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Sealey Challenge Day Four: "Slow Lightning" Eduardo C. Corral

For those keeping score--yes, this is day five. I will have another post. Connectivity was so bad that I did not even bother last night.

Eduard C. Corral's Slow Lightning, is another cheat for me. My cat is sick and I've been trying to get medication in him--trust me on the lack of sleep and time. But, enough with excuse. When I was first introduced to this book (M.F.A. at American University) I was captured by the language, the images that jumped off the page in unique and soul inspired ways, and the vulnerability on the page. Corral has now become even more famous than he was then, and rightfully so. This is a must read for anyone that experiments with form or abstract imagery that claims to be concrete simultaneously. As a note, my copy is altered. I have a phobia of snakes and my father had to cut off the cover.

"Self-Portrait with the Tumbling and Lasso" is easily my favorite poem of the collection. I find every line dynamic. It begins "I'm drumroll and voyeur." It then goes on to collapse and condense language into a portrait like none other--self or not. Surreal images and concrete merge and play and it would be a disservice to the poem to block quote. The language literally tumbles or as I would say, cascades down the page.

A new poem that I either didn't read or don't remember reading is "Ditat Dues." Beautiful and haunting male love, both paternal and romantic is explored vulnerably. I say this word vulnerable a lot, because there is a humble open-ness that I imply when doing so. No poem is "great" without it. This poem plays with form, is displayed horizontally on the page. I rotate my book to read--I'm not sure I'm supposed to. White space is used to that end and is toyed with--nothing conventional.

Slow Lightning, while no longer a new book--reads as groundbreaking now, as it was fifteen years ago. And remember, close your eyes and tear off the cover.

https://www.amazon.com/Slow-Lightning-Yale-Younger-Poets/dp/030017893X

 

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