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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

i like to drop names

i was working on my table of contents last night, and it suddenly dawned on me that i use a lot of names in my titles. a lot! don't believe me? well, here's a list of the name-centric titles:

Our Completion: Oil on Wood: Tino Rodríguez: 1999
Poem after Frieda Kahlo’s Painting The Broken Column
To Robert Hayden
Misael: Oil, Acrylic, Mixed Media on Canvas: Julio Galán: 2001
Midnight Coffee: Rafael Rodriguez Rapún: 1936
Variation on a Theme by José Montoya
La Pelona: Mixed Media: Ester Hernández: 1980
After Bei Dao/ After Jean Valentine
My Hands Are My Heart: Two-Part Cibachrome Print: Gabriel Orozco: 1991
Untitled (Perfect Lovers): Two Commercial Clocks: Felix Gonzalez-Torres: 1987-89

most of the names belong to visual artists. the rest belong to writers. one name belongs to lorca's last lover.

i wonder what this means? why am i obsessed with naming specific folks? well, i know why i use the names of these writers in my titles. they are the names of four poets who are very important to me: hayden, dao, valentine, montoya. and i like to honor my influences.

and the visual artist names are there because i have a standard way of giving titles to ekphrastic poems: title of art piece, materials used in piece, name of artist and date completed.

of course, now that i've noticed this habit of mine, i will stop plugging in names in my titles.

i'm crazy like that.


Keith said...

I actually like this in collections, especially if it's a work I don't know. Then I can go check out the painting or poem or whatever the reference is.

Maybe that's obvious. Or I don't know enough about art.

But I don't think you should be too quick to drop the names from the titles...

Lorna Dee Cervantes said...


Paul Pedroza said...

I once had the privilege to attend a Bei Dao lecture at UTEP. He's a fantastic writer.