Reviewed by Karla Huston for Library Journal

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In his latest collection, Gander (Science & Steepleflower) asks questions concerning the things "which divide what and what once," that is, what was and what is now. The stunning opener, "Burning Towers, Standing Wall," compares the building of a Mayan wall and its destruction—both from political and natural forces—to the collapse of the Twin Towers. In three long poems, linked with pieces that contrast a couple's relationship with a boy's budding adolescence, the reader is asked to regard the relationships between words and subjects: "I am not given a subject but am given to my subject"; "Not the sentence is for the words but the words are for the sentence." Throughout, Gander's language is diverse, almost scientific (aigrette , mafic ), yet onomatopoeic ("perwicka perwicka/ of a quetzal in flight") and often sensual ("stars some speak softly"); his syntax is musical and eclectic. Language plays to the ears and nose, senses with the capacity to evoke memory, that "thin memorial ache." Owing to the poems' placement and the near absence of punctuation, the reader is propelled through the verse, left with a sense of urgency and awe, not unlike the man in the last poem who witnesses the theft of a bicycle but finds himself powerless to stop it: "the world shifts/ along a hairline crack/ you can't tell/ what is happening/ until it moves on and is gone/ as someone and someone's grief/ careen around the corner." Recommended for collections with an emphasis in postmodern and experimental work.