Library Journal

At first, it may seem surprising that this energetically in-your-face collection references physics. But when Bashir (Gospel) notes of thermodynamics, “When Albert Murray said/ the second law adds up to/ the blues…/ he meant it//… more how my grandmother/ warned that men like women// with soft hands,” you see where she’s going. “Planck’s constant” denotes holding to others as we climb to get ahead; “Ground state,” a surge toward intimacy; and “We call it dark matter because it doesn’t interact with light,” America’s increasing xenophobia. Thus does Bashir sort out life’s demands, periodically grounding her exploration with references to African American legend John Henry and his wife, Polly Ann. ­VERDICT Interesting work; anyone who can combine woolly mammoths and the lyric “I’m gonna be your number one” in one poem knows her stuff.