Interlucent. Released on December 1, 2020, the chapbook centers on a series of binaries such as life and death and humans and nature that reveal just how interconnected we, and everything around us, are.
Perhaps what this chapbook does best is work to uncover what home is and how one connects to it. We see this thread strung through many of the chap’s twenty poems, if not all, and in each instance, Ren is spotlighting events or personal experiences and bringing to light a full spectral picture.
We see this in “saudade,” where they write about their grandmother and a feeling of disconnect when they think about their heritage, saying that “her mother tongue slides past my/ears, too much of the new world.” It’s a powerful statement, and one that hit us hard.
In “summer ’20,” Ren reflects on lockdown life during this year’s global pandemic, which at its core inherently surrounds itself with interconnectedness. They write, “our honeymoon period of grief has worn off;/even fear has lost its novelty” before later in the poem writing, “lives splinter/like driftwood in the impact, lay strewn about the sand. what is the weight of millions? we collect what we can.” The pandemic has splintered what the home is and how it functions, and this poem touches on this shift in myriad ways.
As a queer writer, Ren also works with interconnectedness and what home can be in regard to queerness. Speckled throughout the chap are poems that directly work through queer love and relationships. For example, in “powerline ’17,” Ren writes, “let’s slip into the swimming pool/with our clothes on. let’s undress/underwater and never come up.” In a really beautiful way, these poems centering on queerness hearken the idea of chosen family and building unapologetic lives with those we love.
Finally, one of our favorite stanzas in the collection comes from the poem “deliver us”:
on any given sunday, you find yourself
again, watching dawn play the pews
in chromatic scale. god, it’s too early for song.
In the opening poem, “aubade / alba,” Ren writes, “knight me. make me a body worthy/of flight,” and we are confident they’ve more than flown with this book, cementing their status as a knight in the poetry world. The future of poetry is in great hands.
What do you think about Interlucent by Isaura Ren? Tweet us @Fuzzable and don’t forget to send Ren some love if you love it as much as we do!