Claiming the mundane as its starting point — “a father takes his car out of the garage / and sings” — Monitored Properties interrogates the ideological forces that exist in the smallest moments of our lives. With playful irony, wit, and lyrical dynamism, Florencia Castellano takes on the figure of the “cowboy,” the gaucho that has permeated Argentine history and helped define patriarchy for centuries. In its re-imagining, the book questions the ritual of cultural inheritance, suggests that automatic responses can be broken down in language. Here, the literal and the absurd touch, the self and the other dance, “despite not knowing each other.” If no haven is safe from the language of patriarchy, then its reverse could be true: no language, however emblazoned, is beyond the reach of the poet. Monitored Properties is a testament to living, relational histories and the way they expose and resist official, state-sanctioned versions.
Published by Ugly Duckling Presse