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The plans you drew have decomposed
beneath fresh layers of experience
and a desire
to see the sky close of its own accord

 

Nicholas Fuenzalida lives in New York. His work has appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Cleaver, Breakwater Review, Bodega, and Poet's Country, among others. He is a producer for Commonplace: Conversations with Poets and Other People, and a member of the Ugly Duckling Presse editorial collective.

“‘Young, yet older / and thousands of miles away from the you / you were.’ These lines, from Nicholas Fuenzalida’s This Slightest Bearing, strike me as emblematic of that work’s navigation between worlds, identities, definitions and boundaries. Note that the word bearing can have many meanings, including a person’s manner or the direction of a ship. The sort of ‘navigation’ one finds in Fuenzalida’s work is not a desperate or a whimsical act (though it may be both?), but it is, in any case, a necessary one: ‘You have been many people whom you barely remember.’ And if there are evident traces of autobiography here—an ‘anchor,’ no doubt, for some readers—these don’t strike me as sentimental reification of the lyrical I (which the poet eschews for the more ambiguously inclusive you, by the way), but as a means through which the poet finds a sustaining grace of bearing, a means of constructing his work and moving outward. Ultimately, this move is transcendent: Fuenzalida’s ‘you vast thing’ recalls Whitman’s ‘multitudes,’ only this time the ‘you’ strikes me as referring to the reader as much as to the poet/ narrator. This is a promising embarkation.”

—Mark DuCharme