The Dangerous Shirt

The Dangerous Shirt

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Author/Contributor(s): Ríos, Alberto
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Date: 05/01/2009
Binding: Paperback
Condition: NEW

Discursive yet aglitter with images, often abstract and yet insistently regional, the ninth collection from the Arizona-based Rios includes something for almost everyone.--Publishers Weekly

Wonderfully odd, sometimes sad, never predictable... Rios continually surprises us in the way he stretches the meaning of words, turning them this way and that. -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Ríos's verse inhabits a country of his own making, sometimes political, often personal, with the familiarity and pungency of an Arizona chili."--The Christian Science Monitor

"Alberto Ríos is... arguably the best Latino poet writing in English today."--Prairie Schooner

Alberto Ríos's new poems--magical wormholes through mundane reality--create an improbably true space where human bodies fall through floorboards, prickly feelings of limbs "fallen asleep" are stars buzzing under the skin, and ironed shirts hanging in a closet take on a foreboding sense of danger. Together they are a book of magical realism and cultural physics seeking the "also-moment"--the probable and imaginative directions a single moment might become. "Science may be our best way of understanding the world," Ríos writes in one poem, "but it may not be our best way of living in it."

The shirt in my closet is dangerous.
I shouldn't have ironed it.

Because I have, I will put it on.
If I put it on, I will be dressed.

If I am dressed, I will be drawn toward the door,
The door and not the couch--the door . . .

Alberto Ríos is the author of nine books of poetry, three collections of short stories, and a memoir. He has taught at Arizona State University for over twenty-five years. His book of poems The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body was nominated for the National Book Award.