portion of the artwork for Issam Zineh's poetry

Issam Zineh’s Comments

These poems are part of a collection that, in large part, explores alienation—basically, the “problematic separation of a subject and object that properly belong together” (David Leopold, 2018). This sometimes plays out in private relationship through shifting power dynamics or frank loss; at other times the backdrop is cultural or societal. In most of these poems, the speaker strikes me as distant, not particularly vulnerable. It almost feels as if that distance is remnant of motivating traumas within the poems themselves. These poems also offer the poems’ participants (whether ready or not) a moment of greatest alienation in which they have to contemplate, if not contend with, courses of action and aftermath—decisions that could as easily widen the distance as they could lead to liberation.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 56 | Fall/Winter 2020