David Soto Writes

I think I figured out what I want to be when I grow up.

Tag: poetry

The Poet X

A book review. 

I have a personal rule: Listen to non-fiction and read fiction. Don’t ask me where I came up with this idea. I realize now how dumb this is. Just like the rule I had where I only read non-fiction because I thought reading fiction was a waste of time. Well, as my life changed in July of 2018 so did my reading habits. I found myself without time to read or to listen to my audiobooks. As a result, I managed to accumulate a dozen audible credits, as I am a subscriber. Then, I joined the gym and all of a sudden I had time to listen again but still not the time to read. So I decided to break my dumb rule.

I read some reviews about The Poet X on Goodreads, and many of them raved about the audiobook. After listening to Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking, I knew what a joy it was to listen to a performer’s book. I downloaded it, put my headphones on, got under the barbell and went to Harlem hang out with Xiomara.

The words were beautiful. The story engaged me. The cadence almost had me bobbing my head as if I was listening to Nuthin But A G Thang by Dr. Dre. The experience was so pleasurable that it had sitting in my driveway like Mona used to do waiting for her favorite song to end — her hand on the key waiting for that last note before she turned it off. Most of all, what impressed me the most was how Elizabeth’s words made me feel.

I’m a 44-year-old male who grew up in Southern California and a small town in Missouri. I have never been a 16-year-old Dominican girl from Harlem. I’ve never been frustrated with how I was treated because if my developed body. I have never had a twin. I have never kissed a boy for the first time. But now thanks to Elizabeth, I know what it’s like to have all of these experiences. I felt every emotion Xiomara had. I didn’t merely have empathy for the Main Character; I was her.

As a fan and writer of Magical Realism, I loved it when I came across a small hint of it. When Xiomara mentions that her dad gave up music — both listening and dancing to it — to help tame his lustful desires, I had one of those moments where if I were reading the book, I would have put it down and reflected on what I had just read. I feel like I could write a story based on this concept. Thanks, Elizabeth.

Lastly, I was surprised that such a beautiful story could take place in modern time. I thought stories this moving had to take place one-hundred years ago like a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel. Who knew that you could mention Drake and Kendrick Lamar or reference texting or a smartphone and write a story on par with some of the greats.

I usually recommend a book to a specific audience but not this time. This time I recommend it to everyone.


If you are interested in my books, please visit my author page on Amazon.

If you love something… (A true story)


If you love something set it free, if it comes back to you it’s yours.

What if you love someone but instead of setting her free, you drove her away.

What if you forced a wedge in-between the two of you — constantly pounding at it with an eight-pound sledge — driving it in deeper and deeper?

What if you were a dick?

What if you were a controlling asshole?

What if you yelled and screamed?

What if you threw and broke stuff?

What if you were insecure?

What if you were jealous of past lovers and made her feel bad about having a life before you?

What if you didn’t appreciate her for who she was?

What if you tried to change her?

What if she wouldn’t change so you broke up with her only to get back together a week later because the girl you took to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind didn’t get it and you knew SHE would, so you saw it with her the next night and you both cried like babies in the movie theater?

What if you didn’t include her in the decision to take a job overseas, in a war zone, in Iraq?

What if that was the last straw?

What if you came home a year later and she had some new found self-respect and didn’t want to have anything to do with your emotionally abusive ass.

What if thirteen years passed?

What if everything you ever wanted to improve about yourself was because of her — not because you thought you could win her back but because if you ever found another love of your life you wouldn’t want to lose her too — you wouldn’t want to go through that hurt again?

What if you have finally accepted the loss — I mean, you still miss her, and you still occasionally dream about her and wake up crying but you have learned to accept the pain?

What if you learned so much about yourself that you look back and can’t believe the man you were then, at the age of thirty?

What if you wake up a few mornings after your forty-fourth birthday and there is a message from her — “Happy birthday, old man. I had a dream about you the other day and I cannot stop thinking about you.”

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