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Looking for The Gulf Motel

Looking for The Gulf Motel

Richard Blanco
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    Looking for The Gulf Motel
    Book Description:

    Family continues to be a wellspring of inspiration and learning for Blanco. His third book of poetry,Looking for The Gulf Motel,is a genealogy of the heart, exploring how his family's emotion legacy has shaped-and continues shaping-his perspectives. The collection is presented in three movements, each one chronicling his understanding of a particular facet of life from childhood into adulthood. As a child born into the milieu of his Cuban exiled familia, the first movement delves into early questions of cultural identity and their evolution into his unrelenting sense of displacement and quest for the elusive meaning of home. The second, begins with poems peering back into family again, examining the blurred lines of gender, the frailty of his father-son relationship, and the intersection of his cultural and sexual identities as a Cuban-American gay man living in rural Maine. In the last movement, poems focused on his mother's life shaped by exile, his father's death, and the passing of a generation of relatives, all provide lessons about his own impermanence in the world and the permanence of loss.Looking for the Gulf Motelis looking for the beauty of that which we cannot hold onto, be it country, family, or love.

    eISBN: 978-0-8229-7839-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Tía Margarita Johnson’s House in Hollywood
    (pp. 11-11)

    Florida, the house we went to every Sunday, the house on a cul-de-sac of politeamericanosjust like her husband, the house where she was amissusinstead of aseñora, Johnson instead of Gómez, not mytíabut my aunt in pink house slippers, an embroidered housecoat, readingGood Housekeepingwith a gardenia tucked behind her ear, the house with a flower garden, not chickens like ours scratching through the backyard dirt, the house shaded by live oaks, not our sicklymameytrees half as big as the ones my father grew in Cuba, the house with a carport,...

  2. Cousin Consuelo, On Piano
    (pp. 12-12)

    Por favor Consuelo, play something—for la familia, her mother begged until she stomped to the bench, bored us with some waltz. I asked forCrocodile Rock, but she didn’t know it (or so she said), hammered out a mambo instead, her waist-long hair swaying like a metronome keeping tempo and everyone two-three-fouring around the coffee table. I asked forMuskrat Love, but she kept the frenzy going with apaso doblesetting off a chorus of¡Olé! ¡Olé! ¡Olé!ringside at a bullfight tossing out roses.Margaritaville, I pleaded, but she followed with the sweet and slow honey of...

  3. Taking My Cousin’s Photo at the Statue of Liberty
    (pp. 13-13)
  4. Of Consequence, Inconsequently
    (pp. 14-15)
  5. Poem Between Havana and Varadero
    (pp. 18-19)
  6. Sitting on My Mother’s Porch in Westchester, Florida
    (pp. 27-28)
  7. Afternoons as Endora
    (pp. 33-33)

    I’m a boy who hates being a boy who loves cats and paint-by-number sets. She’s a witch who loves being a witch who hates mortals. Every afternoon she pops in on channel six on top of a lamp shade or a banister, and I disappear behind the locked door of my bedroom. I paint my fingernails crayon-red, wrap a towel around my head like her bouffant, tie my sheets around my chest into a chiffon muumuu just like hers, the bedspread draped over my shoulders like her mauve cape. We giveDerwoodcat-eye scowls and scoff at Samantha’s patience with...

  8. Queer Theory: According to My Grandmother
    (pp. 34-36)
  9. Papá at the Kitchen Table
    (pp. 43-44)
  10. Love Poem According to Quantum Theory
    (pp. 54-54)
  11. Mamá with Indians: 1973, 2007
    (pp. 59-60)
  12. Cooking with Mamá in Maine
    (pp. 62-63)
  13. Questioning My Cousin Elena
    (pp. 67-68)
  14. Remembering What Tía Noelia Can’t
    (pp. 69-70)
  15. Unspoken Elegy for Tía Cucha
    (pp. 71-72)