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Ngaged poet whose restlessly lyrical language mixes city life with a sense of the transcendent NPRorg In his fourth collection The Crazy Bunch Perdomo returns to his beloved neighborhood to create a vivid kaleidoscopic portrait of a crew coming of age in East Ha. In this dense intense little book Perdomo weaves street talk and hiphop like jive in with extraordinarily sophisticated poetic language conveying the feel of being part of a tight young cohort routinely confronted with the choice of fight or fun There is so much slang here probably tied to a particular neighborhood at a particular era that much of this book is like a foreign language to me but the resonance and richness of the poetry is all the fascinatingWe all bond together in communities but I think that people of limited means and options stay in their communities longer and depend on each other Thus the names of vaguely understood characters that turn up over and over in these stories as dreams as poems Perdomo also plays and struggles through mock interviews with the Poetry Cops Consolidated Poetry Systems with the dual vision of reliving this youth and looking at it from the outside having clearly made it into the ranks of the intelligentsia I go uptown and try to find friends in the faces of strangers

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The Crazy Bunch

Rlem at the beginning of the s In poems written in couplets vignettes sketches riffs and dialogue Perdomo recreates a weekend where surviving members of the crew recall a series of tragic events That was the summer we all tried to fly All but one of us succeeded. Very cool

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From a prize winning poet a new collection that chronicles The Crazy PDF a weekend in the life of a group of friends coming of age in East Harlem at the dawn of the hip hop era Willie Perdomo a native of East Harlem has won praise as a hip playful historically e. This is an odd but interesting book of poems that relates to an attempt at understanding a story in the youth of some people where violence snuffed out the life of several and ended a period of perceived innocence among them How you feel about this book will depend largely on your own belief system and opinion when it comes to urban crime and gang violence I myself looked at this book as somewhat experimental and not in a bad way but had very little sympathy for the people involved most of whom were up to no good and paid an appropriate price for their criminality In general it might be said that I have little sympathy for criminal classes Yet the story itself is compelling apart from the fact that it deals with young people involved in the wrong sort of activity After all most of the discussion involves uestions of family friendship loyalty and love and the fascinating way in which different people have varying perspectives on the same events Told through a connect series of poems and dialogues this makes for an interesting approach and certainly one that I may consider worth emulating in future worksAs far as poetry books go this one is coherently organized than the vast majority of poetry books I have read The book begins with an introduction about the supposed poetry cops who behave like a detective asking uestions to occasionally unwilling or unreliable witnesses and participants in the events of the book After that the first section of the book looks at the reliability or unreliability of memory in the face of what you remember After that there are some poems that relate to the lovesick nature of the protagonist of the poem who is called by various names like Papa and Skinicky whose amorous interests are not viewed as highly by the object of his affections This leads to a discussion about how you lose something each day and also a discussion about how it is necessary to forget what you saw and to forget what you heard both of which are small sections with a few subjects dealing with alibis and prison and the drug war The book closes with a series of poems that look at a spot where you can kiss the dead reflecting on the losses faced by a group of young people over a short period of time after which the book ends with shout outsThis book provides a compelling way to frame a narrative within a series of related poems that include dialogue as well as verse and several different types of poetry that range from well written free verse poems to prose poems of considerable worth as well For those readers who have an animus towards the drug war or feel empathy towards those involved in youth hooliganism this book will offer a thoughtful view of youth involved in such matters reflecting over matters of life and love If the subject matter that the author is writing about is not necessarily new he does at least provide a compelling way to look at familiar problems and perspectives that are rarely seen in poetry this articulate and this thoughtful and I have read a lot of bad contemporary poetry alas dealing with some of these subjects When someone writes a book that can be appreciated for its sheer technical ability as well as its subject matter for those who are so inclined that is a rare and notable achievement indeed and one worth celebrating at least a little


7 thoughts on “The Crazy Bunch

  1. says:

    I read this in the same week as ueenie and The Tradition I am so impressed by Perdomo's ability to write a novel in poetry form

  2. says:

    This is an odd but interesting book of poems that relates to an attempt at understanding a story in the youth of some people where violence snuffed out the life of several and ended a period of perceived innocence among them  How you feel about this book will depend largely on your own belief system and opinion when it comes to urban crime and gang violence  I myself looked at this book as somewhat experimental and not in a bad way but h

  3. says:

    In this dense intense little book Perdomo weaves street talk and hiphop like jive in with extraordinarily sophisticated poetic language conveying the feel of being part of a tight young cohort routinely confronted with th

  4. says:

    This reads as a sort of avant garde almost stream of consciousness style story rather than a book of individual poems This

  5. says:

    I confess that I struggled a bit with this book I didn’t struggle due to the regular slang but actually appreciated reading poetry that wasn’t so polished with the precision read pretension of so much in the poetry genre

  6. says:

    Very cool

  7. says:

    Tender portrait of a community Even better if you can hear him read them