The expansive reworking of language in Impastoral flies through the possible voices of outsides and insides—slug, probe, horse carriage, sewer, potted plant, lab rat, vampire, bot fly, giant cow. Language, in Brandan Griffin’s poetry, is neither human nor nonhuman, and it undoes that very idea of these distinctions, so beings—slugprobe, pottedhorsesewer, telepathybarcode, mammaltexts—morph and change in between boundaries.
Each of these poems is an organism, a collection of living connections, looped interiorities strung together in worlds tunneling through worlds. The poems’ composition becomes a decomposition of budding, breeding, and fluctuating. Reading this collection is an experience of becoming deformed and merged into the experiences of other beings; you are sea vent, microprocessor, cell gel, bug, a greenly translucent leaf typed half a sound at a time. Griffin invites us to imagine all possible beings and to hatch into a fresh world.
Impastoral won the Omnidawn Open Book contest, selected by Brian Teare.