Review: A Condensation of Maps

A Condensation of MapsA Condensation of Maps by Roberto Carache Flores
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Flores’ poems excavate exact moments with short, ephemeral lines, like the teasing of minute threads to open a knot. The consistently short lines don’t always work, but when they do the result is exquisite. Sometimes the result is simple and precise. [From “El Tunco”]

and a violet sun
going down
on the sea
until it
got dark.

At other times, a subtle complexity layers up. [From “Nyack Blues”]

The shadows / of cocktail dresses, / rolled up sleeves, / silky scarves, / and armpit stains / have slow danced away, / held up close / by autumn’s breeze. //
He’s kept / track of time, / how it ticks / to the clicks / of pointy heels, / revolving doors, / cell phone calls, / packed taxi cabs, / and all things closed.

It is hard not to think of the deceptive simplicity of a haiku in stanzas like, “The frogs / begin to undress / the night’s / silence / with the / innocence / of their / early croaks.” [from “Friends in Rio Sapo”], and “Remember how / you crossed / the green hill crests / with a steel wool kite / tied around your ankles, / while frantically chasing / the scent of an underground fire / you thought long gone?” [from “Leaving Perquin”].

The forward by Dink Press founder and editor, Kristopher D. Taylor, compares the poetics to “a surrealist Williams, or perhaps Lorca.” Where the surrealism emerges (and it does), it most closely reminds me of Gregory Corso’s “Poets Hitchhiking on the Highway.” This was especially true of the first in a three-poem series spread through the chapbook that revolves around two characters, “X” and “O”. [From “XO”]

X said O got caught / hawk watching / in a vacant spider web. // O said X should / run wild among / the most silent of does. . .

. I preferred the lovely sentiments expressed in the poem “X,” in which O has written a letter to X.

I hope your
inner strings
no longer feel
overwrought,
tightened
by the past,
impervious
to touch.

I hope they’ve
blossomed
into ivy
or can flutter
to make
music.

I enjoyed this collection and look forward to future works by Flores. I received this chapbook directly from Dink Press and Kristopher D. Taylor for the purpose of reviewing it.
 
 
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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One response to “Review: A Condensation of Maps

  1. Pingback: February 7, 2017 – Roberto Carcache Flores

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