Animate, Inanimate Aims is a long poem with 23 titled sections, which addresses the current ecological crisis and the legacies of capitalism and colonialism. Incantatory, witnessing, and urgent in its message, the poem is bookended by a series of Iijima’s drawings and collages that illuminate a sensorium of “Spectral graffiti” where “Ostensibly / The world / Gestured the matador.”
Praise for Animate, Inanimate Aims
Drawing the Animate, Inanimate Aims together, they settle into difference. With subtle contagion of body as structured text, titled ligatures in the midst, thick with emotional matériel, Brenda Iijima’s work rhymes—off or near—sight as sound. Nature for culture, culture as nature, “we/ can play school under a tree” or at war. Breaking and building in twitchy compression, the way Marie Menken’s hand-held camera swings, framed and fabulous, this exuberant tragic book of drawings and poems will hook you.
— Norma Cole
A kind of necessity is created here for saying, rejuvenating myths, turning anger into jouissance, making thoughts a river of light… Beware: we won’t be chagrined anymore; such subversion is the changing of the world.
— Etel Adnan