CW: death, state-sanctioned violence, state-sanctioned murder, state-sanctioned rape, state-sanctioned torture, state-sanctioned racism, state-sanctioned ableism, state-sanctioned queerphobia, state-sanctioned transphobia, state-sanctioned white, supremacy, state-sanctioned patriarchy, genocide, colonization, police, abortion, blood, gore graphic violence, suicidal ideation, profanity, explicit sexual content, sexual language, george washington’s dick, america

“The design of this system grows more blatant with each disaster it swings our way. and that’s why i must insist that art will save us. poetry will save us. a movement without art, the sentiments it evokes, and the personal and collective truths it reveals, is a movement incomplete. art is not a novelty; it’s a necessity. and yes, this book is going to be raw. that’s fine. i’m not going to edit out the rawness or the grit. i’m not going to edit out the passion or the moment in time. i’m not going to succumb to this white classist patriarchal cisnormative heteronormative ablelist colonist narrative that books must be perfect, pretty, and polished to be worthwhile. this is how they gatekeep us. this is how they fuck us right up, keep us out, and keep us silenced.” Excerpt from Preface (baby ur a PIECEofWORK, 2022), Ami

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Prose: “— Soft-Skin Darlings of the Tundra (2),” by Ami

petals plucked off are reutilized, revitalized by the destitute for non-demonic self-asphyxiation. For devils, rose spines are always being planted beneath tender prints of earthly inebriation. Thornmilk, meanwhile, is never as nourishing as they lead you to believe. It pulps lucid on each victim’s bottom lip — melds to dry flesh, stretching unnamed intricacies of the pout further astray. That is why mercury bears superior whims for any mortal withering, whimpering, faltering by their own infallibility. Humans know naught of ethereality, nor elixir; the divinities find themselves perpetually enamored, yet equal-parts enraged, by all the ways in which sense continues to elude us. 

Prose: “— Soft-Skin Darlings of the Tundra (1),” by Ami, Published in Vallum Mag (19:2 | OPEN THEME 2022)

a when is [human] only when still/“alive” to the naked eye. Our menace’s specter-rose rise-rises poetic, enveloped by sweet-tooth/teethed fiends of possibility, non-noxious toxicity. Sure, writing about others — those choking, loathing others — is a somewhat ongoing train of deep-seethed/seep-seethed strain or straining. Inertia nursed needless is still no reason to cease. Language breathes best among torque-thrummed wind chimes. 

First published in 2019, removed from print and Kindle in 2021, and republished on its three-year anniversary in 2022 as a love letter from the author to the indie literature community, Devolution is hellish, bewildering, disillusioned, rough, raw, and melancholy. And in the new 2022 edition, this book has a little something extra: an intricate prelude reflecting on exile, capitalism in traditional publishing, and the stigma following indie creators alongside the author’s experiences with earning their M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the California Institute of the Arts, and getting their foot in the art and publishing worlds between Devolution‘s initial release date and now. It also details why, out of Sanghvi’s seven original books, all of which the author unpublished in mid-2021 (along with Devolution), they decided to bring back this one (the odd book out and least recognized of the bunch), and this one alone, in what is more or less its original, untampered early-2019 form.

back cover:)