Frankenstein Book Review: Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz

I keep thinking of one poem in particular when I see further takes on the Gates' divorce.

I keep thinking of this one poem in Postcolonial Love Poem [(c) Natalie Diaz 2020: Graywolf Editions], and it happens that everyone’s posting further takes on the divorce of Bill and Melinda Gates. And I’m coupling and uncoupling these two thoughts—a book that is about to murder me, and a news item that confuses me.

“The First Water is the Body.” This is, as the book title indicates, a chapter/verse in a love poem. But that can mean many things, especially when you invoke colonialism. Maybe this one is about the divorce of state from the body, which is another chapter of love. Another post-colonialism.

In “First Water…” I picture empire’s ravages against the Earth, under the guise of techno-freedom, technolibertarianism; the literal story of the water that composes humanity; how that gets lost inside machinery and software.

In other words, I am as perplexed as all of you as to how the divorce of Bill and Melinda Gates is at all of any shocking relevance to anyone, as I am perplexed by how confused all of us are that a divorce between intelligent people is not confusing. A divorce between passionate animals would be confusing. Or perhaps a marriage of beasts would be confusing. It doesn’t make sense, any of it, until you think about water the way Natalie Diaz does.

Her descriptions of water are divine.

My Elder says, Cut off your ear, and you will live. Cut off your hand, you will live. Cut off your leg, you can still live. Cut off our water, we will not live more than a week. (51, Postcolonial Love Poem)

Who cares about the Gates. Thirst them out of existence.