Thursday, July 16, 2009


Jacket Magazine just put up Grace Ocasio's review of moi most recently-released poetry collection NOTA BENE EISWEIN -- I'm very grateful as I've not had much chance to do promo for this book since it was released a few months ago (math tutoring a 13-year-old tends to suck up much energy). Entonces, this is its first review, which you can see HERE. But here's an excerpt since I like it (and thank you, Grace Ocasio):
In the poem “Teatro Olimpia,” Tabios creates a political atmosphere exemplified by a lone flamenco dancer performing for soldiers she despises. The tension arises when the dancer’s boss orders her to lift her dress for the amusement of the soldiers watching her dance. While she dances, the dancer appears to escape from her plight through her reveries. Tabios uses graphic details to illustrate the forcefulness of the dancer’s steps:

shoe tips bearing
six extra

drumming into a
floor she

as the naked
chests of

beneath her.

The ingredient of violence that Tabios interjects into the poem through this imagery is a bit shocking. One wonders if the vengeance the dancer exacts through her imaginings is too severe. After all, the stares of soldiers seem to do little in the way of real harm to the dancer. But then again, the text implies that the dancer’s fantasies are the only viable vehicle through which she can rid herself of her psychic pain, her dread of the soldiers.

Eileen Tabios’s book Nota Bene Eiswein challenges the reader to scrutinize her text meticulously. One must examine the text over and over again until its words make plain to the reader Tabios’s vision of the world.

Click HERE FOR ENTIRE REVIEW. I hope it encourages some of you to check out my book which, among other things, features my "Tattoo Poetics" (c'mon -- doesn't that entice?!)

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