‘Naturalism’ By Wendy Xu

If the book looks like it was rode hard and put up wet… well, it was. And not so much metaphorically, as literally. It mail man placed it under our welcome mat, but it was in a relatively flat package and it was towards the edge, where people don’t normally step, so it remained unnoticed for I don’t know how long. By the time I discovered it, it had gone through more than one thunderstorm, so I couldn’t even begin to start it for several days after bringing to poor volume into the house.

It’s more of a long, super fancy chapbook than a full collection and it does feel like a work in progress. In fact, I swear that at least one of these poems also appears in her new collection, Phrasis.

Naturalism, in many cases, doesn’t feel quite mature. The best poems are very, very good. Some though, feel like filler; and in a such short book, it doesn’t take too many underdone poems to overwhelm the final sensation (nor does the fact that the very best poem appears at the very beginning).

I am happy to say, though, that Phrasis (which I am reading) is falling on the very, very good side so far.