Author: Lara Mimosa Montes
Publisher: Coffee House Press (2020)
THRESHOLES is both a doorway and an absence, a road map and a remembering. In this almanac of place and memory, Lara Mimosa Montes explores the passage of time, returning to the Bronx of the '70s and '80s and the artistry that flourished there. What is the threshold between now and then, and how can the poet be the bridge between the two?
“THRESHOLES is a training manual for grief and desire, for which no remedies exist except this one: running towards what will burn you up anyway, like a star. ‘How do you come back from that for which there are no words?’ Lara Mimosa Montes asks us, producing a new form of silence that does not, as even the most provisional form of sound must, decay. Instead, in this powerful and beautiful work, absence becomes an artifact, the only thing we get to touch. ‘I was there,’ as Montes writes, ‘and yet I have no memory of that performance.’ This is a line that moved rapidly through my own organism, like pink lightning, changing and charging my own cells. It turns out that this is the only thing I want from poetry, but I didn't remember it until I read this book.”
“Lara Mimosa Montes is the powerhouse these troubled times need. A true heir of Marguerite Duras and Clarice Lispector, Montes writes with ferocious intellectual energy and emotional pungency, and she never takes the cautious path. Here, she has composed a felicitously broken threnody filled with optimistic openings wherein new possibilities for vision can take root. Poetry, documentary, critique, song, and passion play: these modes join hands in THRESHOLES, and the result is an inspiring demonstration of what she calls ‘the rigorous, unpredictable sanctity of study.’”
“THRESHOLES is brilliant in its associative inscription of the Bronx as a crux of art and memory and wreckage. The book resists narratives and undoes the verb’s hold on constructing histories with an acute and glistening eye as formed by community as the body itself. Lara Mimosa Montes interrupts genre/gentrification in a thrilling book that brings to bear the notion of a ‘body I can in language throw,’ a most welcome disruption to lyric autofiction modalities.”
–Carmen Giménez Smith