Histories of the Future Perfect
Inspired by concepts in astrophysics, Kombiyil canvasses across time and space to provide a luminescence unafraid of the big ideas. The book itself has what Kombiyil calls a quantum structure. Here we find Galileo’s thumbprint, Kurt Cobain Las Vegas, and Mary Lincoln communing with the dead. The poems themselves are never narrowly historical but rather cosmic in their inflections, taking on subatomic particles, DNA, and black holes, not simply as scientific props but as the very impetus for lyric motion.
“This is a poet who can toggle between bikinis and trilobites, between astrophysics and pop culture, between elegy and premonition. Kombiyil’s work is alive to whiplash our lives in the timeloops of the universe.”
— Maureen N. McLane,
My Poets and This Blue
“These are intellectually dexterous poems, but, more vitally, poems ‘laden and alive’ with unexpected illumination.”
— Arundhathi Subramaniam,
When God is a Traveller
I can’t see what they make, little hands
folding shapes: a crane, a duck, a long-necked
goose, harbouring secrets in feathers
preened straight, skin in as-yet-undimpled rows,
the mathematics of what will come – what might,
what might not.
– from "Mirror Image of a Stock Market Crash"