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I Don't Know Do You

Overview

Roberto Montes is a poet of immense passion. He's not scared to be sad ("In space no one can hear you be a better person"), but he's not scared to be gentle, either ("Sometimes I bend a little sorry/by how easy it is...As if you weren't already/reading this aloud/to the man quietly/removing his socks"). I am finding that this juxtaposition, this honesty about the world and self, is almost impossible to find in contemporary poetry. This book needs to be read. It needs to be carried around in messenger bags and ...
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Overview

Roberto Montes is a poet of immense passion. He's not scared to be sad ("In space no one can hear you be a better person"), but he's not scared to be gentle, either ("Sometimes I bend a little sorry/by how easy it is...As if you weren't already/reading this aloud/to the man quietly/removing his socks"). I am finding that this juxtaposition, this honesty about the world and self, is almost impossible to find in contemporary poetry. This book needs to be read. It needs to be carried around in messenger bags and purses. Lines like "I am continually inspired/by men who are not afraid/to do pushups in the middle of our conversation" should be tweeted, tumbled, text messaged to friends and strangers. This book is a love letter to love and an ode to the pain it can cause. It's about being young and lost but how maybe that is not such a bad thing.

Share this book with someone pretty. Plant it in the forest and watch it grow a heart in the shape of a heart.

-Gregory Sherl, The Opening Night Poetry Series editor

"One way to do something is to invent an infinite way to do it. Montes takes identity and multiplies it by multiplicity, then divides it by the power of one. Readers get to experience much more than wordplay or ordinary verse-reversals; rather we ride the book like a centaur, a pegasus. Montes has a high-flying new style and a rock-solid intelligence, and so much gorgeous sky in between those two qualities. All of which imbue his ontological quandaries, queries and quaking with such wild and vertiginous pleasure." -Brenda Shaughnessy, Our Andromeda

"Roberto Montes is thoroughly keen for and vexed by bodies in the world, and how we are forever figuring out how to get to touch them. It seems a wonder that he can fit his giant matrix of feelings about bodies-not just discrete human ones, but governments, water, knowledge-into this container you're holding. The ways he makes them fit might break your heart a little ("sadness is capable of great acts of beauty"). I Don't Know Do You investigates great beauties and smaller ones too-all moving, necessary, and real." - Mark Bibbins, The Dance of No Hard Feelings

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/19/2014
Playful and direct, Montes's debut collection engages readers without sacrificing intellectual concerns. He celebrates failure and uncertainty, too; the "patron saint of failure" haunts the collection. But underneath his imaginative fervor lies the precarious tenderness of a young poet: "My world is a structure I build in such a way that when it falls apart it falls part gracefully." Many of Montes's poems are grounded in our contemporary political climate, underscoring positions like, "I am for whatever party says we owe ourselves and it's time to collect." Of particular note is the attention Montes gives trying to answer what it means to be a person. He delivers numerous possibilities, offering answers with radical parameters on what a person can be—whether personhood is defined by suffering a great loss in the digital age, ("On the internet my first reaction is to write death is dumb over and over. In the real world I felt the same."), or if it's based on participation in a community ("All poets are queer and if you're not a queer you're not a poet."). In a collection that demands answers to difficult queries, Montes merges beauty with sadness, reminding readers that "every exit is an emergency." (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780988732872
  • Publisher: Ampersand Books
  • Publication date: 3/14/2014
  • Pages: 102
  • Sales rank: 1,313,231
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.24 (d)

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