Nicolo G-- And the Days of November

Frank Menchaca, Author Front Room $0 (55p) ISBN 978-0-9628159-0-4
Nicolo G-- works as a railman for the New York City subway system though he longs to be a gardener. Eventually he gets a job overseeing the grounds of a private club, but events conspire against him; he lands in jail and commits suicide. In one long poem, this frustratingly abstruse volume tells the story of Nicolo and a Wall Street executive whom Menchaca sees as Nicolo's spiritual heir, although the two men are of different eras and never actually meet. The executive is termed the ``Representative Man'' who uses investment as a way to achieve his ``transcendent destiny,'' which involves believing ``your own thought'' and accepting that ``what is true for you / in your private heart / is true for all men.'' Wall Street serves as a metaphor for the promise of the New World, and there is a fantasy about an over-sexed Christopher Columbus, who likens riding on the sea to ``sharking'' a woman's ``skirts, her underpants stretched / like a hammock between her knees.'' This first book by Menchaca is full of unusual images and acute insights and demonstrates a talent for crafting piquant scenarios, all of which unfortunately get lost among the convoluted dynamics of Menchaca's concept. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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