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3rd & 7th by Nicolas Mansito III

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3rd & 7th by Nicolás Mansito III

 A Note on the Poems

The following 37 poems and their respective titles were composed from a collection of the third and seventh words – in some cases, reproducible symbols and / or typographical characters – on each page (excluding front / back covers) of each book of poetry whose title, author, and publication information I have listed above each poem in the series. For books of poetry found within larger collections, I began with the title page and ended with the last page of each individual collection. All the words gathered from each book were used for each respective poem: No words were discarded, nor was any formula used to ascertain the order of the words. The words’ formats regarding capitalization, italics, underlining, and bolding were kept as is; therefore, there is no punctuation – only spacing, stanza and line breaks. I changed the fonts of all words to Deutch Garamond SSi, purely for the sake of consistency. Regarding the composing process: I gathered the third and seventh words on each page, placed each word in one of four “loose” categories – (1) noun; (2) verb; (3) adjective / adverb; (4) article / pronoun – on a separate page, and then wrote each poem according to its own collection of words. The poems appear in the order I wrote them, and each poem was written in one continuous sitting in order for the composing process to serve as an uninterrupted making of meaning out of chaos, beauty out of disorder. Once I ran out of words, the poem was “finished”; that is, no editing or revision occurred after the initial, spontaneous draft. I chose the third word because I share the same name as my father and grandfather; the seventh because it is my best friend, Sara’s favorite number. I dedicate this book to her.

Experimentalism tends to produce aberration, and on many occasions results are trite: it only holds many times, at best, a “historical” interest. Poetry that centers upon bilingualism and broken language, at this point in history, is a much too visited space among poets that live outside their native countries. Reading Nicolás Mansito’s 3rd & 7th one encounters, fortunately, an exception to the rule, an exception that contains the exceptional: a true experiment, which based on the concept of “plantilla” (template) originates a poetry of fragmentation and displacement that can be frolicsome and serious at the same time, a totally modern poetry in its ability to combine variety of form with complexity of content, in a controlled vertigo where “things of benign reference” live in the precarious harmony that distinguishes the best of contemporary poetry.

José Kozer, author of STET


Reading Nicolás Mansito's first book I am reminded that the Latin verb "to read," legere, means to choose, to select, and that reading, and in fact all writing, is an act of bricolage. There is a sweetness in these poems, a lightness in them, a gravity, a webbing of synaptic leaps at times so subtle and unforgettable, that these poems confound their aleatoric composition, and one forgets Mansito is in fact writing under severe constraints. This book of poems reminds that every free act, of both making and being, arises from a bondage to what simply /is/. And from there we fiddle and tinker our way to wisdoms. A book you'll be grateful to own.

Gabriel Gudding, author of Rhode Island Notebook


Nicolás Mansito III works across multiple genres – poetry, short-fiction, creative nonfiction, translation, essay, and interview – and between the English & Spanish languages. His work has appeared in places such as Jacket, MiPOesias, Nebula, 21 Stars Review, Words Without Borders, and Babel Fruit. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Broward College.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 65 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 9781935402510

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