from unincorporated territory [lukao] is the fourth book in native Chamorro poet Craig Santos Perez’s ongoing series about his homeland, the Western Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam), and his current home, Hawaiʻi. He utilizes eco-poetic, decolonial, diasporic, indigenous, documentary, epic, and avant-garde modes to weave stories of creation, birth, migration, food sovereignty, and parenting. This work not only protests the devastating impacts of colonialism, militarism, and environmental injustice across the Pacific, it also expresses a vision of a sustainable and hopeful future.
Perez writes “Hinasso” (imaginaton, thought, memory, or reflection) painted forwards+backwards and out-scribed in multiple dimensions. Yes, it is true and possible in the land of the Chamorro, in the terrain, mind, culture once colonized, “kidnapped,” and now re-called and re-created by its own will-spirit walk here, in this “procession,” in this knowledge-song, carved Chamorro walk-talk-map. There is birth, incision, interview, and voice-with-voice and the ripping out of origin charters faked and overlaid over the roots of Guam. As pilgrimage steps are drummed with sacrifice and vision-life, you too must walk these lines that Perez offers. An impossible sacredness in this book, drawn from the collective-body-cartography, is written. Ground-shaking, delight of breath and ecstatic heart. Mahalo, Craig Santos Perez, Mahalo for lifetimes.
JUAN FELIPE HERRERA