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The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon


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A National Book Critics Circle 2014 Finalist for Poetry

Through dream song and elegy, alternate takes and tempos, prizewinning poet Willie Perdomo’s third collection crackles with vitality and dynamism as it imagines the life of a percussionist, rebuilding the landscape of his apprenticeship, love, diaspora, and death. At the beginning of his infernal journey, Shorty Bon Bon recalls his live studio recording with a classic 1970s descarga band, sharing his recollection with an unidentified poet. This opening section is followed by a call-and-response with his greatest love, a singer named Rose, and a visit to Puerto Rico that inhabits a surreal nationalistic dreamscape, before a final jam session where Shorty recognizes his end and a trio of voices seek to converge on his elegy.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 04, 2014 – Dedicated to his uncle Pedro, who played percussion on studio albums by salsa great Charlie Palmieri, Perdomo (Smoking Lovely) opens his third collection with a salvo of sonnets and creation stories that try to imagine how his uncle came to inhabit the book's eponymous nickname (itself a nod to a story from the legendary Nuyorican Poets Caf of a homeless poet with the same name). Written as a series of "takes," these poems ask questions about Shorty's life and evade themselves with flare and a smirk when they answer. "How did Shorty play it again?" Perdomo writes. "Like his birth certificate/ was lost forever." Though these poems can stand on the strength of their cadence and vocabulary alone with their "salseros, the real-live soneros,/ the palo-players that gang-busted/ dancehalls with fish-crate yamb " Perdomo broadens our understanding of his uncle by including a series of monologues in which he speaks candidly about Rose, a woman he loved "the way we tremble / in the glow of dead ass truth."(Rose herself is given a chance to speak in a series of epistles) With a selection of endnotes that doubles as a primer in Puerto Rican arts and culture, Perdomo's work is a sprawling and ambitious take on death and the concept of legacy.
The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Poetry
  • Published: Mar 25, 2014
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 80 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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