Raúl Guadalupe de Jesús (PR Books #8)

El tierno vidrio de la noche by Raúl Guadalupe de Jesús (Ediciones Huracán, 2006).

As a designer, I can’t help but judge a book by its printing (not just its cover) and this book is hard to look at. The font is stylized and sans-serif, the paper glossy and reflective, and frankly the whole thing makes my eyes hurt. I wouldn’t have gotten this book, except it was strongly recommended. The book is a single long poem in sequence, that moves lyrically between the eye and the word, shadow and light. Translating the blurb on the back:

In order to enter El tierno vidrio de la noche [The Tender Glass of the Night], you must let yourself be carried away by the disconcerting rhythm … with an ear attentive to the play of light and shadow that the words give off. In this way you can glimpse a world opening into the interior of the voice, with the childlike magic of a definitive lesson. The night is a powerful state that invites the eye, tender glass, like a tapestry of secrets filtered by the spirits of the lake. What is the eye without the word, without this tender glass of the tongue? Where is the light of the eye born, if it itself when closed can enclose the night? Can night exist without a bit of the eye? In this beautiful book we feel the intimate trembling of what is alive. The poet seasons his words in a dark dialogue with mystery. The voices are multiple: light, night, water, wind and love. The word, tender glass, knows its limits. It can weave the beloved between both sides of the shadow, touch the deepest space, feel the memory of bones. But to speak the night is to know that the voice turned away, lost in the shadow of shadow and all that remains of it is a mask of water swaying in the wind.

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