Book Preview: ‘I Don’t Know Do You’ by Roberto Montes


Ampersand Books is set to release Roberto Montes’ first full-length book, I Don’t Know Do You, a book about which Mark Bibbins writes “investigates great beauties.” Montes was recently featured at HuffPo as a “poet to watch,” and has had poems in Alice Blue Review, Emerson Review and Forklift, OH — amongst others.

Montes said the book is mainly concerned with the struggle to maintain identity:

“It offers markers for the modern pilgrim like “Tragedy strikes the uninitiated and then they’re in” or “If you have one sock you have another or else you have a serious problem.” This is following the curve, not advice. It’s like one way to navigate immensity is to reduce yourself to so small a size as to render it irrelevant.  But then, you’re there and there,” he said.

Montes also said he credits his favorite writers with inspiration for the book: Lynn Hejinian, Amy Lawless, Jenny Zhang, Heather Christle, and Mary Ruefle.

The book will be released to wide audiences in March, but AWP attendees will have a chance to buy the book at the press’s table.

From I Don’t Know Do You:


One way to be a person is to maintain a vigil

In space no one can hear you be a better person. This rock is here to help. Listlessly turning like a mulled over plan. I want to comb the flames the planet embarrasses itself with. I want my stem soaked through, porous as a Roman candle. I love the dead fuck sight of stars communicating nothing about where I am. Which life do you need answered in the sheep-shorn tent. Which cards will remember your hand. If you remove yourself everything is as it was. I can’t believe it so I do. I have seen the future. In the interest of time, it goes on and on.