Praise for SOUNDINGS
Soundings—alarms and the radiating out of a new consciousness, an earth and cosmos in totality, a notebook of lives, ancestors, praise, familia and their reverberations and intrinsic pathways into and for each other. A book of chants and enlightenments, home spirit and space particles as One. As Gonzalez says in one of his poems, recognitions and transmissions—this is at the core of this collection. That is, to recognize all things and to live in the constant exchange of each. This is a most necessary voice and text, concerned with a profound, inspiring view of humanity—an investigation into our expansiveness, our magnificent reach into incredible songs of Being never imagined, yet to be lived. Here are the maps for a self of earth and cosmos interconnections, breath, existence and thought—for the new thinker, traveller, philosopher. Bravo, brava!
—Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States, Emeritus
Welcome to the birth of a poet! Of course, David Gonzalez has always been a poet; it shines through his work as a storyteller, musician, actor. But now, with Soundings, David the poet takes center stage, and what we find is poetry tough as the sidewalks of Nueva York, sweet as breeze in Boricua. We hear his own voice—autentico nuyoriqueño—where El Barrio, el finger-tip grip onto the American dream,/ where half the streets open wide to the horizon,/ and the other half are dead ends,/ y donde el ritmo no tiene fin,/ and the groove is deep. Soundings is a must for libraries where the groove is deep, where the rhythm never ends.
—Bob Holman, poet and founder of the Bowery Poetry Club
I come from saints and sinners, each left their mark says David Gonzalez in one of his poems and what may appear like an unproven declaration to invite you into his Soundings, becomes a statement of fact as soon as you walk through this book’s pages.
Actually, David is more than the unwitting descendant from holy and dark tribes, he has their eyes, and what he sees through them, forged in the fires of his poems, is this life of ours, a river of glories and regrets, navigated by his relatives and their spirited voices. A diary of sorts of what imperfect and impeccable souls taught him, and he shares intelligently and generously with us.
Gonzalez knows that entanglement was the only efficient way forward, how else a poet, even as talented as he is, could even begin to tell the truth about our world? That is his gift to us: to pull you like a moon in love with tides to celebrate our humanity, knowing full well he had to embrace the grief necessary to make this earth of troubles/ into a home.
These are the words of an unabashed soul whose birth had his big bang at a Niagara Falls motel,/ a kiss, a caress, a gasp, and we ought to be grateful for that motel where these Soundings began, grateful for their kiss, their caress, their gasp.
—Juan Pablo Mobili, poet, author of Contraband
Let there be a song of praise pleads the protagonist in “Gathering Waters” from Soundings, the inaugural poetry collection from decorated storyteller David Gonzalez. His exhilarating collection generously complies, turning up the radio and opening the windows wide on a wild-eyed road trip ranging from Cuba to Puerto Rico (I come from the graceful trajectories of quarks and uncertainty, I come from the snap of a finger long, long ago) to New York’s Spanish Harlem, aka El Barrio (the magnificent location of our mortal unwinding). Spending time with this Nuyorican poet’s work is akin to a fantastical gathering around a global firepit, a combustion of the magical tales, songs, and conversations that might ensue. With a voracious appetite for all of life’s shadings as well as its soundings, imbued with a heartfelt sense of the sacred for both family and place, Gonzalez waxes Whitmanesque as he enters the canon—effusive, exuberant, erudite—every mundane thing a poem in hiding, all senses on fire.
—Lissa Kiernan, author of The Whispering Wall