ISBN is

978-0-684-82517-5 / 9780684825175

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About the book:

As the owner of the famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Miguel Algarín is very near the heart of New York's performance poetry scene. He is also a fine writer, one whose work Ishmael Reed has called "powerful, moving, and exciting." In this collection, Algarín takes the reader through a vivid and often nightmarish dreamscape of New York, featuring Angels (including the old-fashioned scary kind), dancing, music, and, sadly, HIV. Algarín's own struggle with the disease drives many of his most poignant lines, as in these from "HIV": "The epiphany: I am unsafe, / you who want me / know that I who want you / harbor the bitter balm of defeat." Later in the same poem Algarín asks two horrified, lonely questions: "Can it be that I am the bearer of plagues? / Do I have to deny yearning for firm full flesh / so that I'll not kill what I love?" That the answer is obvious makes the questions that much more haunting.

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