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Monsters, Zombies and Addicts: Poems
     

Monsters, Zombies and Addicts: Poems

by Gwendolyn Zepeda
 

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“I was scared of a thing that might have happened. In daytime I'm sure it / never did. At night, I don't trust daylit memories or instincts. In nightmares, like / filmstrips, the feared thing occurs.” In her second poetry collection, monsters—real and imagined—chase Houston Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Zepeda through late nights when she can't sleep.

Overview

“I was scared of a thing that might have happened. In daytime I'm sure it / never did. At night, I don't trust daylit memories or instincts. In nightmares, like / filmstrips, the feared thing occurs.” In her second poetry collection, monsters—real and imagined—chase Houston Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Zepeda through late nights when she can't sleep. Ghosts routinely visit in the early morning hours, but in spite of her fears, she dares to believe that she has escaped the devils that once followed her.

This collection of 62 narrative poems contains witty observations about the rituals of contemporary life. In “Cocktail Hours,” she wonders, “What if all my nights were Christmas lights on patios with tinkling drinks /and fun conversations.” And in “Recipe for Fun,” Zepeda offers a ten-point guide to soothing away life's frustrations, including a suggestion to get some peace by giving “everyone in your house pizza, cat food or video games.”

Musings on family, remembrances of childhood games and encounters with strangers (and ants!) fill this clever, thought-provoking collection in which Zepeda dares to express her individuality. She knows that she is different, “Maybe I am a boy in drag. / Especially here, where I don't feel like / everybody else.” She doesn't follow others blindly or do what society expects of her. Readers will appreciate this second poetry collection, which is deeply personal yet universal in its hopes and fears.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/06/2015
Zepeda (Falling in Love with Fellow Prisoners), poet paureate of Houston and novelist, explores gender, motherhood, the complexities of immigrant families, and an artist’s alienation in contemporary capitalism through these simple, raw, and humorous narratives. Candid about her alienation from mainstream culture, Zepeda admits, "Maybe I am a boy in drag. Especially here, where I don’t feel like everybody else. I don’t want to be the best secretary, or even the prettiest one." She contextualizes her independent spirit, telling stories of those around her, such as her Aunt Sylvia, who have supported it: "On Friday nights, when there was nothing else to do, she used to tell me, ‘Go get the keys from your daddy. Let’s see the Freak Show.’" There are moments when the poet strays from her main themes, and these are her weakest. Yet what comes across in the work as a whole is the power Zepeda derives from her "other" status as a person of color, a woman, and a poet: "The bravest thing is/ daring to think/ ...that you might not be/ a dog in a yard/ dumb drooling and flea bit,/ blocked by fences that/ no one else can see." (Apr.)
Booklist
For all her emphasis on the unseemly, seedy undersides of life, Zepeda again exercises her gift for making even the most commonplace occurrences enchantingly musical. A fantastic second book for a poet who continues to define herself with raw and daring lyrics.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558858107
Publisher:
Arte Paublico Press
Publication date:
03/31/2015
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,103,860
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.40(d)

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