A ROOMFUL OF MACHINES
Second edition: ELJ Publications, August 2015
First edition: Searle Publishing (UK), September 2010
Washingtonville, New York
Trade paperback, 114 pages
Publication Date: August 2015
List Price: $18.99
Cover art by Can Stock Photo Inc./Victor Zastol`skiy
Cover design by Ariana D. Den Bleyker
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Praise for A ROOMFUL OF MACHINES
“All the mythical elements / blend at some point.” Like a woodsman in a glade surrounded by the beloved obstacles of her livelihood, Kristine Ong Muslim marks the materials of her enterprise and fells them one by one: a teacup, a tissue box, the soul, a man on a bench–milled, constructed and brought to life by the poet’s gaze. Her poems lead us out of the forest, into light.
—JoAnn Balingit, Poet Laureate of Delaware and author of Words for House Story
Kristine Ong Muslim has dissected life’s parts and crafted updates carrying a calm punch. Her precise and mournful vision shows us that the NOW refuses to be lulled by “last year’s domesticity” and that every object exemplifies a contradictory present. When a carpet in “Songs of Dead Objects Content in Their Husks” claims “the texture of silence” it can only do so by asserting its presence. While the eye in “Director’s Cut, Exterior Panel: The Eye” can’t quite focus it is “yet functional.” Willfulness subverts the tragic. Protects the soul. That same eye “. . . ignores signs, misreads instructions, fakes loneliness.” Repeat: “fakes loneliness.” Muslim moves beyond the trope of modern isolation. A Roomful of Machines provides companionship for the wise.
—Sarah Sarai, author of The Future Is Happy and Geographies of Soul and Taffeta
Press and Reviews for A ROOMFUL OF MACHINES
- Excerpts: Lines+Stars, Kumquat Poetry, Red Fez, Eastlit, Revisitations, The Pedestal Magazine, Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems
- Interviewed by Nicole Rollender at Carpe Noctem
- Reviewed by Ryan Fuentes at in lieu of a field guide
- Reviewed by Janelle Elyse Kihlstrom at Melusine
- Reviewed by Micah Ling at Book Punch
- Reviewed by Reid Mitchell at Asian Cha
- Reviewed by John Greenwood at Theaker's Quarterly and Paperbacks
- Reviewed by Emma Lee at Emma Lee's Blog
- Reviewed by Louis Cecile at Louis Cecile's Book Reviews
Sample Poems from A ROOMFUL OF MACHINES
An unschooled brightness, it arches
its heel. The carpet does not ignite.
It will not fold back its parched lips--
the hush of a broken mouth.
It dreams of the other, the right pair.
It will not let go. It will not walk.
A sitting duck.
An upturned apocalypse.
A stroke of white, it takes its first stride.
It will not let go. It will keep us walking.
It does not wait for the other, the left pair
still stuck in a far-off trail. It treads on
grass, earth, sand, water, pavement.
It will keep us walking.
A bloated conqueror.
A rogue dreamer.