Just Read: LOVE AFTER THE RIOTS by Juan Felipe Herrera

This was the first book I found that sad day picking out books (also found Fasterpussycats and Flora’s Kitchen after). Picked it because of the title and because each poem was titled by a time. It was all just one night–7:30pm, 7:35pm, 8:00pm, and so on, ending at 6:01am the next morning.

Love After the Riots a really cool book. The narrator is running around the streets of LA during the Rodney King riots. He meets a blonde Mexican woman named Marga. She’s throwing Molotov cocktails and then they’re in an apartment then they’re at a restaurant then they’re in a hospital then back at his place. It’s pure chaos, and the writing matches that. The narrative itself isn’t easy to follow. It reads like journal notes. You have to focus and just accept what’s going on that minute and flip to the next page to see what’s next.

This story reminded me of the play Street Theater. That’s about the night leading up to the Stonewall Riots in NYC. It takes place a block away from the bar that would get raided that night. Street Theater ends with people from that corner joining in the unrest. Love After the Riots starts with unrest and is a walk directly through it. And even with all the dismay around, there’s something sacred about this couple’s romantic connection. It’s very true to life.

-Rachel

Click here to view all the poetry books I have for sale at my online bookstore Ten Dollar Books.

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