Deer, arroyos, heron, pelican, dunlin--among other Gulf lives, Jiménez makes stays of the flora and fauna of the Texas Gulf shores, finding in them a current of questions and meanings in a time of tumult. As Jiménez renders the violent end to a long relationship, he makes notations for salt and mud, bird and hog, each creature: a lesson in how to let the world be enough. These poems touch the world not to take from it but to know it, to belong to it more fully. At once in mourning and in praise, The Possibilities of Mud offers a debut collection that is both poem-making as well as a taxonomy for making sense of loss, injustice, masculinity, and want.
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From simple elements Joe Jiménez creates a beautiful and brutal poetry gathered from the landscape of the gulf coast. It is a journey inward as much outward, and from this dark night, a language familiar and everyday, takes flight leisurely and as full of grace as the white heron. I am astonished and humbled by these poems.
Sandra Cisneros, author of House on Mango Street
The Possibilities of Mud is an apt title for Joe Jiménez’s stunning debut collection. It operates on the murky edge of things, exploring the subtle nuances, the uncertainty and mystery of daily life. Let yourself sink into these rich, layered poems of love without innocence—humble love full of hard-earned wonder. Jimenez embraces this vital landscape, this emotional, physical, sexual landscape, while fully aware of all possible gulfs everywhere. His mature, confident voice casts a lasting spell from poem to poem to poem—as Jimenez himself writes, “furiously, devotedly.”
Jim Daniels, author of Birth Marks