By Ezequiel Ramos |Staff Writer|
He described the shot as a “pink spark that lit up the courtyard,” and characterized the individual as “a saint who suffered gangs and taggings.”
David J. Daniels was welcomed by CSUSB at the Pfau Library, as he entertained everyone with his descriptive and visual poetry.
Daniels is a professor at the University of Denver and is currently the poetry editor of the Pebble Lake
Review. He is best known for being the winner of the Four Way Books Intro Prize, and has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.
Daniels read three poems from each section of his book: three for criminals, three for lovers and three about the dead.
“I felt that his poetry was extremely visual because of his choice of words,” said Louie Garcia.
As Daniels read each poem out of his book, I sat there experiencing a variety of emotions; I wasn’t sure how to take in what I was hearing.
In one of his poems, “This is the Pink,” he described the character saying, “Our mugger, this dumb kid,” in the midst of Hurricane Katrina and added, “so this kid fired a warning shot.”
It wasn’t so much his words that got to me, it was more his tone as he described each part of his poem. The suspense grew as he stood there, raising his voice a little bit louder each time a suspenseful event had taken place.
As I put each piece together, I figured that he must have experienced this traumatic event firsthand because of how well he described the poem.
“I thought he was pretty awesome in describing everything that went on,” Albert Armienta said. “It was like a movie playing in your head.”
Once he finished reading all of his poems, he allowed time for a question and answer session for his poem “This is the Pink.”
He described living in New Orleans during the time of Hurricane Katrina, and witnessed the terrifying looting.
He was held at gunpoint by a mugger at a Shell gas station with his girlfriend.
The mugger made him pull his shirt over his head while his companion stood there frantically, both scared for their lives. Offering a little comedic relief, Daniels wittily said that he waited until after he and his girlfriend had sex to call the police.
During questions and answers, a lot of guests were intrigued by his poems, many of them were longtime fans. Each part of his poem was a captivating experience of his life.
I was at a loss for words while listening to his poems because I was completely unaware of all that he has been through.