Trochemoche: Poems by Luis Rodriguez

Trochemoche: Poems by Luis Rodriguez

by Luis J. Rodriguez, Luis J. Rodrc-Guez, Luis J. Rodrguez
     
 

 
TROCHEMOCHE means helter-skelter in Spanish, and this book expresses the turmoil of the barrio and the various themes that drive Luis J. Rodríguez's poetry. Drawing on more than ten years of poems, Rodríguez writes powerfully and passionately about urban youth, family, and the plight of neglected communities, while exploring the rich

Overview


 
TROCHEMOCHE means helter-skelter in Spanish, and this book expresses the turmoil of the barrio and the various themes that drive Luis J. Rodríguez's poetry. Drawing on more than ten years of poems, Rodríguez writes powerfully and passionately about urban youth, family, and the plight of neglected communities, while exploring the rich cultural roots of his Chicano ancestry.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Active on the Chicago spoken-word scene, Rodrguez has appeared on a number of CD compilations and a PBS special, is the author of the memoir Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. and the founder of Ta Chucha press. His third collection, titled after the Spanish expression for "helter-skelter, pell mell; all over the place," takes street-tough rhythms and a flair for self-dramatization, and imbues them with a lyric sensibility, forging lines best read aloud: "I am capitalism's angry Christ, techno Quetzacoatl, toppling the temples/ of modern thievery, of surplus value in word-art/ exploited, anointed, and perhaps double-jointed." More prevalent are loose free-verse narratives of Rodrguez's post-barrio life as a poet, father and husband. Getting frisked by the cops, running into "The Animal" from a rival section of East L.A. and worries over the next generation's trials and tribulations are all taken in stride, and offset by a section of imagistic vignettes: "Poems Too Short To Braid." Despite the poet's spoken-word tendencies, many of these tender poems easily hold their own on the page: "Whose Jalisco harangues the Jalisco in my stroll?/ who lays across the ruins of Teotihuacan like rainwater;/ whose face outlines the bathroom walls of cantinas;/ who is the aguardiente that tongues my callused throat?"
VOYA - Jamie Hansen
Trochemoche is Spanish for "helter-skelter," and helter-skelter is where and how Rodriguez found the inspiration for his poetry. The writer himself declares in the preface, "You can find poetry in the cracks along a wall, in the faces of friends, in the palms of children-in the trochemoche of our manifold existence." In the vernacular of the barrio and the street, this poet writes hard-hitting, bitter poems with flashes of wry self-mockery. The poems in this collection are intense and painfully personal. Rodriguez writes of lost loves and failed relationships, of being hassled by police, of street fights and gang bangers, and of losing touch with his children. Although often about adult experiences, these poems are nevertheless accessible to young adults.

"Night Shift at St. Regis," an ironic and sometimes hilarious narrative about working in a paper company, might inspire some student poems about teens' own job experiences. "Hungry" and "This Could Have Happened," two poignant but very different poems about sacrifice, would be especially effective in a poetry unit. The language and subject matter of some of these works may offend some readers. The voices of these helter-skelter poems have many ways of speaking and come in many different people; razor-sharp, crude, brilliant, and vulgar, Rodriguez's poems offer a mature reader both pleasure and insights, but they are not for the squeamish.

VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781880684504
Publisher:
Northwestern University Press
Publication date:
06/28/1998
Edition description:
1st EDITION
Pages:
72
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author


Luis J. Rodríguez has published fifteen books of poetry, children's literature, fiction, and nonfiction. He is best known for his 1993 memoir of gang life, Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. His awards include a Finalist for the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award, a Lila Wallace Readers Digest Writers Award, a PEN Josephine Miles Literary Award, a Paterson Poetry Prize, a Carl Sandburg Literary Award, and fellowships from the Sundance Institute, the Lannan Foundation, the City of Los Angeles, the City of Chicago, the California Arts Council, and the Illinois Arts Council, among others. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2014 chose Luis J. Rodríguez as Poet Laureate of the city. Luis is also Visiting Scholar at California State University, Northridge.

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