Cool Auditor

Ray Gonzalez, Author . BOA $16 (103p) ISBN 978-1-934414-29-3

In his 10th book, renowned prose poet Gonzalez proclaims he is at “the crossroads in [his] throat” where he “looks both ways.” Gonzalez is as quirky as ever, matching the didactic tone and jargon of a scientist with the sensibilities of artists like Kenneth Rexroth, Hart Crane and Picasso, among others, who walk in and out of the poems. Juxtaposition of unlike images is Gonzalez's m.o., making for sometimes lucid, sometimes abrasive intersections. In one poem, for instance, we learn of “Jesus still waiting to unplug his phone charger.” Yet Gonzalez's eccentric mashups are often quite convincing and powerful: “the devil is but an imagined source of fire where the ones who believe are transformed into praying objects.” When Gonzalez falls flat, these pieces read like odd short stories, and at times similar sentence structure makes them predictable. Yet many readers may find themselves awed to see “All things pray in the silence madness brings.” (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/16/2009
Release date: 11/01/2009
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