Romero’s book is not so much a collection of poems as it is a narrative sequence, a body of related pieces which follow the title character from birth to the brink of death. Celso is Everyman, his roles ranging from shabby Christ figure to buffoon, drunkard and ladies’ man, alternately unkempt, lascivious, pathetic, witty-cruel, curious and outrageous. Celso is a barrio philosopher, the borracho whose very existence threatens the life-thrated of the community, yet holds it up with ridicule and understanding. He is compassionate because he has suffered in his life, and he is strong, having survived most of his contemporaries. If Celso laughs at others and their follies, he mostly laughs about himself and his own weaknesses.