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The Backlit Hour José Rodríguez

The Backlit Hour

José Rodríguez

Published February 27th 2013
ISBN : 9781622880041
Paperback
88 pages
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 About the Book 

Whether silently coveting the birthday gifts of a privileged classmate, trying to connect with a mother’s ghost-like presence, or interrogating the dehumanizing impulse of an Arizona minuteman, the speaker of these poems often finds himself on the “MoreWhether silently coveting the birthday gifts of a privileged classmate, trying to connect with a mother’s ghost-like presence, or interrogating the dehumanizing impulse of an Arizona minuteman, the speaker of these poems often finds himself on the “wrong” side of the border that delineates a space of belonging, marginalized or estranged from his surroundings, observing the Other with a sense of both awe and bewilderment.  As such, the poems invite the reader to consider the relationship between life observed and life lived, between detachment and experience, between at-homeness and exile.  In the poem “Backlit”, for example, the speaker is transfixed by the darkening silhouette of a loved one standing before a window, this presence becoming an absence in the shape of a human body- he thinks to speak but doesn’t, foreshadowing the final poem about an intimate friend coming to terms with his imminent mortality through the quiet contemplation of an possum’s skeleton.  These poems, navigating a landscape marked by political, physical, and emotional trauma, ultimately point to the potential of the sensual self – of touch – to transcend the limits of language.