I Hear Things People Haven't Really Said
Christian Haye/The St. Marks Poetry Project Newsletter, Vol. 145
Any true poet must be bilingual. Edwin Torres rests comfortably in the chair of two languages: sight and sound. In I Hear Things People Haven't Really Said, Torres detonates an amalgamation of sounds and words or the sounds of words or the sight of words, no, the sight of sounds:
I abuse the Cocoa-Liszt P-r-r-onounciation of all batida-shakes.
Citrus-Zappa, zamma twinkling, rare-Beefheart.
Pianissimo-lunato-solano-and this little piggy-AND VRRROOOMMM!!!
It is obvious that Edwin Torres is the bastard love-child of Mayakovsky and Parra, midwifed by Apollinaire. In this linguistic jambalaya, alternately referred to as a chapbook, Torres transfers the hybrid existence of his Nuyorican background to the diaspora of the left and right sides of the brain. Here are poems that reach out from the page and massage your cerebellum.
How Big Are Your Questions?
If I were you, would I listen to you? Where is your ear?
I say, it is here! (touch tongue) I.E. it is here! (touch soul)
There are ears on the surface of your tongue.
("SWALLOW THESE WORDS")
Torres, the winner of the first Nuyorican Poets Cafe Prize For Fresh Poetry, has yet to trip on his tongue. It's too busy in your ear, anyway. Torres is on the road to autonomous poetic bliss and he's taking hostages, I mean listeners, with him.
The times that these are suggest that the gap between the personal and the political is non-existent. A love poem by Torres exists in this gap which is as thin as the space between ink and page. The poet exhibits a masochistic sense of joy in such poems as "INDIAN HAND POEM" and "methodique-A-rotique-Ahhhhhhh." The poet utilizes an exhibitionist sexual drive, turned up to overdrive, in "LOVE BOP" and "ATHENADE BOOSTER." Throughout there is a sense of apology which inevitably is presented as the poet pushing tongue through cheek:
You know, I try to do my liberal besté,
but sometimes, something, comes out in jest...I,
realize the only person I should have this,
running commentary with, is me.
Edwin Torres sells you poetry that is fresher than anything you can find at your local greengrocer or bookstore. All without artificial preservatives or preserverant poetic artifices. I Hear Things People Haven't Really Said is poetics for every orifice or aurifice.