Skins of Columbus: A Dream Ethnography
Author: Edgar Garcia
Publisher: Fence Books (2019)
Colonial violence is a sticky phenomenon, gumming up the associational matrices of our daily lives and dreamscapes. Edgar Garcia intervenes with a poetic experiment: Every night during the three months in which Columbus traveled the coasts of America on his first voyage, Garcia read his corresponding journal entry before sleep. Asleep, his mind sutures displacements, migrations, and restorations into an assemblage of hemispheric becoming.
"Edgar Garcia is part of an exciting new cohort of Greater American poets (those who cast a revealing light on the hemisphere from Alaska to the tip of Patagonia) who are working towards decoding & re-coding multi-metrical conceptions of historical space-time with the intent of reinvigorating political agencies. Skins of Columbus is a virtuosic exfoliation of nested chronicles that give voice to the heterogeneous temporalities that make for “the people.” This is a maximalist poetics. Garcia spares no formalistic strategy to explore the chasm between said people and their 'story.' If the Greater American, Greater African, Greater European, Greater Oceanic and Greater Asian poetics stay on track and avoid the pitfalls of overt (or covert) ethno-nationalism, while critically flushing out their respective mythical terrains, we might just arrive at a genuinely new understanding of The Globe’s Inherent Potential. And what could be more pressing right now than that?"
"Edgar Garcia comes through with a counter-chronicle of conquest. He shows us how skins are like masks the poet and storyteller puts on and takes off, most especially when engaged with epic histories and the myths therein, changing places, changing times, and of course, changing us."