Review #8: ‘Full Foreground’ by Roberto Tejada
The concerns and obsessions voiced herein are less about race per se than about inhabiting a (homo)erotics in which body, time, and place are implicated. As such, one feels a shock. The construction of desire gets turned on its head; we have to re-imagine what is even sexy, or worthy of our attentions. In the headlong rush, one feels strange pauses, reveries, detours. Tejada has already established his reputation with Mirrors for Gold and Exposition Park, but Full Foreground catapults his vision into new vistas full of consequence (and excitement) for American letters, and by American, I mean the Americas. It’s time to consider what a homo-macho aesthetics might look like embodied in verse, an aesthetics comfortable donning emasculating drag to further its convictions–a mani-fuck-fest destiny derailed by an avalanche of lyrical excesses.
Disclosures: This “review” is actually the unexpurgated “blurb” that I first sent Arizona who initially ran: “With this book the construction of desire gets turned on its head. Tejada has already established his reputation with Mirrors for Gold and Exposition Park, but Full Foreground catapults his vision into new vistas full of consequence and excitement for American letters—and by American, I mean the Americas.”
Favorites: The book progresses in three distinctive arcs (plus prologue). There arcs can be read separately, but when combined, magnify each other considerably. TV boxes sprinkled throughout remind me of herms one finds on ancient Greek crossroads, reminding us of where we’ve been and where we’re going next.
Read Tejada’s “After Richard Pryor” at The Brooklyn Rail.