Somewhere in Advance of Nowhere

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In fact
will not
convoy of chickens

Today poems are like flags
flying on liquor store roof
poems are like baboons
waiting to be fed by tourists

& does it matter
how many metaphors
reach out to you
when the sun
goes down like
a stuffed bird in
tropical forest
of your solitude

In fact
will not
sing jazz
constricted mouth
of an anteater
no matter how many
symbols survive
to see the moon
dying in saw dust
of your toenail

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The author of six books, Cortez writes verse that's fiercely frank and urban. These poems range from the overtly political, even didactic, to the streetwise sensuality of Cortez's better rhythmic, percussive efforts which, no less harsh and glaring, provide an unflinching glimpse at life's ugliness. Occasionally, this grim point of view produces a keen, if gritty, kind of insight, and hence a hopefulness arising from clarity, as in "Compaera (Ana Mendieta)," in which Cortez writes of a sculptor friend, "a cyclone in blue tennis shoes/ a sequin dress machete," who was thrown out of a window by a drunk lover: "Why not say/ after the exit of two great drummers/ & in between the entrance of/ one monumental earthquake/ a huge volcano eruption/ & reappearance of the tail of Halley's comet/ We lost Ana/ but Ana did not leap/ because Ana knew/ Ana could not fly." Despite much loss, the speaker of these poems manages to survive. This resilience animates Cortez's work and supports the unwavering, and compelling directness with which she confronts the world. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852424220
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Series: High Risk Series
  • Pages: 124
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 7.92 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Table of Contents

About Flyin' Home 1
Visita 3
Adupe 7
In 1985 I Met Nicolas Guillen 11
In Gilberto de la Nuez's Studio 12
Woman On Burro In Asilah 13
Do Not Allow 15
Arizona 1985 16
Shut Off the System 19
Another Tropical Night 20
What Do You Think (Centennial 86) 21
You Have 23
Poetry 24
Samba Is Power 26
The Man with Elephantiasis Leg in Recife Brazil 29
New York's Bullfighter Gums 32
The Summit 33
These New York City Pigeons 34
1988 Now What 37
Super Poets of Guadalajara 39
Poet Cover Your Feet 41
Neighbor 43
The Dreams 44
Dear Banjo 47
Don't Ask 1980 48
Atmospheric Burn 51
I Have Been Searching 53
To Chrysler Cirrus 55
I Wonder Who 56
The Guitars I Used to Know 59
What Can We Sing for You 63
The Arrival 64
I Got the Blue-Ooze 93 65
Whatever Frightens 67
Why Not (Babs Gonzales) 68
The Oppressionists 71
I'm Gonna 72
A Miles Davis Trumpet 73
So What 77
The Harmattan 79
There Are No Stars 80
Bumblebee, You Saw Big Mama 81
Me 84
Global Inequalities 85
Companera (Ana Mendieta) 87
Be Good Enough 90
At a Certain Moment in History 92
Now I Dig Up Patinas 94
She Got He Got 96
The Heavy Headed Dance 100
The Gulf Tones 103
Say It 104
Don't Write 107
Sacred Trees 109
States of Motion 113
Find Your Own Voice 116
Glossary 119
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