Matadora

Overview

With seriocomic tone, these elliptical lyrics reveal illusions and exclusions at the heart of America’s global narrative of economic “progress,” and the attendant loss of cultural identity and memory. At the same time, Matadora challenges traditional Fillipina gender norms, beginning with the title which feminizes a word and profession traditionally masculine.

New York (Sweet and Sour Sauce)

I (Asian girl) was eating pasta with a dancer (Asian ...

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Overview

With seriocomic tone, these elliptical lyrics reveal illusions and exclusions at the heart of America’s global narrative of economic “progress,” and the attendant loss of cultural identity and memory. At the same time, Matadora challenges traditional Fillipina gender norms, beginning with the title which feminizes a word and profession traditionally masculine.

New York (Sweet and Sour Sauce)

I (Asian girl) was eating pasta with a dancer (Asian girl) last night in front of the Asian-American tirade. She quoted a book of 144,000 blank pages and she said, sometimes do you feel crazy? I was biting off my chicken. I said let’s go through an exercise.

Someone is sleeping very peacefully in a bed next to you. Who is this person?

A sculptor (from LA he said just visiting) listened to us. He said I’m working on a 50 ft. bamboo thing. He said you should come by.

“Early in Sarah Gambito’s book, we learn that ‘You cannot be in two places at once.’ In fact, the personality presented in these poems (they are personal poems; that is to say, they have their own unique and consistent personality) seems to have come from Elsewhere, on the way to Everywhere.”—Keith Waldrop

Sarah Gambito holds degrees from The University of Virginia and The Creative Writing Program at Brown University. Her poems have appeared in such journals as The Iowa Review, The Antioch Review, The New Republic, Quarterly West and Fence.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This first volume by a Filipina American writer gets off to an inauspicious start: a prose poem written mostly in Tagalog, a few words of English sprinkled in each paragraph, is followed by a polemical piece contrasting life in America with that in the Philippines. More impressive are the prose poems scattered throughout the first two sections, where Gambito, who has been published in the Iowa Review, employs a cryptic, staccato style that implies much more than meets the eye. Prefacing each section with a quote from Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon and seemingly responding from the viewpoint of the titular Matadora (the feminized matador) the book has a premise that, when it works, provides a fascinating counterpart to the machismo stance that Hemingway personified. Unfortunately, the narrator's cutting female voice does not emerge from a cloud of surreal, nonsyntactical wordplay until the third and final section. Recommended for women's studies collections and larger public libraries. Rochelle Ratner, formerly with Soho Weekly News Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882295487
  • Publisher: Alice James Books
  • Publication date: 12/1/2004
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Sarah Gambito holds degrees from The University of Virginia and The Creative Writing Program at Brown University. Her poems have appeared in such journals as The Iowa Review, The Antioch Review, The New Republic, Quarterly West and Fence.
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Table of Contents

Paloma loves 3
Family day 5
Blackberrying 7
Paloma's light journal, February 12th 8
Scene : a loom 9
Paloma's church in America 10
Fear 11
The women of Tagaytay gather at the edge of the lustrous river and see the spirit of God in a white bird 12
Numerology 13
Frequently the beach for me 16
Grief god 17
The glitter lamb 21
Paloma's light journal, January 2nd 22
The daily bride 23
Paloma's light journal, May 8th 25
Scene : rainbow 26
Hope is longer than time 27
New York (radio edit) 28
New York (sweet and sour sauce) 29
Paloma and I admire the neon lights 30
Providence 31
My parting gift story 32
Dyads 34
Sonogram 35
A black horse has come to your sleep 36
Untitled 37
1001 nights 40
Dear elation, soothing wetbar 41
Batgirl 43
Angel 5 44
Dear elation, there is something else you didn't know 45
Scene : this is your country 49
Scene : this is still your country 50
Scene : Rufina de los Reyes fails to return 51
Paloma, because I love her 52
War after war 53
Of my fury 54
How to make your daughter an American 55
How to make your daughter an American (again) 56
Paloma's light journal, June 6th 57
New York (fairest of 10,000 remix) 58
Asian-American food poem 59
Shrewd and beautiful is my New York 60
Passage 61
Scene : yours, time : yours 63
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First Chapter

New York (Sweet and Sour Sauce)

I (Asian girl) was eating pasta with a dancer (Asian girl) last night in front of the Asian-American tirade. She quoted a book of 144,000 blank pages and she said, sometimes do you feel crazy? I was biting off my chicken. I said let's go through an exercise.

Someone is sleeping very peacefully in a bed next to you. Who is this person?

A sculptor (from LA he said just visiting) listened to us. He said I'm working on a 50 ft. bamboo thing. He said you should come by.

Read More Show Less

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