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My review In Four Extended Sequences, The First Risk Confronts The Murder Of Matthew Shepard And The Myth Of Venus And Adonis Through The Eyes Of Italian Renaissance Painter Luca Cambiaso The Eccentric Women Of Pedro Almodovar S All About My Mother And Their Search For Authenticity The Nature Of Love And Obsession In Alfred Hitchcock S Vertigo And The Pain And Confusion Of Loss And The Strange Case Of Maribel Dixon, The Compelling Novella In Verse Of A Physicist In Search Of His Lost Wife, Haunted By A Phantom Voice That May Or May Not Be Hers Beautiful poems beautifully arranged and constructed collection divided into 4 sections with different subject matter, so to speak, but all share the same concerns self re construction It s no accident that the cover image is a partial person If I had to choose a favorite poem, I d say I am the boy who is tied down Eerily calm, incantatory statements shoved inside an unspeakably heartbreaking catastrophe I am the boy who is tied down I am the moon A boy is tied down to a fence by his wristswhile two boys look on Sky bears down on the landscape like an open mouth The mountains sink into the earth Shards of broken teeth Strangely shaped wish it were a little smaller andwieldy, as I like to wield books , captivating book of poems. 2009 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention 5 from at least 1 judge I don t remember finding out about Matthew Shepard s slaying I was seventeen when it happened, a self hating closeted gay Mormon, halfway through my first semester at Brigham Young University Did I think he deserved it, the way I thought gays deserved to die of AIDS for their sins I hope not, but I m afraid to remember too well.I am the failure of the body to remain a boy,I am the remains of a boy, the body of his failure I Am the Boy Who Is Tied Down , p 7 The first section Safe interweaves various viewpoints on Matthew Shepard s last moments with three poems describing Venus s grief at the death of Adonis The language is brutal, visceral, and the tone moves from cold and dissociated to immediate and passionate Reading this section, it was like I was hearing about the killing for the first time And this time, at least, I know I didn t think he deserved it When I finally came out to myself as a gay man, and began to accept myself and to stop blaming myself for who and what I was, I took an entire summer to watch what I saw as the gay canon, films I had been too afraid to watch until that point One of the first of these was Almod var s masterpiece, All About My Mother.I tell you, chica,If you want something done,Do it with a knife La Agrado Explains Plastic Surgery , p 25 The second section City of the Sad Divas is a collection of poems associated with All About My Mother and its characters Manuela, who has lost her son La Agrado and the other transsexual hookers Huma Rojo and her heroin addicted lover, Nina and the city of Barcelona itself, where much of the action takes place In these poems, the reader does not relive the film rather, the violence and passion and filth of the film are held at arms length, looked over with a dark and dubious eye, considered, and then let go I ve always hated Alfred Hitchcock s Vertigo, although it is often gorgeous to watch, because I never believed for a minute that any of it was happening All of the characters annoy me, the plot annoys me, and Scottie s obsession and eventual unraveling annoy me.To be golden haired meansyou are destined to be idolized brunettes have less funbut keep better secrets Hair and Make Up Notes, Scene 92 , p 50 The fourth section The Double Bind A Critical Text presents a critical analysis of Vertigo, and includes all kind of tantalizing details about the cast, director and the narrative and directorial choices in the film I have no idea if any of these details are true that is not the point they are simply too delicious to resist Each snippet, naturally, is accompanied by an associated poem One thing that must be said in Vertigo s favor is that it is beautifully shot, composed and scored Unlike the previous collection, these silky little poems do muchto evoke the actual feel of parts of the film.One result of reading this section is that I have the sudden desire to see Vera Miles play the Kim Novak role and, really, anyone else play the Jimmy Stewart role I ve already reviewed the fourth section, The Strange Case of Maribel Dixon, elsewhere on this site I have nothing to add to that review except this This is good poetry. I absolutely loved this collection.That said, the early section dealing with the death of Matthew Shepard did throw me a little bit Having lived in Laramie at the time and being close to the situation, there were a couple of factual mis steps, I felt I had to come to the realization that this section as well as a lot of poetry isconcerned with the statement over the truth Once I let things go, it was easier to meet the poet on their own ground and really appreciate what they have accomplished Overall, I am impressed with the emotional intensity of the poems within while also liking their intellectual depth I have often said that poetry that can make me feel and think is what I prefer and this collection really did that for me I definitelly recommend it.