Stranger in Town is the much-anticipated second collection by San Francisco poet Cedar Sigo. Reflecting queer identity while eschewing clichéd aesthetics, Stranger exudes an urban mysticism redolent of the SF Renaissance—particularly John Wieners—as it collages the fragmented experience of contemporary culture. Among its highlights are the sublime long poem, "Music for Torching," written in collaboration with Nathan Berlinguette and Will Yackulic, the translation of "Villon," the biographical "Notes on Joan Crawford," and prose meditations on poetry like "The Sun" and "The Emerald Tablet."
"It's a pleasure to curl up with and be challenged by [Sigo's poetry], driven to push one's living further. In this new century, there is without doubt further territory for poetry to enter into, and Sigo embraces what is currently available and holds out an offering for the future."
"The poems of Stranger in Town have an elegant lyric energy that attracts attention. The 'I' is not sentimentally loving its kitten, but clear in city light and night . . . a sort of Isherwood/Wieners, literate and humorous, with a Lunch Poems gaze. And 'The Sun' is one of the clearest statements of a poetics since 'Personism.' One of the now-rare pleasures of poetry is looking forward to more by a writer: I do so for Cedar Sigo."
"In Stranger in Town, carefully placed exclamation points reveal the contents of a boyhood closet. A shock of capital letters pay homage to magicians Spicer, Wieners, and Rimbaud. An ambling line conjures Charles Olson done up in a little bit of drag. Themes of love, ecstasy, darkness, and light are wrestled away from sentimental tourists and into the arms of Cedar Sigo, resident genius of this rare, honest romance."
"A reality made of poetry is all one could ask for, and here it is-created of skillful, elegant, lyric moments and lines. A door opens to a light, fluent room, where narratives of 'urban mysticism' are pursued. An ear moves from 'professional music' to the sound of melting snow. Poems that breathe with a forthright intimacy."