Inspired by Alain Resnais’s Hiroshima mon amour, and sharing the spirit of Tomas Transtromer’s Baltics and Yehuda Amichai’s Time, Republic Café is a meditation on love during a time of violence, and a tally of what appears and disappears in every moment. Mindful of epigenetic experience as our bodies become living vessels for history’s tragedies, David Biespiel praises not only the essentialness of our human memory, but also the sanctity of our flawed, human forgetting.A single sequence, arranged in fifty-four numbered sections, Republic Café details the experience of lovers in Portland, Oregon, on the eve and days following September 11, 2001. To touch a loved one’s bare skin, even in the midst of great tragedy, is simultaneously an act of remembering and forgetting. This is a tale of love and darkness, a magical portrait of the writer as a moral and imaginative participant in the political life of his nation.
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