Poetry." In PANORAMAS we not only hear the music of Puerto Rico, we share sensually in all it has to offer. The fantastic imagery of these poems transports us to the magical heart of El Caribe" -Rudolfo Anaya.

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Poetry." In PANORAMAS we not only hear the music of Puerto Rico, we share sensually in all it has to offer. The fantastic imagery of these poems transports us to the magical heart of El Caribe" -Rudolfo Anaya.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Celebrated for creating poetry that is a collision of the sounds, tensions and flavors of New York and Puerto Rico, Cruz achieves a musical vitality that surpasses any of his other volumes. Like a salsa band leader coaxing and challenging dancers to more and more complex steps, Cruz dares readers with dizzying polyrhythms, polymetric stanzas, backstepping word structures and a sense of improvisation: "Humid women in plaza dance/ Tongues out of mouth/ At the men who jump in the shadows/ Panama hats transmitting/ Towards the radar/ of the waist." While the verses pulse with a cross-cultural harmony of Caribbean and Lower East Side beats, the language approximates the emotional sphere of themes in rumba lyrics: "Machetes taking off like helicopters/ Chopping off branches for timbale sticks." But topics don't stop at the tropical; poems like "It's Miller Time" and "If You See Me in L.A. It's Because I'm Looking for the Airport" cover the ways in which life in the Americas can converge. Several lengthy narratives in the form of letters reveal Cruz's inspirationfrom musical influences to his family's literary oral traditions. Seven poems presented in Spanish highlight Cruz's bilingual talent. (Sept.)
Library Journal
This book, a poetic quintet offering both prose and poetry, develops a set of variations around the themes of displacement and bilingualism. The opening autobiographical essay, "Home Is Where the Music Is," leads into the second segment, "The Age of Sea Shells Revisited," the focus of which is the clash of cultures. The staccato rhythms of the third set, "Pana/Ramas," conjure up the spirit of Cruz's Puerto Rican homeland, from which he emigrated as a lad. In the fourth section, the poet defends his Spanishness and ars poetica ("Poetry is a river in the language. Paddle and you will get there") and recapitulates the theme of migration from his earlier Red Beans (LJ 10/1/91). The poems of the coda, "Primer Sonido," are entirely in Spanish. A mood of gentle satire and witty wordplay ("The past in the smoke of the cigar,/ Bringing the future information") further bond the pieces. Cruz has a message, and his voice should be heard.Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dublin, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566890663
  • Publisher: Coffee House Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Cruz is a two-time World Heavyweight Champion poet featured in Bill Moyers' "Language of Life" series whose most recent collection, Maraca, was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall and Griffin Poetry Prizes. Five-years-old when he moved with his family from Puerto Rico to New York, Cruz now divides his time between Morocco, Puerto Rico, and the US.

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Table of Contents

Glow Flesh 4
A Poem for Downtown 6
The Mystery 7
Beyond Coney Islands 9
The Land 11
11:30 in the Park 12
Carmen 13
The Music Is Like Search 15
Piano-Piano-Piano 16
Final Poem 18
Out in the World 19
The Story of the Zeros 21
boricuas & blacks 22
White Powder 1 25
Today Is a Day of Great Joy 26
Snag 27
Going Uptown to Visit Miriam 28
Cities 30
latin & soul 33
Born to Be Burned 35
Megalopolis 37
The Eye Uptown & Downtown 38
/ MOVING / 42
#3 Business 48
Thursday 49
Los New Yorks 51
Discovery 53
Berkeley/Over 55
Part Four 57
California #2 58
The Sounds of Colors 59
Interstate 80 61
Nebraska 64
african things 65
Loiza Aldea 66
The Man Who Came to the Last Floor 68
from New York Potpourri 75
The Latest Latin Dance Craze 78
Entro 79
Three Songs from the 50s 81
Untitled 84
[It is the year 1125] 86
Dreams and Forms 87
[Do you need balcony fish] 90
Na 92
Caribbean Glances 95
Is It Certain or Is It Not Certain Caso Maravilla 96
Matterative 100
The Perfect Rose 103
The Sound of Love 105
Financial Report 106
The Cruelty of Love 107
Lunequisticos 108
Visibility o 110
Anonymous 112
Art-This 113
Geography of the Trinity Corona 115
Ironing Goatskin 119
Two Guitars 120
Mountain Building 121
The Physics of Ochun 123
Here Is an Ear Hear 128
Groenburgewal Straat 129
Borinkins in Hawaii 131
Red Means 137
Snaps of Immigration 138
New/Aguas Buenas/Jersey 140
Scarlet Skirt 144
Problems with Hurricanes 148
An Essay on William Carlos Williams 149
Areyto 150
El Poema de lo Reverso 155
Iliacion 156
Ajonjoli 159
Dimensions of a Linguist 160
Red Beans 161
Suite 162
[This is my lelolai] 166
[Rain] 168
[There was a pirate] 169
Kairi : Painting 171
from White Table 173
Root of Three 176
Federico Garcia Lorca 179
De Tres Raices 182
Bobadilla, Espana 184
Poema Chicano 189
The Lower East Side of Manhattan 194
It's Miller Time 200
Mesa Blanca 204
Panoramas 214
Atmospheric Phenomenon: The Art of Hurricanes 233
Time Zones 239
If You See Me in L.A. It's Because I'm Looking for the Airport 242
Muhyi-din Ibn'Arabi 247
Nabokov 250
Juan Gris: Poem with Still Life 252
Cantinflas 254
Jose Marti 256
Jalalu'd-Din Rumi 259
La Lupe 262
Machito 264
Benny More 266
Frank Sinatra 269
Kobayashi Issa 271
Mark Twain 273
Miles Davis 275
Washington Irving 277
Clarabel the Clown 279
Federico Garcia Lorca 283
Juan Rulfo 286
Camaron de la Isla 288
Jack Kerouac 290
Moroccan Children 292
Title Index 299
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