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Like Thoreau before him, Joe Jiménez reminds us that if we are to know ourselves, we must be intimately familiar with the natural world around us. Shaped by the lovely tendrils of question marks, Jiménez’s poems are a wondrously insistent search for the deeper, more primordial truths that our urban, built environments rarely allow. The poems’ musical language, like the gull’s “thick whistle,” render these meditations haunting and memorable. I marvel at the gulf that is the setting for many of Jiménez’s poems: it is an inlet fed by a vast sea of ancient wisdom and deeply felt emotion. In their sense of wonderment at the natural beauty that surrounds us, Jiménez’s poems honor his ancestors, the Mexica, who were compelled to leave behind the familiar in search of the unknown. These antepasados are ever-present in the poems; they tell us that “all things matter when the time/is right.” The time is right. Jiménez’s poems matter.
- Pablo Miguel Martínez, author of Brazos, Carry Me