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Review: The Infinite's Ash, by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez

Víctor Rodríguez Núñez' poetry is stunning in its ability to build carefully and precisely to a turning point - almost a point of 'decision' - which is never overstated. In it, a deeply intelligent consideration of 'matter-of-fact' details in the world around us works together with an abstracting contemplation. This is a poetry in which 'logic' and 'metaphysics' can work hand-in-hand, retaining a strange, almost ineffable balance. The poet has the ability to see in-between things, and in-between moods and situations, to observe with such a steady and controlled eye. A Cuban poet who has spent much of his adult life outside Cuba, Víctor Rodríguez Núñez takes to all he sees and feels in poetry a consciousness of Cuba as place, as communities, and as a country isolated from his adopted home in America, as a form of restraint and dynamism (he works in paradoxes and dualisms). Even a surreal image is withheld; desire is checked. This leads to stunning brinkmanship in imagery and poetic imagination that leaves the reader breathless and astonished. Technically, his is one of the most assured voices in contemporary poetry. The poet's measure is the line and the space around the line - his indentations work as a time signature, and the rhythmical accuracy of the work is exemplary. I cannot speak highly enough of this poet. Víctor Rodríguez Núñez is a poet of poise and control, always with something forceful to say, without overstating the case.