Michael Leong was educated at Dartmouth College, Sarah Lawrence College, and Rutgers University. His books include Cutting Time With A Knife (Black Square Editions, 2012), E.S.P. (Silenced Press, 2009), and I, the Worst of All (BlazeVOX [books], 2009), a translation of the Chilean poet Estela Lamat. He is also the author of numerous chapbooks including Midnight’s Marsupium (The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2010), The Philosophy of Decomposition/Re-composition as Explanation (Delete Press, 2011), and Words on Edge (Plan B Press, 2012). He has work forthcoming in The & Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing (Lake Forest College Press, 2013). He lives in New York City.
Cutting Time with a Knife by Michael Leong
Like a manual pilfered from an alternate history where science and art never diverged, Michael Leong’s new book transforms the periodic table of elements into a kind of concrete poetry. Leong’s glowing hieroglyphs show that the poetic Word emerges—as irony from iron—from the whirled atoms of the World itself. Indeed, Leong redefines the space-time of the page as a furnace of pure imagination, where the cadaver of modernist poetics is smelted with black humor, ‘form[ing] crystals and other alloys at the boundaries of meaning. Here, we discover that ‘Poetry is an ongoing reaction, a turning loose of the future.’ For time doesn’t exist without the possibility of revolution—and Leong has, in Cutting Time with a Knife, created a true ‘chamber of possibilities.’