Ortiz, Alejandro. Conjectural recipes and other minor ideas. ICE Press: Toronto, 2022
One of the fundamental questions in reading poetry is the origin of the poetic voice. Unlike narratives, the person who emits the voice in the poem is not necessarily a character who inhabits the text, nor the author who sentences each verse. In ancient times, the voice of poems was emitted by the gods, infusing it into poets through a breath. In contemporary poetry, Pessoa populates the poems with the voice of his heteronyms; for Whitman it is the collectivity. Alejandro Ortiz questions in his latest book, “Conjectural Recipe Book and Other Minor Ideas” what his voice is and what the different voices are that construct his self, which he sees as a collectivity. In his poems he presents, on the one hand, the poet’s work as a material, sensory craft, organized from the production of his songs emitted by different voices. From one poem to another, Alejandro Ortiz becomes another Alejandro Ortiz; He transforms his voice without modifying his emission point. The book is a poem full of surprises, considerations that at times seem to disagree with each other but that are finally recognized in the mouth that he enunciates but that responds to different voices. Conjectural Recipe Book is a book of questions and answers that in turn become questions. It is a book that shows that poetry is not only the enunciation of ideas but also deep and productive dialogue.