Thoughts on Next Extinct Mammal:

Like Whitman, Quesada is a poet of motion—journeying to the center of the US, where the traditions and innovations of first-generation Americans traverse the meditative starbursts of hills; ford rivers; cross prairies; and seek out 'the alpenglow of tomorrow and tomorrow.' From Costa Rica to Los Angeles and across the continent, Quesada's poems chronicle one family's history: from the courtship of his parents to their separation, from his childhood struggles to awakening desire from his mother's lottery winnings to his own personal losses, Ruben Quesada carries us toward 'that seam in space' where dream and experience intersect. This isn't the story of what it means to come to this country. It's the story of what it means to belong here.

Quesada writes the city, the flesh and cosmos—if they can be alinged in that mannere with a knife, that is, with impeccable clarity and edge. The eye here, at times, notices relationships with the optics of Sartr's mid-twentieth-century anti-hero, Antoine Roquentin, a writer, alone in the streets charting meaninglessness in a decaying metropolis. Yet, for Quesada things and their substance are not fixed; they seem to smolder as part of a "fractured flowering," of eros, death, and spiraling "flecks" and "blurred prints" of love and being. This is, perhaps, the poetry of the new decade. There is no other as naked, bold and powerful as Quesada. A magnificent, riveting, tour de force.

  Return to Trade Books home.
Copyright © 2013 Gary Young - All rights reserved.