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Special Interest Item
Conventional Poetry --Concrete Poetry --Performance Poetry --Documentation --Sound Poetry
This is the first edition of the book that is now in its third printing. Publishers Weekly: "AYYY: soy bilingual... pero BILINGUALISSIMO!... de nada!" screams the 18-point sans serif font of "A Nuyo-Futurist's Manfestiny," the Blast-like final section of this frenetic yet elegantly conceived collection. A deft recombination of digital media and information arts, mock multiculturalist imperatives, performance and sound poetry and post-Language subjective lyricism, Shock Worker is one more unexpected twist in the career of Torres, a New York poet who was once associated with the performance poets of the Nuyorican cafe. While some of the poems resemble exploded bilingual eye charts designed by El Lissitzsky or astrological diagrams for deviant religions, this book has lovely quiet moments; the delicate lyric "Separatist Invasion" is a little mantra against the alienated sensibility: "There have been a thousand sightings of people I used to know. Separations of copies of who it is they look like, backed up by carbons of who they are... The concert has happened and all these people of me, have still to go home." From the title, one might expect a ton of agitprop politics with a self-conscious overloading of verbal and visual effects, but the politics are in the process the poet moving forward in fleshly 3-D, formatting his words graffiti-like on the page and asking in his inebriated digital creole: "Ever put the New in Yo?" The inserted photograph of Torres depicts him in a performance costume with attached wires forming a calligraphic text.