Award-winning writer, teacher
and scholar

Velocipede Chavez

As in much of Laura Madeline Wiseman’s work, Velocipede invites readers to lean in and hear voices usually lost in the din; in this case, the grinding of gears, the slipping of chains, tires on the road. These sensual poems illuminate the intimate relationship between bicycle and human, sometimes in the beauty of a symbiosis where “you began to trust muscle, sunshine, the language spoken of wheels” and the other moments where tensions heighten and the human body succumbs to “metal” and “teeth oiled,” having to “bare our reminders—road-rash, bruises on tail, gouges of flesh.” Even if you are not already a bike enthusiast, the embodied presentness throughout the poems demonstrate a relationship between human and bicycle that is special, intimate and reciprocal. There is a psychic and material price to the freedom of motion and Wiseman’s words will convince you it is worth every beautifully sore muscle.

– Sarah A. Chavez