Waving goodbye to any past requires re-examining lands of inadequacies. It’s once again exploring worlds where losing your footing becomes the normal way of walking. It’s where haunting memories are made and not able to be forgotten. It’s where 90’s MTV meets racial inequality. It’s where razor-sharp imagery and wit dissect the guts of a man who knows his reflection in mirrors is all too honest. It’s where this book of prose poems finally puts it all behind by saying so long, forever… but not really.
Praise: It’s my pleasure to welcome Daniel Romo’s newest collection, “Apologies in Reverse,” into the distinguished canon of American prose poetry. Whether contemplating the social and political discord of the 1990s or chronicling the turbulent journey from teenager to man to poet, these finely crafted treasures are ambitious. There’s a fierceness here, tempered by an abundance of wit and wisdom, empathy and eloquence. Romo has mastered how to “speak a language” that pulls him from “the sidelines,” and we’re more than ready to “listen and take notes.” This is a book to read, reread, and remember! — Mary Koncel
Daniel Romo wrote and published an amazing number of good prose poems back when he was a student of mine. So many that after he left I began to use him as an example to my students. Then I began to shame and threaten my students with him. My students did not believe there even was a real Daniel Romo, and eventually I too began to wonder if there was a Daniel Romo, or if I had made him up, or if he was a prose poem. This book proves it: there is a Daniel Romo, and he has become a master of the form. Even though they are prose poems, the pieces in Apologies in Reverse are not narrative, but more lyric and mysterious, more jagged and jumbled, the kind of words you might jot on a piece of paper upon waking from a dream and that still seem luminous in the morning. It is humorous in its startling leaps, but sad and elegiac. It is the sadness of a grown man saying goodbye to a part of his past. To the music he loved and the small failures and shames of middle school and high school. The sentences are highly aphoristic, but they are aphorisms that are like Zen koan or puzzles that only make sense when you let go of sense, when you just relax and listen to the poetry, listen to the magical, incantatory music of the prose poem. — Richard Garcia Click here to buy from Amazon.
Romo’s taut prose poems in this collection cover both of these possibilities and more, moving from image to image with a magician’s sleight of hand, revealing love, loss, angst, forgiveness, pride, and self-doubt all at once. Most of the poems in the collection are constructed as small squares, snapshots both in shape and function, capturing moments with a wisdom that is both casual and proverbial.