Commentaries - July 2015

A slowing 6: Distillation (toward justice)

There is another world, but it is inside this one. These words serve as a gateway to numerous poetic slowings. Through these words, attributed to Paul Éluard, we move into Suzanne Buffam’s collection of poems The Irrationalist, in which she writes “There is no way to know how many beans are in the jar without removing them one by one” (11).  This image of precision is also one of care, attentive to this world and slowing into it.


Rito Ramón Aroche at the azotea.  Havana, 2010
Rito Ramón Aroche at the azotea. Havana, 2010

Rito Ramón Aroche (b. 1961) assembles and dismantles scene after scene in distinct poetry collections.  Many pieces project such a heightened awareness of construction and destruction as to put anything called “reality” at a marked remove.


"Bla," drawing by Omar Pérez
"Bla," drawing by Omar Pérez

 “Cubanology” is a book of days. The poet, essayist, and translator Omar Pérez (b. 1964, Havana) began writing this multilingual notebook from 2002 –2005, while living temporarily in Europe.  His journey began as a short professional visit, then shifted into something less defined after Pérez fell in love with a woman named Christina, who plays an important role throughout the notebook.