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43. Self-Portrait as an Iguana

978-1-951370-15-2

Poetry might be that iguana that runs over the rooftops of a dead-end street, devouring juicy mangos while the neighbors want to trap it and serve it up at dinner time. Without a doubt, Jeremy Paden has found a dwelling place. Good poets have that ability to make and remake worlds, to take us to other dimensions with a surprising naturalness. “Must we always fight / to own by merit / the madness that is ours?” Paden asks us. And it is precisely this madness that he embodies in a revealing bestiary where lizards, iguanas, hares, rhinoceroses, etc., reside with other characters in a unique synchrony. Paden is the angel of abandoned houses or the one that sifts through language to find the bones of Dürer or Nero. Where will Paden take us in this raft? LIke a strange Charon that lights an eternal bonfire with the ashes of God. This book offers a wonderful trip, one where we dive in and come away, as Rojas wrote, with just a kiss of foam, or, to recall the ineffable Simic, one where we hear the laughter canned at the scene of our own crucifixion. Congratulations on this unsettling self-portrait whose first sketches, as Zurita would say, already belong to the ocean of speech.

Mario Meléndez

Author Jere,y Paden
ISBN 978-1-951370-15-2
Pages 153
Format Paperback

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$14.95

I want to spend my mornings in the sun.

I want to climb to the tops of trees

when the first rays light up the world

and stay there hour after hour

until that fire chases the aches

and pains from my body so I can,

once the joints and marrow are

warmed through, move about – to have

to spend half a day hunting other

animals, ugh!, so much energy

wasted in camouflage and venom

–no, not that life – it’s better

to stuff myself on flowers and spend

my days under the sun in a bougainvillea.