Trochemoche: Poems by Luis Rodriguez

Luis J. Rodriguez, Author, Luis J. Rodrc-Guez, Author, Luis J. Rodrguez, Author Curbstone Press $13.95 (72p) ISBN 978-1-880684-50-4
Active on the Chicago spoken-word scene, Rodr guez has appeared on a number of CD compilations and a PBS special, is the author of the memoir Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. and the founder of T a Chucha press. His third collection, titled after the Spanish expression for ""helter-skelter, pell mell; all over the place,"" takes street-tough rhythms and a flair for self-dramatization, and imbues them with a lyric sensibility, forging lines best read aloud: ""I am capitalism's angry Christ, techno Quetzacoatl, toppling the temples/ of modern thievery, of surplus value in word-art/ --exploited, anointed, and perhaps double-jointed."" More prevalent are loose free-verse narratives of Rodr guez's post-barrio life as a poet, father and husband. Getting frisked by the cops, running into ""The Animal"" from a rival section of East L.A. and worries over the next generation's trials and tribulations are all taken in stride, and offset by a section of imagistic vignettes: ""Poems Too Short To Braid."" Despite the poet's spoken-word tendencies, many of these tender poems easily hold their own on the page: ""Whose Jalisco harangues the Jalisco in my stroll?/ who lays across the ruins of Teotihuacan like rainwater;/ whose face outlines the bathroom walls of cantinas;/ who is the aguardiente that tongues my callused throat?""
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
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