Saturday, July 30, 2016


Billy Burgos introduces Compatible Aspects of the Disparate Endeavor by Felino A. Soriano
(NeoPoiesis Press, 2011)

Introduction to Compatible Aspects of the Disparate Endeavor

How does one find harmony in an unequal endeavor? This is the question that Felino Soriano places before us in the title of his collection Compatible Aspects of the Disparate Endeavor. In this case the “disparate endeavor” is to find a relatable face within the painted lines and ink markings of paintings that, for the general layman, are faceless. How does one give a succinct voice to an abstraction?

What Felino Soriano does not do is leave us to interpret this foreign language by ourselves. The poet acts a skilled docent leading us through an unknown gallery, while also begging us to use our imagination to navigate our own subconscious as in the case of - after Victoria Lenne’s Fractured Reflections: “The behind us is an “us” of disastrous dimensions. / An us / coordinated with logic undefined / by fogless thought, / clarity / the lover / we selfishly neglected / to invite / and stay.”

Within the hands of this skilled poet, the once unreachable task of finding a commonality within the lines of a painting somehow seem attainable as in the case of - after Nell Milne’s Fragmentation: “Something leaves, but stays momentarily. The shape of the sensed / shape, here until the eye blinks violently / killing the appearance of tangible existence.”

What happens in the process of Soriano’s use of white space (allowing us those small rooms to take breath within) and heavy enjambment is nothing shy of a transformation. Within the narrative we begin to see a semblance of ourselves, “can the background of a moment / teeming / with unrecognizable displays / conjure / in a mind purpose or fashionable want, / secrets to express what desire / hides in the pocket of the / infantile subconscious?”

It is in this process of genuflecting that the poems find buoyancy and transcendence. The poems step forward and take the place of paintings themselves on the figurative gallery walls. Soriano’s poems are more than merely a bridge that connects us to the beating hearts these paintings. They are works of art themselves, whether fixed or free verse, lyric or language driven, traditional or experimental, they find a compatible aspect in the disparate endeavor of our own existence.

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