Leong superimposes the following layers onto the reader's experience of his latest contemporary poems; politics, chaos, hilarity, language, meaning and camouflage. He uses language to show us all how language is used to manipulate everything we experience.
Words On Edge by Michael Leong
Working out a necessary and constantly evolving counterintuition—uneasy, agitated, restless and ceaselessly inventive—Michael Leong’s Words on Edge clocks the alarm of those who “wake late” in a world of fragments and found materials. Bricoleur of the “jagged, ad hoc equation” that is the contemporary, the poet constellates a spacious, ever-enlarging structure from a heap of broken posterities to make space for “the first blossoms of wild meaning.” The assertions are fresh, tragicomic, and engaging, and the ongoing effort to accurately describe (and affect) a transforming situation is thrilling: this is work that leads us toward “a future collapse into / a full state of wakefulness.” Don’t wait!
Michael Leong’s poetry is exquisite. We say something is exquisite when it is alluring and elegant, but also when it is razor-fine, when it has an edge, and that edge might be used to slice open a section of air and pull something out of it that hadn’t existed before, something that we did not know existed, something that existed outside of language and was conjured into being by an unorthodox employment of that very same language. This is called invention, and can lead to great and wonderful things, what André Breton would call the marvelous.