Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Close Reading of Rigoberto Gonzalez' Poem in "Pansy Poetics"

"The eerie thing about Rigoberto Gonzalez's poem "Our Deportees" in the current March/April issue of The American Poetry Review is the names of particular immigrants are almost never invoked. There's one brief stanza about a common burial that lists some in the most cursory manner. But that's it. This is a poem that boldly refuses to use narrative in the conventional sense; we aren't given particular plights of particular victims. The United States' treatment of illegal immigrants needs more attention than a litany of faceless entities, according to Gonzalez's poem. By surveying the entire world --from a single apple tree to the path of a red-tailed hawk to strange flowers "with no petals" --he effectively illustrates how the entire fabric of the world is harmed through the persecution of immigrants. Through Gonzalez's trademark of jam-packing stanzas with a particular figurative device--in this case, most often personification--he succeeds in creating what may be the best poem I've read in the last couple months. Let's hope it doesn't get overlooked when the inclusions for Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize volumes are finalized. Along with Jee Leong Koh, he was already robbed of a Lambda nomination."

Here's the rest of the article to see what else the writer has to say about Rigoberto Gonzalez' poem "Our Deportees" and what he has to say about Gonzalez' writing.

If you're drawn to the poem and the writing style of Gonzalez, you have to visit Four Way Books to look at his latest book, Black Blossoms. You can get a copy from the site and also see some of our Spring 2012 books. And don't forget to check our our new tumblr as well!