For Gonzalez, it seems, we humans can transcend the ordinary—just as these poems transcend genre and create a poetic realm of their own—but we never actually leave behind our rooted, earthbound lives. Although our landscape may be invisible to us, we never escape its powerful magnetism. Nor do we ever abandon our ancestors. No matter how fast or far we run, we can never outrun them. Like gravity, their influence is inexorable.
These poems enchant with their language, which often leaps unexpectedly from worldly to otherworldly in the same stanza, but they cling and linger in our memories—not unlike the voices of friends and relatives.
“Few poets can sing as far and deep as Ray Gonzalez. His odes and meditations are in conversation with a wide range of poets (the likes of Elizabeth Bishop, Li-Young Lee, and Allen Ginsberg) and with the men and women of his life. Here, as in his previous books, he has written a boundless, generous poetry that speaks to and for all of us.”—Terrance Hayes, author of Wind in a Box
“In his moving poem ‘Not Today,’ Ray Gonzalez writes: ‘When the artifacts of memory / disintegrated into nothing, / you were simply the signature in / fading ink.’ Gonzalez’s true signature is found in his poems that live on in the ‘territories in the mind.’ Faith Run is an extraordinary book of poems.”—Juan Delgado, author of A Rush of Hands