Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Doña Julia and other Selected Poems
From City Limits Magazine Review: "The standout poem in this collection is the title piece, "Doña Julia।" The poem is about a woman who commits suicide, and leaves a note that baffles police, stating, "One way or the other, I'm going back to Puerto Rico।" The poem starkly describes what led the woman to this place. "Do--a Julia/Committed suicide last night/Cause the welfare department/ Demanded too many documents she did not/know existed." It's quite the indictment coming from an employee of HRA. In a city used to low voter turnout in most elections, where people feel increasingly alienated from their political and community leaders, it is refreshing to find someone working in the system who is sympathetic to the lives of ordinary citizens. Cappas' poetry, never overly sentimental, demonstrates both a talent for the written word and a deep understanding of people, their communities and the larger institutions that influence their lives. The next time you go to the polls, don't elect a politician; elect a poet.