Domenic Scopa's Review of Pilgrim’s: A Love Story by T.J. Beitelman
Pilgrim’s: A Love Story
Black Lawrence Press, 2010
T.J. Beitelman’s chapbook, Pilgrim’s: A Love Story, takes readers on a journey with two unlikely traveling companions, Jude Law and Gabriel Garcia Marquez—a journey that is metaphysical, sensual, comic, and tragic, warning the readers against the “shimmer, shine, and show.” The two companions meet under comic auspices, as Jude Law “calls him Gabo” and Marquez responds “and calls him puta.” Tragic elements begin to reveal themselves in their serendipitous meeting, when the two refuse to speak to each other for several months, before finally “the two men kiss like dirt” and make amends. Beitelman’s poignant use of simile pervades the entire chapbook, spanning the environments of Cuba, American highways, deserts, the Grand Canyon, and Las Vegas, where ultimately the threat of “shimmer, shine, and show” confronts the two protagonists and readers, bringing them to a heightened sense of enlightenment.