Gnashing Teeth Publishing

| words that get in your teeth

Trash Poems

Trash Poems is a collection of poems written over the course of a year. The poems were penned in the moment on gum wrappers, napkins, and even a leaf. They are collected here and transcribed as-is. No editing, no fixing spelling or grammar. Just raw poems. Will they start a revolution? Find out.

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Do not be fooled by the playful nature of these poems! Each one is a tiny bomb packed with broken glass and coffee grounds. Profound and profane, mundane and holy, penned on the detritus of modern urban life, Salinas’ Trash Poems are anything but disposable—they will stay with you for a long, long time.

& so as if the poems eased their way into existence onto the page in his most recent collection Trash Poems, Alex Z. Salinas deconstructs in a crisp concise language relaxed & urbane segueing between life & modern American lit what constitutes trash down to its essence written on gum wrappers, coffee cups, napkins any article not nailed or tied to the ground bits of paper doomed to the recycling bin (there’s no fencing Salinas in) become the locus of these fast-paced slipstreamed lyrics that dash & dart across your field of vision leaving you unsure if you want to cross the page at the speed of touch only to get crushed head-on or sideswiped by these delightful insightful verbal sonics along with 150 or so photographs documenting how these poems got writ in the first place this colloquial fluid conversation with the world family friends living & dead this dialogue with the reader & the poet himself unfettered poetry filtered thru the audial lens of the poet’s audacious verve in a voice that sings yet stings—image after image—evoke contemporary & classical connections which are yours to make in punchy “sparse lines that spare no spar” to quote another poet as you rummage thru the trash looking for the one item the one gem gum gave up its wrapper for—to salvage—finally to realize you’ve discovered or uncovered a cache a hoard to plunder—suddenly like a kid in a candy store or a pirate of the Caribbean a lá Captain Jack Sparrow, you’ve GOT to have them—one man’s trash after all—well you just got to dig in

How ecstatic (and envious!) I am reading Trash Poems. Alex Z. Salinas has manifested a masterpiece of meditative poesy—one part eco/urban art book, one part ADD Leaves of Grass, all parts adhering to the Beat’s first thought/best thought. From macro ruminations on family and mortality down to micro observations of a BIC pen, a persistent gnat, a looping Kanye video, Salinas takes note of impermanence with a haiku master’s eye/mind, dashing it down on the lost and found objects around us: receipts, cups, wrappers, napkins. All of it, trash. How easily these words can be ash—a nugget left buried for us within a pithy political poem. But no worries, gentle reader, this book will be there for you when you need it. These messages-not-in-bottles, scooped up and cataloged for our convenience. And all of us, lucky enough to be floating here right now to receive them.

Meet the Author

Alex Z. Salinas is the author of four poetry collections and a book of stories, City Lights From the Upside Down, which was included in the National Book Critics Circle’s Critical Notes. He holds an M.A. in English Literature and Language from St. Mary’s University, and lives in San Antonio, Texas. 

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