A Message from Matthew Abuelo
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In his new collection of poems and short stories, Matthew Abuelo pays homage to Dexter House, NYC, a SRO he called home for many years. The volume brings to life the strong ties among the tenants of the once affordable housing option in the city: “Will you know the Jerusalem of their hearts?/ those of the Dexter house/ who travel in time/ of fading New York/ not as travelers/ but as pictures…” The residents’ pain of losing their homes seeps through graphic urban imagery: “Do you know the language of the Dexter House?” asks Abuelo. It is a language “built on tears and the mantra called beauty…” The collection speaks volumes as social commentary—a valuable and insightful contribution to the genre.
–Dr. Dina Ripsman Eylon, poet and scholar.
Leave your Sunday clothes at home for The News Factory, a collection of poetry and stories by Matthew Abuelo that is based on the experience of living in New York City. This is a powerful collection of pieces that highlight the experiences of those who really make New York City the greatest city in the world. It concerns the struggling artists and personalities who give it color and spice, yet are often the most ignored, oppressed, and vulnerable. Rather than speak to the pretty aspects of the city, Abuelo paints the underbelly of New York City living. The atmosphere is mostly dark and muggy. His witty short stories evoke not only a battle with vermin, neighbors, and in love, but ultimately, survival in a city that increasingly oppressive towards the creatives.
–Cindy Loraine Horowitz Editor of On The Magazine
Our community news writer Matthew Abuelo has a new book available and T2C had a chance to review it. This prolific writer has two other books out Organic Hotels and Last American Roar. Through Matthew’s words we are taken on a ride through 21st century New York and the people who cling to shreds of hope and humanity. Years ago artists of all kinds were honored. The city gave them low rent SRO’s and they gave New York character and art in all forms. Now those artists are older, in places like Dexter House and are losing their homes and their dignity at time they can not fight back. “The News Factory: Notes From A Dying City” is a love letter aimed at those of us who dream and fall through society’s cracks, and don’t measure up to their ideal of who we are suppose to be. For all of us who the box does not fit, this book will touch you. Abuelo’s realism is a stark reflection of the failed American Dream in the eyes of those who believed the fantasy. Lines like, “The sideshow fancies are swallowed into the brown snow soul of the East Coast and melts into the carnival’s last gleaming.” Or “whose eyes are churches of the voided God of consumption,” speak like volumes onto a canvas where the poor or downtrodden have no voice until Abuelo speaks for them. This is the nitty and the gritty, yet so profoundly written that the slowly dwindling melting pot that made up New York is rising fiercely back up to make one last stand. Boldly Abuelo heads up their army with pen in hand.
–Suzanna of the time square chronicles