As my struggle continues, as I battle with everyday life and the unexpected events that have changed my course, I am beginning to see the need for stretching my poetic muscles as I get back to writing. I am not just going to be able to compose a masterpiece poem right off the bat just as I can’t go run a marathon before building up to it; I need to warm up- stretching and conditioning- for the big race. It may be a bit of a corny metaphor, but it fits.
Part of the stretching is of course attending great readings, like Murray Thomas’ reading at the Barnes and Noble in Long Beach, or reading great books like David Romero’s Diamond Bars The Street Version. I have been fortunate enough to do both and to write a review for Diamond Bars. For this, David has been gracious enough to give me over 3 months to overcome life’s little potholes and speed bumps in order to write this.
Diamond Bars attempts to give “street cred” back to the suburban kid and shows the world that art can come from suburbia too. Romero asserts “There’s art everywhere! The place is an exhibit.” In essence, Romero defies the common criticism of neighborhoods with “Blue skies/ Wide streets/ Green, clean-cut grass.” He point-blankly refutes the opposition’s idea of where poetry comes from and allows the wide streets of his childhood to create the spaces for each of his poems- each poem sprawls across the page, does jumping jacks on the driveways, skips across the manicured lawns until they have written their words in chalk across the entire sidewalk of LA, washing all the asphalt in their color. No margin of the page is off limits, no style untouched, and no language is off limits, which seems only fitting. The language of the streets and not the scholar finds its home on the pages of Romero’s collection. Each experience feels real and each finds beauty in the “nine to five,” the simple joy of drinking a fountain soda, or the endless traffic of southern California -“Silhouette smiles of the rising sun/ In my rearview” can bring back the fondest of memories. Political, passionate, and proud, David Romero’s collection brings poetry to people that may have thought they didn’t like poetry, and no poet will dispute the power in that.
So now you can’t wait to read it, right! Well you are in luck! David is offering a 1 day, free download at:
Don’t miss this!