These poems by Carlos Fuentes Lemus (1973-1999), son of the author of Terra Nostra and Christopher Unborn, are an introduction to the unique voice of a sensitive but unsentimental young poet who became aware of his mortality at a very early age. A hemophiliac who as a child contracted HIV from contaminated blood products, he struggled to come to terms with his condition through the practice of art while paying homage to those artists from the Western canon (and from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame) whose work inspired and shaped his own, such as Keats, Van Gogh, Wilde, Rimbaud, Schiele, Kerouac, Elvis, Hendrix, and Dylan. 4:56‘s heartbreaking “songs and visions” record his fleeting passage through our world.
From the Afterword by Juan Goytisolo:
“Beautiful, startling lines, without the least self-complacency, imbued with a hidden and unsettling pain. I have always been enchanted by the magic of English poetry, and its ability to express more in fewer words than can other languages that I know. Carlos Fuentes Lemus moved within its sphere almost on tiptoe, oblivious to any rhetoric and easy sentimentalism, with the delicacy and weightlessness with which he fleetingly traced his path through life.”