Ray Ragosta: A Motive for Disappearance


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In the background of the book are events of a traumatic nature that the group or “tribe” seem to have repressed, forgotten, or only heard about. They (or we) may not wish to know about these events and may think they (we) are better off in ignorance. But with the consolation of having trauma wiped out comes the fear of having part of one’s culture erased along with it.

Against this background we hear the voices of the outsider or exile. He is part of a different “tribe” whose ancestors include Ovid in Tomis (whose fears and discomforts make his exilic works disturbing and cloying at once), the observer who, as Kafka describes himself, inhabits a “borderland between solitude and community,” and Hawthorne’s Wakefield, who abandoned his wife for some twenty years, but took up lodgings only one street over.

“It has a music like something carried on the wind, then dropped and picked up again.”
—John Ashbery

“Ray Ragosta, like the serpent swallowing its tail, does not describe the event, but things close in, as in a dark room or desert. His poems convey the emotional intensity of the gap between articulation and experience; between the possibility of expression and the effort toward that expression.”
—Gale Nelson

Ray Ragosta’s previous collections of poetry include Opposite Ends, Grondines Episode (both Paradigm Press) and Varieties of Religious Experience (Burning Deck).

His work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, Shiny, Hambone, Aufgabe, Oblek and other magazines, as well as in the anthologies One Score More (Burning Deck), 49+1American Poets (Fondation Royaumont, France) and A Curious Architecture (Stride Publications, England).

He lives in Warwick, R.I., and works as a writer and editor.