Sparked by the only two letters—out of over a hundred-that López Medin's mother saved from her own mother in Paraguay, Poem That Never Ends weaves together poems and family photos to explore the fragmentation of time, memory, and mother-child relationships. Fragments, family hearing impairments, ripped-up letters, and living and writing between languages point to the inescapable holes in language, troubling the notion of a finite utterance. Layering elements of painting, cinema, and the elusive three dimensions of theater into the weave, Poem That Never Ends traces a sequence of mothers-López Medin's mother, her mother's mother, herself as a mother-in a porous, restless gesture toward what's never fully grasped.
López Medin’s commitment to recovering remnants of the past results in a moving suite of prose poems and lineated poems, along with photos and drawings — all intricately tracing her own matrilineage, domestic work, and disability ... For López Medin, assembling and sewing together scraps mirrors the efforts of comprehending bits and pieces of language ... What is unspoken and unheard between generations takes root in the poems, and the poet yearns for what is encrypted and what might be unearthed ... Sewing and its ritualistic labor function nimbly in many of these poems as a figure for poetic fabrication. Calling on the reader’s participation and understanding, López Medin sometimes incorporates a visual representation of stitches by employing rows of em dashes to divide various sections of a poem.
Abandonment haunts the lyrical and material text ... This book fashions a temporality that limns the gaps between space, language, and silence ... I felt pulled into a relationship between these mother-daughter mediums, the interplay of forms, the writer's paper and seamstress' fabric, the motion of the mother flying between lands ... We see each other through loose seams, the poet implies, and we hear each other by assembling the salient into a story, which must be incomplete, by nature.
... balances polarities such as absence and presence, revelation and discretion, and intimacy and distance. A visual motif of dashes operates in paradox, by turns representing stitches (a coming together) and perforation (a tearing apart) ... there’s a restlessness to the contradictory mamas, and the repetition takes on the incantatory tone of a benediction in the final scene of this powerfully filmic, ingeniously constructed book.