All true poets are enchanted with themselves, their verbal facility, their displays of brilliance. What makes these poems such fun is that Manny Igrejas gives his cleverness with language such freedom, stimulating himself to go further and further, rarely making a mis-step. Hard as it is to admit, this man is far cleverer than me. His facility with language is phenomenal. I keep saying, “I can’t believe how clever this is!”He’s enchanted with his refusal to take anything, even himself, seriously. Entitled to suffer with his Iberian heritage, he takes an ironic stance to his own miseries, by indulging in his fits of cleverness, a veritable devil dance of words, that are also his songs of survival. If he take the unusual stance of finding suffering funny, what is great is that he shows us how to enjoy it too — it’s liberating!He’s such a talented poet, I ask myself, why did he turn his energies to playwriting? But let’s face it, Shakespeare did it too. And poetry, or rather the hothouse poetry world, has its limitations. It’s in the theater, a more public, less airless, space that this larger-than-life figure found fulfillment. Yes, playwriting has it’s private side where you go through your agonies all alone in the writing, but, unlike poetry, it then becomes a group activity and you see what you’ve written come alive on the stage.This selection of poems shows his range – from tender to hysterical. And in his movie poems a talent for zany invention and plotting that he uses to great effect in the theater. His poems are evidence that his achievements as a playwright are based on his development as a poet.