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“Big Bad Asterisk *” Poetry by Carlo Matos – Reviewed in Portuguese American Journal

 Read a review of Carlo Matos's forthcoming book, “Big Bad Asterisk at the Portuguese American Journal

“Big Bad Asterisk *” Poetry by Carlo Matos – Review

By Michael Colson, Contributor (*)

The asterisk is one of the most neglected symbols in the history of typography.  What is an asterisk?  What does it signify?  What role does it play in our writing?  If there were a Saint Asterisk would she be a faint footnote in theLives of Saints?  These are among the unsung questions of our lettered lives.

An asterisk is a seven-fingered star that glitters on the ink-blotted page.  It designates an explanatory footnote, an omission, or a correction.  Often the asterisk performs a judicial sidebar of sorts, introducing information that doesn’t quite fit into the flow of discourse.  Occasionally, it can be ironic, cheeky, or paradoxical.

What is this sign that calls attention to itself?  “Look at me!” it seems to say, “Pay attention to me, only me, I’m no parentheses!”  The asterisk is, among other things, a jealous lover, a strumpet, a femme fatale.  We attend to it with our eyes, but really that’s never quite enough, because we’re called upon to follow wherever it leads.  The asterisk impishly tugs at our arm, beseeching us to step inside its mysterious dwelling, unto its seduction, its soft embellishments, redirecting our focus, down a rabbit hole perhaps, from a line of thought.  It whispers, “I shall lead you on a detour.  Relinquish your devotion to linear thought, for waylaid is the path of parataxis.”

Read the whole review at the Portuguese American Journal

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