Maurice Kilwein Guevara views the poem as a living art form that stretches well beyond the traditional bounds of poetry. Citing the Catalan avant-garde artist Joan Brossa, who printed the word POEMA on a clear lightbulb, Kilwein Guevara rethinks the interconnectedness of form, context, and meaning in a poem. While he is aware of the blood flow through a single poem—and his poems are coursing with life—he is simultaneously aware of the capillary effect that nourishes every poem in this collection. His engrossing experiments with form and his often startling juxtaposition of poetic subjects succeed so well because they are animated by a unifying force: the poet’s hyperawareness of our fragile—and frequently confusing—humanness.
Inside this book you will find a poema asking itself a litany of questions, two lovers taunting fate with each kiss, Gertrude Stein as an infant discovering language in Pittsburgh, Plan Colombia spraying farmers’ fields with herbicides, and a beetle crawling into the ear of a president as he trumpets his imagined glories. Lines in Spanish sneak unannounced into a poem here and there, only to sneak out as quietly as they entered. Dictators rise and fall. Lovers quarrel. Humans, we begin to understand, are always vulnerable: as vulnerable to our lovers as to our rulers; as vulnerable in our bodies as moths, perhaps, or spiders. And in the end you have to wonder “What wakes you/just as you begin to dream of Heidegger / in a clouded field of summer chives?”
In the City of Havana El Porvenir
Red Brow of Moon
Little people sitting around roasting little elephants
Las cucarachas pintadas
La gota frŪa
If you could this summer who would you kiss?
Allegheny all losses Baby Gertrude Heard beak beetle blinking jet blood bolero Bolivia bone breath Brow of Moon burn C'mere chest Chicago John Prine chives Cholula clip clip Colombia Colombian women color condor copper dark Dona Marisol Dress of Chiquinquira eyes feathers femur fire fish Fue un accidente fungus Glass is Unmistakable green hair Hector the Colombian horses hummingbird infant jade Jaipur Joan Brossa Juan Ramon Julia de Burgos kiss kitchen krill Latino legs little elephants lizard Look Luzmilda Mailman maize Maurice Kilwein Guevara Monsanto Moth mountains mouth mussels night Oaxaca orange painted pink Pittsburgh my infancy Poems by 24 Poetry Poets Tupelo Press puro purple rat bite river shadows sing skin smell snow Sometimes I listen song six soy milk stars stethoscope summer swirling teeth Teusaquillo torso tree TriQuarterly Tupelo Press vertebrae weta wind window wings woman yellow