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What the Body Told
     

What the Body Told

by Rafael Campo
 

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ISBN-10: 0822317427

ISBN-13: 9780822317425

Pub. Date: 02/21/1996

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

What the Body Told is the second book of poetry from Rafael Campo, a practicing physician, a gay Cuban American, and winner of the National Poetry Series 1993 Open Competition. Exploring the themes begun in his first book, The Other Man Was Me, Campo extends the search for identity into new realms of fantasy and physicality. He travels inwardly to the

Overview

What the Body Told is the second book of poetry from Rafael Campo, a practicing physician, a gay Cuban American, and winner of the National Poetry Series 1993 Open Competition. Exploring the themes begun in his first book, The Other Man Was Me, Campo extends the search for identity into new realms of fantasy and physicality. He travels inwardly to the most intimate spaces of the imagination where sexuality and gender collide and where life crosses into death. Whether facing a frenetic hospital emergency room to assess a patient critically ill with AIDS, or breathing in the quiet of his mother’s closet, Campo proposes with these poems an alternative means of healing and exposes the extent to which words themselves may be the most vital working parts of our bodies. The secret truths in What the Body Told, as the title implies, are already within each of us; in these vivid and provocative poems, Rafael Campo gives them a voice.

Lost in the Hospital
It’s not that I don’t like the hospital.
Those small bouquets of flowers, pert and brave.
The smell of antiseptic cleansers.
The ill, so wistful in their rooms, so true.
My friend, the one who’s dying, took me out
To where the patients go to smoke, IV’s
And oxygen tanks attached to them—
A tiny patio for skeletons. We shared
A cigaratte, which was delicious but
Too brief. I held his hand; it felt
Like someone’s keys. How beautiful it was,
The sunlight pointing down at us, as if
We were important, full of life, unbound.
I wandered for a moment where his ribs
Had made a space for me, and there, beside
The thundering waterfall of is heart,
I rubbed my eyes and thought “I’m lost.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822317425
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
02/21/1996
Pages:
136
Sales rank:
1,155,596
Product dimensions:
5.78(w) x 8.91(h) x 0.51(d)

Table of Contents

I. Defining Us

So In Love 3

Route 17 4

The Crying Game 7

Asylum 8

The Passive Voice 9

Before Safe Sex 10

The Battle Hymn of the Republic 11

Defining Us 13

I Become Charlotte 14

My Feminine Side 15

Once There Was Great Love 16

II. Canciones de la Vida

Canción de las Mujeres 21

Song for Our Daughter 37

III. For You All Beauty

For You All Beauty 55

The 10,000th AIDS Death in San Francisco 37

Safe Sex 58

Prescription 59

The Good Doctor 60

Ten Patients, and Another 61

Confession 72

Lost in the Hospital 73

IV. Canciones de la Muerte

Song Before Dying 77

The Immortal Song 93

V. What the Body Told

My Childhood in Another Part of the World 111

What We All Want 112

The Cuban Sky 113

Madrid 114

In English That Is Spanish 115

My Voice 116

Remembering Why 117

El Día de los Muertos 119

Safe Sex Revisited 121

What the Body Told 122

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