I wonder how Uroyoán Noel collects so much excited, resistant, and varying language. His poems reveal a hyper awareness or as he calls it in his 2010 book a Hi-Density Politics. As if a walking spam filter, Noel takes the viral detritus of late capitalism, of insistent colonialism, of ruins from resorts to craft his poetry. He riffs on the booming voice of the car salesman on the radio with generous satire. Noel describes the poet as “the bookworm who sings like an owl atop this underarm unreason.” Oh, the underarms of cities or sites, solidified in that public bench that endangers you with its “c” encased in a circle of copy-written CEO beggars.
Noel is brilliant at letting a word roll into and bounce between Spanish and English, by often having multilingual line and page spreads inside his books. This togetherness in languages makes the in between a central force, manifesting a deep poetic inquiry into statelessness. I cannot wait to read Noel’s book In Visible Movement, from the Sixties to Slam coming out in June 2014 from Iowa University Press, which will be the first scholarly history of Nuroyican Poetry. This work has many ties to Noel’s own poetic practice. In an interview with Latasha N. Nevada Diggs on Poetry Magazine’s Harriet Blog, Noel reminds us even in this feat of scholarship on poetry, the readings of Nuroyican poetries need to be heard and developed as an online audio archive just as much as it needs to be read.
The page verses the stage is not isolated as conflict but alive in Noel’s books so each page is a potential stage. In his recent work Buzzing Hemispheres Rumors Hemisfericos the opening section named “Alphabet City” includes eight poems written in both Spanish and English with alphabetized words following each other. From the English: “mired neurons” of the “quitters revolution” happen effortlessly, joyously, ticking, with voice creaks of “queer regret” always with the harder edge of humor.