Salamun (On the Tracks of Wild Game) commands a tremendous dance along the border of reality and absurdity in this new translation of his 1985 collection. His atmospheres feel real and almost lived-in, constructed pinch-by-pinch through the incorporation of foods, languages, war scenes, and religious ritual—signs of history and culture with a cosmopolitan air; rooted in post-WWII Europe, but reaching beyond it. However, Salamun enlivens his sturdy settings with elements of the fantastical or surreal, elevating the work above what could otherwise read as a fragmented memoir. For example, in “Poppy,” Salamun builds on stark hardship before making an unexpected twist: “Cover the people when I step in the area. /Throw on them blankets, tents, and powdered milk./ Dig them into the earth, I am a hamster.” Or “Sierra Nevada,” where Salamun presents the bizarre image of “father, the one who puts his body hair in their/ mouths, so that they can swallow thin, polished hits of pool balls.” Salamun’s interplay between the actual and the invented results in a graceful synthesis of the traditional and the contemporary.