Cool Auditor features Ray Gonzalez's particular brand of magical realism. His vision of the natural world, human relationships, and the difficulties of language reveals itself in memorable and surprising ways in every poem. Loose and circumfluent, this collection of prose poems employs rich imagery and repetition of phrase and sound to create a seemingly-effortless incantatory power. Humor also plays a large role in these prose poems. His rollicking poem “Affordable Aphorisms” features many bright, humorous insights, including “If you had a normal childhood, your biographers will label it The Age of Reason.” and “To exile yourself in writing is to wear the wrong deodorant for years.” However, this levity is always counter-balanced by his deep empathy with his subjects, with animals, humans, and their surroundings. Ray Gonzalez's poetry reminds us that the mysteries of the everyday may not be solved, but through the careful use of syllable and silence they might reveal, if only momentarily, their totemic power.
"Gonzalez's form straddles the line between poetry and prose allowing an opening for readers of both genres to enjoy his thick, musical language and fantastic imagery. His subject matter ranging from Bob Dylan to Kenneth Rexroth to his humorous, factual "Findings" poems makes for a supremely cool, fun read." --Bomblog
The Small Searchlight
The small searchlight comes out of nowhere and scans my brain. When I open my eyes, it is yesterday and I am innocent of every crime, the beam searching that far back to see what makes me afraid. The light explores all possibilities, even takes apart my desert landscape and rearranges it to resemble the planet Mars. The searchlight pinpoints the places where I refuse to go, or even think about, areas of my guilty life silhouetted in the stark beam, my secrets and hidden ideas refusing the illumination, this small light acting as if probing is everything—all matter and existence narrowed down to a touch of fire directed from unknown sources, my attempts to dodge it futile because the laser is already inside my head and escape would mean I would not be there the moment the torch lights the fuse and I become a different man.
BOA Editions, Ltd 2009
Publishing Date: 2009