Ian Kinney fell seven stories, and he survived. In Air Salt, Kinney (un)writes his hospitalization and recovery, using poetry as neuro-rehabilitation. A memoir written by an amnesiac, this collection stitches splintered narratives with projective verse, cutting up and reassembling found text from Get Well Soon Cards, emails between friends, excerpts from personal journals, written records of eye witnesses, the Police and EMS reports, relevant Real Estate listings, nurses’ charts, doctors’ notes, hospital brochures, and Kinney’s Neuropsychological Assessment: all increasingly recombinant, all increasingly in chorus. Kinney re-sorts the writing to etch in itself a more essential expression, Air Salt.
A challenging, prototypic piece of posttraumatic writing, Air Salt accommodates narrative discord and juxtaposes heterogenous voices. It reflects the lived experience of trauma, continually (re)arranging distorted phrases, interrogating and (re)forming itself, and (re)fusing to compromise. Air Salt reintegrates a shattered body of local narratives and presses on.
The work's eccentricity invites rereading, which offers reward—new discovery, new pleasure and connections, and unnerving empathy with the poet, his traumatic fall and the result of his attempt, touched on in the title poem, to "imitate // the sky.?
—Steven Ross Smith,AlbertaViews