American Quasar
79 pages

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American Quasar is a visual-textual collaboration between poet David Campos and artist Maceo Montoya. What began as an exploration of the precipice of violence evolved into an excavation of self, a deep meditation on how country, family, and trauma affect the ability to love. The images and words build a poetic space where the body is understood in both physical and celestial terms, giving a spiritual dimension to the collection's larger claim that the political is personal.



Publié par
Date de parution 22 juin 2021
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781597098724
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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David Campos
Art by Maceo Montoya
Red Hen Press | Pasadena, CA
American Quasar
Copyright © 2021 by David Campos & Maceo Montoya
All Rights Reserved
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the prior written permission of both the publisher and the copyright owner.
Book design by Mark E. Cull
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Campos, David, 1984– author. | Montoya, Maceo, illustrator.
Title: American quasar : poems / David Campos ; art by Maceo Montoya.
Description: First edition. | Pasadena, CA : Red Hen Press, [2021]
Identifiers: LCCN 2021008411 (print) | LCCN 2021008412 (ebook) | ISBN 9781597094481 (trade paperback) | ISBN 9781597098724 (epub)
Subjects: LCGFT: Poetry.
Classification: LCC PS3603.A49 A82 2021 (print) | LCC PS3603.A49 (ebook) | DDC 811/.6—dc23
LC record available at
LC ebook record available at
Publication of this book has been made possible in part through the financial support of Jim Wilson.
The National Endowment for the Arts, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Ahmanson Foundation, the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, the Max Factor Family Foundation, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Foundation, the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Audrey & Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation, the Kinder Morgan Foundation, the Meta & George Rosenberg Foundation, the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation, the Adams Family Foundation, the Riordan Foundation, Amazon Literary Partnership, the Sam Francis Foundation, and the Mara W. Breech Foundation partially support Red Hen Press.

First Edition
Published by Red Hen Press
Some of the following poems, including some of the images, have been published by the following magazines, some in different forms. Thank you, editors of the following publications, for sharing the work:
The Acentos Review , Atticus Review , Ploughshares , Prairie Schooner , and Queen Mob’s Teahouse .
I American House Fire
American House Fire
Even Under Pressure, There is No Indictment
The Human Condition is a Drought
American Boy
My Tongue Has Been Sanded Down
Your Country
Deep Into Election Night
Letter to Earth After “The Earthquake”
A Town Hall in America in Five Movements:
I. Gun Silence
II. The Condition of My Heart
III. Restricted Love
IV. The American Dream
V. The Censorship of Teeth
America Responds in Headlines
This American House
Forever Renting
American Appropriation
American House Fire II
Even Knowing Its History
American Boy II
Historian of Buried Stars
The Archaeology of the Scales
II Quasars
How an American Boy Becomes an Astronomer
The Vocabulary of the Sky
The Catastrophe of Men
Seeking the Perfect Stargazing Location, the Perfect Trail
Amateur Astronaut Thinks He Discovers the Meaning of Faith
Directions from an Archeologist
In the House of Libra
The Dormant Quasar in Our Center
The Discovery of a Quasar
Letter to a Young Astronomer
After Years of Not, He Begins to Dream Again
In the House of Scorpio
Telescope at the End of the Universe
Name Games
Letter to My Brother
Slow Religion
Years Later
Physics at the End of the Universe
Something Like the Color of Faith
Due to the reflowable formatting of eBook text, viewing this eBook will provide a different reading experience than reading a printed edition. For the author's intended rendering of this text, please refer to the print edition.

In a house fire, you don’t die
from the flames, so don’t mind the broken
windows. I’m trying to let the smoke out.
I have been for a long time running
from room to room looking for an exit.
What I would give for the chill of starlight,
to believe in a just god who brings rain
to temper the blaze ravaging my house,
to feel, for once, what it’s like to win;
in victory, instinct orders our arms to rise
toward the heavens. Some say
this is what we’re left with to remind us of god,
to remind us to surrender.
But the smoke has stolen
too many of our fathers; it’s after our sons.
And every door leads to another dead dream’s room.
Still, they watch my house burn,
smoke lifting its arms over the city.
Only if they didn’t cook with fire , they say.
Only if their house had followed code.
How many more doors will have to burn
until it’s yours? I’m running out of windows,
and my arms are losing their strength.
The sky darkens with victory,
surrender? It’s hard to tell
anymore. But what’s certain is
in a house fire, you die
when you cry your child’s name.

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