A Question of Gravity and Light
University of Arizona Press, 2007 - Poetry - 63 pages
It is rare to find contemporary American poetry that speaks to readers with engaging directness, free of pretense or posturing. That is exactly the kind of poetry that Blas Falconer writes. In his first collection, Falconer presents 46 poems that are emotionally forthright and linguistically evocative but written without affectation or subterfuge. Although Falconer is formally trained and is aware of the structures and potential of both free verse and traditional poetic forms, he crafts exquisite, heartfelt poems that surprise us with their simple intensity. Whether writing about the mysteries of childhood or the pleasures of cruising for gay sex in a metropolitan airport, he surprises us with the delicacy of his touch, never obvious or heavy-handed. As a gay man who embraces his Puerto Rican heritage, Falconer stands at an edge of American society, and there is the tension of borders in his work: borders between peoples and nations as well as the less visible, more porous and deceptive borders between family members and lovers. There is not one point of view in these poems but many. It is the quality of their observational power that binds them together. Whether the setting is the hospital room of his dying grandfather or his own backyard teeming with garrulous tree frogs, Falconer transports us to the scene. It is easy for us to imagine what he sees. And we care, deeply, just as he does.
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