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Momtaza Mehri

Wendy Trevino’s Cruel Fiction (Commune Editions) tells the truth about life as we know and endure it, restlessly picking at the hangnails of both history and heartbreak. Trevino posits race as a “cruel fiction,” nationality as its attendant mythology. Trevino asks: How do we resist these fictions without reproducing their murderous, hierarchical logics? For Trevino, “poetry is not enough” as long as we are not enough. Trevino’s insurgent colloquialism is a sleight of hand. Cruel Fiction speaks plainly but never simply. Trevino reflects on the lies with which we arm ourselves to refute the lies used against us.

Against the near-orgasmic collective delusions of Obamamania, Trevino recounts solidarities fostered during the Occupy movement. Exhilarating sonnet sequences titled “Popular Culture & Cruel Work,” and “Brazilian Is Not a Race” interrogate the inter-sections of pop and protest.

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