Reviews - What do customers think about Secret Asian Man?
SECRET PLEASURES Dec 8, 2001
Nick Carbo has us see New York through the eyes of a Filipino immigrant with such candor, humor, and savvy that it's amazing to me that this book hasn't been optioned for a movie! Or maybe it has? It's poetry to be sure but it's also a screenplay, a novel, a multi-genre cyber cartoon. Carbo enlarges world poetry and what it can do!
Nick Carbo! Jul 18, 2001
I would never have purchased this book, nor would I have even become familiar with the (frickin' awesome!!!) work of Carbos without my needing the book for a class... some classes really are worthwhile!! I recommend (highly) ANYTHING by Nick Carbos.
Secret Asian Man Mar 26, 2001
I've just discovered Nick Carbo. Thank God. Thank God.
sci-fi, mystery, detective poetry? Oct 24, 2000
Nick takes it to the hilt on this one. I felt like I was reading a suspense thriller as I get taken through the life of one Ang Tunay ng Lalaki who interacts both in the "real" world where he meets Nick Carbo but also falls hobnobs with kindred icons of advertising and lore: Hello Kitty, Orpheus from a previous Carbo poem, and Barbie. And it's only in this in between world where Carbo can take on Asian and American ideals head on.
A wonderful book of poems showcasing satyrical irony. Aug 7, 2000
One of the reasons I like to review books of poetry is it gets me out of the "ME" kick that poetry is too well known for. Ask yourself this: how many poetry readings have I been to where I spoke soley of someone else's work? Someone who is alive, but that I don't personally know? Not just to say that I like their work, but what I like about it and how it inspires me? Can I, as a poet, go for a month, talking about this person's work, pushing this person's book, without ever mentioning my own poetry? Poet Karla Huston turned me on to Nick Carbo's Secret Asian Man and he's the latest poet I'll be pushing. His new book is full of satyrical irony and poem after poem makes you both cringe and laugh out loud. This is one of the few books of poetry that I'd like to see Quintin Terrantino or the Zucker Brothers make into a movie. Carbo lives in two worlds, the American's and the Filipino immigrant's. But the reflections and dichotmy don't stop there. His main character is Ang Tulay Na Lalaki, is the Filipino version of the Marlboro Man. Carbo starts each poem off "Ang Tunay Na Lalaki..." does something. Like Lyn Lifshin's Mad Girl poems this gives the reader an instant image of who the main character is in a series format. Unlike Lifshin, Carbo forces his white American reader to face up to accepting a non-white- American name. In some poems he does shorten it to 'Lalaki' within the poem, again forcing us to confront our written prejudices. Carbo plays on both sides of the prejudice field. In one poem he criticizes American film makers for having no roles for Asian American Men (only women), while in another he pokes fun at a visiting Filipino friend who's accent is too thick. He has Wonder woman fight a fetus-eating Filipino demon-goddess, picks up Barbie from a shopping bag to tell here about her about her part overseas Asian slave labor, and as Secret Asian Man, helps unite Hello Kitty and Barney the Purple Dinosaur. Even one step better is how Secret Asian Man flows. It reads in part poetry, in part story. No poem should be randomly turned to. Like reading a Richard Brautigan story and the more you read from the beginning, the more you understand the sequence. Early on in the book, Ang Tulay Na Lalaki meets up with a character, Orpheus, who tells him that he feels like a character written by poet Nick Carbo. Later on, Ang Tulay Na Lalaki takes a writing workshop from Carbo and we get to see how Ang Tulay Na Lalaki's poetry differs from Carbo's and how Carbo would run a writing workshop. To add another layer to Carbo's maze of mirrors, I got the book from someone who attended Carbo's workshop. Now I'm beginning to wonder if she is a character written by Nick Carbo? Pushing Secret Asian Man, one might only conclude that I am just an ongoing workshop exercise by Nick Carbo.