R. Vincent Moniz, Jr., records the life and times of a mostly uneducated, economically disadvantaged, literary award-winning urban Indian. Much of his work reflects the people and stories from a neighborhood with the moniker Cockroach while simultaneously depicting contemporary issues of Native America. Poems in this collection are filled with a dreaded fire of wit and cynicism given to him by the Oglala and NuuÉtaare peoples who helped to raise him. With a great deal of bathos, he glides and slides seamlessly from silly to sorrow without effort. His formidable verse irradiates and acknowledges the lives of an in-between people who are too urban for the reservation and too indigenous for American culture, while he himself navigates multitudes, including his place within nerd/pop culture, which widens the scope of his writing. This collection mirrors a subculture that is being either hustled or altogether overlooked, and does so honestly without filter or worry. Moniz’s poetic genetics are a blend of orators that came before him and a new wave of emerging Indigenous American voices. The reader can see these narratives twist and turn to the heartbeat he writes them in.
“ ‘A poem is wanting what no one will give you.’ Moniz is a poet who knows that those of us who are imperfect and forgotten and leaking are the ones who need poems the most. Here is a wizard of shifting alignment, an astronaut moonwalking on Franklin Avenue, a bruised storyteller who glued his own hands back together to tell you the secrets that live under highway bridges.”
—BAO PHI, author of Thousand Star Hotel