In her second collection, Natalie Scenters-Zapico sets her gaze once again on the borders of things. Lima :: Limón illuminates both the sweet and the sour of the immigrant experience, of life as a woman in the U.S. and Mexico, and of the politics of the present day. Drawing inspiration from the music of her childhood, her poems focus on the often-tested resilience of women.
Lima :: Limón is rangier, freer to dip in and out of dreams, to try on voices, histories, and roles. Many of the book’s most beautiful poems shuttle easily between English and Spanish ... Her book is full of gorgeous, though problematic, cultural symbols; if you toss them out entirely, a world goes with them ... Like the fabric whose sutures create both its integrity and its vulnerability, people, in these poems, are real only insofar as they can be damaged, and complete only through the act of putting themselves back together. The tearing and stitching in Lima :: Limón isn’t exclusively metaphorical. This is a book about men’s violence against women; the sutures are often literal ... even pantomimed injury is, according to the logic of these poems, a result of real damage. Scenters-Zapico is at her best in lines that mingle pleasure and violence ... Scenters-Zapico often creates intensity in her poems by setting up an analogy, then knocking it down, only to prop it back up ... her astonishing verbal crossings reveal a mind as richly self-divided as any you will find.
...an exhilarating collection of feminist thought in verse form that never forgets to make music while sharply making its urgent, heartbreaking points. Lima :: Limón is smart and credible when depicting the hate and societal stupidity that feminists fight against, remembering to scream in song, never allowing itself to shriek too hard, turn tone-deaf ... The obvious melody of those stanzas carries through the entire book. Miss Scenters-Zapico’s music is so accomplished, that the book often reads like the score for a play ... In the end, though a book about men and women, it points its sharpest finger beyond that unit of two enacting the dynamics of power and submission, and trains it on a society that continues to allow the dehumanization and brutalization of human beings.
Lima::Limón is not just a collection of poetry, but a conversation that seeks to explore gender roles, machismo, and the figurative and literal borders that simultaneously constrain and liberate the body and its desires ... the speaker so aptly questions, 'How do you write about the violence/ of every man you’ve ever loved?' This is not easy to answer, but Scenters-Zapico has found a way ... Scenters-Zapico has offered us something to help with that; we in turn must do our part to continue unveiling the cruel reality marginalized women face, and bring it to the forefront of conversations we have on how to leave the world better than we found it.