Book by Alberto O. Cappas, Nubian Voices, 2nd Printing
Book Review by Rudy Mangual, Editor, Latin Beat Magazine Publication
Wednesday, October 1 2003
This third book of poetry from Alberto O. Cappas explores the numerous conditions and situations that many Puerto Rican immigrants face on a daily basis as they co-exist in New York City. A bureaucrat by day (director of Community Affairs for the city's Human Resources Administration), poet and community activist by night, Cappas devotes most of his life to encouraging young Latinos to pursue a better way of life. Through the magic and beauty of words, he shows us the good, the bad, the ugly, and the pretty things of life. With a selection of over 40 poems in this new book, Cappas' poetry traces the hopes and problems of Puerto Ricans living on the island as well as those living in the northern continent searching for the American dream. But the reality and messages of his poems, in many cases, can be applied to any group of people or individuals.
The title piece of the collection, Doña Julia, is a poem about a woman who in desperation commits suicide and leaves a note stating, "One way or the other, I'm going back to Puerto Rico." Other favorites include Aguacate Power, depicting what Cappas calls "unconscious Puerto Ricans;" A Distant Despair is a snapshot of images of what life is like for the tenants of a particular building in the city; Milagros, A Love Story, is a poem about a beautiful young girl who at 15 years old had dreams and goals and by her 19th birthday was selling her wasted body on 42nd Street to buy the American dream. Suicide of a Puerto Rican Jíbaro is a piece that explores the alienation faced by the immigrant entering the cold, foreign land of hope. Cappas' poems are like short stories full of characters and situations we can all relate to in one way or another in a thought-provoking manner.