Sunday, October 29, 2006

Lorna Dee Cervantes

This past Tuesday, I had the honor to read with Lorna Dee Cervantes. She came to my city and gave a reading at the university. It was such a great experience to finally meet a poet that has had a huge influence on my work. She was one of the first Latina poets I read and her book "From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger"(Arte P├║blico Press, 1991) definitely influenced my writing. She was really sweet and I gave her the copies of the poems I read. She even asked me to sign them for her, which was pretty cool. Here's one of her poems. Enjoy!

Summer Ends Too Soon

Was the last she said. Beautiful
Maria, Ave Maria. Maria dodging
father's fists -- and his. Maria praying
under the table. Maria crooning pain
songs in the bathroom. Maria combing
his sludge out of her hair. Maria
serving masters. Seventeen year
old Maria. Maria, your Lady
of the Kept Secret. Maria dancing
to his temper. Maria washing
her panties in the toilet. Two
days after graduation, Maria
swaying from the limb. Maria,
sweet purple fruit of his sin.
Ave Maria.

From the program, "Fooling With Words" hosted by Bill Moyers. At the PBS website.

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