Thursday, March 18, 2010
“The Scoundrel and the Optimist is one of the best first novels I’ve seen. The beautiful language carries you like wind through the story, from the beginning to the end, taking you through a landscape that is sad, hopeful, beautiful, and often ugly. Montoya writes with the authority of the Latin American novelists like García Marquez and Isabel Allende. He’s an incredible story teller, and I predict his work will find its way among the Chicano greats.” Daniel Chacón, author of and the shadows took him (from maceomontoya.com)
What It Means to Be Civilized
Such guilt. Such pandering to antiquity. These Colima dogs wear our faces, but for them nothing is worth translating from the Latin. That we've invented forms for the epic means we depend on the largesse of plaster and paint to mask our own pitiless story. What we translate into is a heroic suffering, always a hexameter wide from ear to eye. These dogs look to a place that expands, and we will clutch to them in our graves, reciting the conditions of our exile. They will leave as our bones pile up around them, proudly for a room full of still lives, somewhere far from Europe.
Copyright © Rosa Alcalá, 2010.
"Rosa Alcalá, originally from Paterson, N.J., is a true daughter of W.C. Williams, with a distinct, gutsy, and penetrating identity twining a public poeisis with her own luminous particulars..." "...Alcalá's imagination and language disarmingly penetrate and extend these powerful devices and activating signals. The face we see is hers and our culture's own. I celebrate this book." --Anne Waldman
Monday, March 1, 2010
for Vuong Quoc Vu
watches sunlight dissected
through window lace. As if all of living
were really that swift, that passing.
Beauty the thing before
its loss. Funny, since everything
I know of is made, like poems
poppies, pelvic bones, and paintings--
each a derivative of work
and genetics, layered into shape
by exhausting evolution, sweating
to continue here by necessity,
trial and error, footed desperations
stubborn as mold, and deaf.
from Insides She Swallowed: Poems by Sasha Pimentel Chacón
Copyright © Sasha Pimentel Chacón, 2010.
Sasha Pimentel Chacón was born in Manila, Philippines. She recently won an Academy of American Poets prize and has published in American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Colorado Review, and other journals. Chacón received her MFA degree from California State University, Fresno, and currently teaches creative writing at the University of Texas at El Paso. Insides She Swallowed is her first collection of poetry.