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Ameriscopia

Edwin Torres

Publication Year: 2014

In this vibrant reflection of sound and word, poet Edwin Torres reignites the possibilities of poetry. From poems like “Me No Habla Spic,” a rumination of life’s major moments, to “Fixative,” which exercises shifting vantage points, Torres is nimble—surfing through memory, definition, and forms of social address. In this new collection, Torres offers some signature performance pieces for the first time in print.
    Ameriscopia reimagines New York City and its expansive inspirations, which for Torres capture the contradictions of America. Allusions to the Twin Towers, Coney Island hot dogs, and the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe continuously recolor the pages. But even as he makes these iconic references, Torres allows his poems to invert and refract the identities they evoke—New-Yorker-American-Latino-Dad-Performer-Boy-Writer—to invigorate poetry out of its slumber into a deep cultural urgency. Torres’s kaleidoscopic vision is borne of decades of poetic experimentation. Audiences have delighted in his spontaneous mashups of disparate topic matters; writers have studied his skilled technique at synthesizing—for example, from a mundane curbside view to an imagined conversation with artists Marcel Duchamp and Yves Tanguy.
    Torres writes, “I discovered that, this world uncovered / is like the soul / of The Puerto Rican man — occupied / by the weight of his balance.” Ameriscopia is Torres’s statement on growing up and the inspirational facets that accompany his journey into fatherhood. From conversations in cars to fast-beat lullabies, Torres’s poetry taps into rhythms both distinctive and dynamic. In Ameriscopia Torres is at full force, a poet in control, a writer emboldened by the page—in flight.
 

Published by: University of Arizona Press

Title Page, Copyright

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I

I Wanted to Say Hello to the Salseros but My Hair Was a Mess

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pp. 5-8

Sutra

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p. 9-9

Waiting Outside the Cafe

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pp. 10-12

Apartment 5D

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p. 13-13

Temporality at 5 AM

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pp. 14-15

The Circle at One End

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pp. 16-17

The Necessariest

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pp. 18-20

Father Song

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p. 21-21

Fixative

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pp. 22-23

Moth

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p. 24-24

Water

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pp. 25-26

II

Father to Father

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pp. 29-30

A Minotaur Sleeps on Shelter Island

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pp. 31-33

E.G. as I.E.

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p. 34-34

One Wave Walking to Four Phases of the Moon

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p. 35-35

Neptune’s Elegia

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p. 36-36

The Vase of the Universe

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pp. 37-39

Ellabyrinth

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p. 40-40

Air Is Sham for Light

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pp. 41-42

Song of the Red Lamb

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p. 43-43

Viva La Viva

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pp. 44-45

Ode

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p. 46-46

This Is Not the Conversation That I Started the Conversation With

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pp. 47-49

A Season of Beens

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p. 50-50

I Am Trying to Perfect My Assént

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pp. 51-52

III

Puerto Rican Astronaut

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p. 55-55

Not So Fast Food

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pp. 56-59

Swerver Says Sweeeee

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p. 60-60

Three Spots under the Shade

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pp. 61-62

Skygrass

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p. 63-63

Infinity Song

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p. 64-64

Bit by Bite

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p. 65-65

Under Venus’s Hair

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p. 66-66

A Story for America

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pp. 67-68

Moroccan Highway

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pp. 69-70

Rinse Cycle

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p. 71-71

Essaouira

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p. 72-72

When Does the Game Begin

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p. 73-73

Migration

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p. 74-74

IV

Coney Island 1969

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pp. 77-79

Birthday Present; Birthday Boy

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p. 80-80

And in Trying

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p. 81-81

Terra Quad

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pp. 82-85

Waiting Young with Nothing There

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p. 86-86

I Saw You Empire State Building

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p. 87-87

Me No Habla Spic

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pp. 88-94

Territory

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pp. 95-96

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 97-98

The author wishes to thank the publishers and editors of the following books and journals for previous publication:

Bombay Gin: “Skygrass,” “Moroccan Highway” (#30, 2004), “Terra Quad” (#38.2, 2012).

Brooklyn Rail (2012): “Apartment 5D,” “The Circle at One End,” “Waiting Young with Nothing There.”

Chain (#7, 2000): “Birthday Present: Birthday...

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About the Author

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p. 99-99

Edwin Torres is a poet and performer born in New York City. He is author of several poetry collections, including Yes Thing, No Thing (Roof Books, 2010), In the Function of External Circumstances (Nightboat Books, 2010), and The PoPedology of an Ambient Language (Atelos Books, 2008). His poetry appears in several notable anthologies, including...


E-ISBN-13: 9780816598991
E-ISBN-10: 0816598991
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816530755
Print-ISBN-10: 0816530750

Page Count: 107
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Camino del Sol

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