[IN]TRANSPIRING (ami j. sanghvi)

Reviewed by A. C. Riffer

Content warnings regarding the text: Self-harm, eating disorders, some suicidal ideation, and discussions of sexual assault and rape trauma.

A glitch, a malfunction, an anomaly, words used in attempts to quantify the bewildering. ami j. sanghvi’s [IN]TRANSPIRING begins with a repeated overlapping phrase, [IN]TRANSPIRING: a psychosomatic [re-]GLITCH[ING]. The letters in the brackets are gray in contrast to the black words. There is a contradiction held within, wherein the book has a deceptively simple complexity. Painted in black, white, and gray, highlighted, italicized, or capitalized words jump at the reader. [IN]TRANSPIRING is a masterclass in how to utilize form.  

This chapbook is not quiet. The shortness of the book (clocking in at just 20 pages) offers in byte-size, single-serving chunks the trauma of having glitches and metamorphoses. This unifying principle is reflected in this overlapped and repeated phrase “[IN]TRANSPIRING: a psychosomatic [re-]GLITCH[ING]” not only on their own pages, but also in the background of three longer poems: I. Rosé [does not make PHANTOMS go away II. Make these PHANTOMS go away III. I have yet to emerge. The three longer poems hold the reader by the throat with their syntax and invocation, juicy and dense. 

The work flickers somewhere between a visceral pain and defiance. The strange and fluctuating form continues to incite the reader to experience the disjointed and jarringly raw agony to re-read and sit with the distress, and also offers no comfort or absolution for those who enable the ableist system. In these ways, it fosters a deeper connection with the reader in its unflinching honesty. It is a disturbance and powerful. 

Author: ami j. sanghvi
Publisher: swallow::tale press
Date: 2021

Back to Top of Page | Back to Book Reviews | Back to Volume 16, Issue 1 – Spring 2022

About the Reviewer

A. C. Riffer is a professional romantic and enigmatic. They don’t think there is anything else to say. Though if one were inclined to say more, in their spare time they are a Ph.D student at the University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work.