Thank you to Lyle Daggett for his very thoughtful write-up/blog review of Poeta en San Francisco. It’s great to know that a few years after its initial publication, the book has got legs –
The book is organized in three sections, “orient,” “dis orient,” and “re orient,” with short prologue and epilogue sections. Written on the page sometimes as prose paragraphs, sometimes in the linebreaks of poems, this is writing that constantly shifts perspective, moving through a landscape of viewpoints, speaking in a chorus of voices. I described the book as epic. It’s the average length of a typical book of poems, not a massive volume to pick up; it’s epic in every other sense. The great variation of the poems never wanders away from the book’s central subject: the nature of life, and death, and love, in the heart of the beast of empire.
At times the voice in the poems is clear and accusing, other times quiet and abidingly tender, and again coolly analytical, and yet again public and declamatory. Reyes’s poems move with insistent rhythms and concentrated power that evoke the movement of the sea, the tectonic plates of the earth.