6 x 9 | 104 pages
Follow the science into a panic room whose walls are the fear of death. It has a window you duck down beneath, the fibro rattling like an n-dimensional membrane as thin glass shatters to ornament your back like that of a stegosaurus. But you will survive as those brainless dragons did for aye—and look, the toilet altar stands unshaken.
Oyster Mountain is a resounding answer to a pronounced contemplation, that of the avant poet’s place in an increasingly decentralized art culture. Jalal’s preoccupations are cosmic and vast, incorporating narrative forms, comical sleight-of-hand, and zeitgeist subversion into a kaleidoscopic immersion that provokes and interrogates the existential dimensions of a modernity awash with mythic, historical and oneiric preconceptions and archetypes. It is poetic as it is intensely philosophical and metalinguistic. A logophile’s poet, Jalal’s language is romantic and lush, abounding with startling juxtapositions and enigmatic semiotics, images of history being forged and cobbled and trampled in a stampede. More than poetry, Oyster Mountain has the texture and breadth of inquiry, of erotic tableaux. It is a sensory spectacle haunted by travels spiritual and physical and tortured illuminations.
–Manuel Marrero, Expat Press
El-Kadali has remarkable skill at creating poetic imagery that evokes immediate, visceral emotion from the reader.