Unbound: A Book of AIDS

Aaron Shruin, Author, Aaron Shurin, Author
Aaron Shruin, Author, Aaron Shurin, Author Sun and Moon Press $19.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-55713-112-6
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San Francisco poet Shurin's commonplace book, a collection of pieces written between 1988 and 1996, is one of a growing number of works that try to make something positive out of the AIDS epidemic. Such books tend to tell stories of courageous deaths and unexpectedly loving caregivers, and the present work has its share of those. Shurin, who is 49 and is not afflicted with AIDS, makes a point of celebrating sex in the face of death, promoting sex that is ""medically safe but not politically safe, not socially or even psychically safe."" What we get is a pallid mix of poetic and prose techniques. There are some fine individual lines and some striking images (e.g., the granted request of a dying young man to be brought to his beloved backyard so that he would die bleeding into the earth after his neck sores burst), but on the whole, there is little in these very personal writings for the general reader. (Mar.)
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