José Kozer and Rolando Estévez. Réplicas. (Matanzas, Cuba: Ediciones Vigía, 1998).
I do think that Mr. Estévez's work and mine were nuptially brought together, in a spiritual sense, in this edition of my poems. This fact brings me happiness, especially since this modest hand-produced book is my first in Cuba, after almost forty years of living outside my country.
The poetry published in Réplicas combines the tension of the unforseen, its perpetual ability to surprise, with the exactness, the precision of measurements (geometry) (the linear moving in the sphere of the Baroque). Notice how Mr. Estévez draws exact, tight lines: the tension of the linear represented by New York's architecture or, in another sphere, the linear tension of the furrow as produced by the plough.
My poetry moves from the surface to the entrails of the earth, the human body, its destiny: precisely, the earth. Mr. Estévez captures in his drawings this spiritual motion: he is willing to move deeper and deeper into the sinews, arteries, the hidden aspects of earth and body: its foremost and invulnerable core; a mystery.
The plower removes the earth underneath the indifferent façade of New York's buildings: his plow looks like a curved lamp, sharp, missing the glass, the bulb: it has to be recovered, I suppose, in the remote, the removal of the earth underneath the façade. A third eye (on top the cover of the book) watches: one must open the doors of the symbolic guayabera to discover a name: José Kozer. A meaningless name, unless there is art. Unless there is the art of drawing, painting, poetry, and the love to produce, not for profit but in order to share and distribute one's attempt to reach aspects of the Unknown. The work of Mr. Estévez goes hand in hand with the poetry that fills the few handmade pages of Réplicas: they both need to fill space to its borders, its extremes.