Lorna Dee Cervantes Performing at Sacramento Poetry Center Tonight, 7:30
WILL READ THEIR POETRY
MONDAY, DECEMBER 3 7:30 PM
AS PART OF THE SACRAMENTO POETRY CENTER’S WEEKLY SERIES OF READINGS
AT THE SPACE THEATER 2509 R STREET SACRAMENTO
LORNA DEE CERVANTES has authored three books of poetry, two of them award-winning books-- Emplumada, From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger, and Drive: The First Quartet. Her poetry has appeared in 200 highly-recognized anthologies and too-numerous-to-count e-zines and magazines. She has performed her poetry twice at the Library of Congress, & also presented at the Walker Arts Center, The Dodge Poetry Festival, New York YMCA, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Vassar, Wellesley, and numerous other venues, university & college campuses in the US, Mexico, Spain & Colombia.
Las casitas near the gray cannery,
nestled amid wild abrazos of climbing roses
and man-high red geraniums
are gone now.The freeway conceals it
all beneath a raised scar.
But under the fake windsounds of the open lanes,
in the abandoned lots below, new grasses sprout,
wild mustard remembers, old gardens
come back stronger than they were,
trees have been left standing in their yards.
Albaricoqueros, cerezos, nogales . . .
Viejitas come here with paper bags to gather greens.
Espinaca, verdolagas, yerbabuena . . .
I scramble over the wire fence
that would have kept me out.
Once, I wanted out, wanted the rigid lanes
to take me to a place without sun,
without the smell of tomatoes burning
on swing shift in the greasy summer air.
Maybe it's here
en los campos extraños de esta ciudad
where I'll find it, that part of me
like a corpse
or a loose seed.
--Lorna Dee Cervantes
ALFRED ARTEAGA, born in East Los Angeles, is author of several books of poetry, creative non fiction, and cultural studies. His latest book of poems is Frozen Accident (Tia Chucha, 2006). He had been a National Endowment for the Arts and a Rockefeller Fellow. He teaches poetry in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley.
Rust, Soft Metal, Cynosure
those beacons being nothing
other ignite eye, flay stratum lucidum
to futile char, at some remove
of heat and kilometer
Behold the night point fire spit, no it is human, in the first instance an English woman knowing men in hoods takes penis for phallus for what else could she? You too and I examine this scene till it pixelates. Yet for three to wonder, there must have been one to have been there live, to have witnessed muffled cries by fabric restrained
and smoke fabricate night
at mid day garrote
all but panic
perhaps the prey
will not arouse
this time from sleep,
and we, not by fire
yet how light beams iconic
split the black eve
crack through smoke at noon
and rouse from dreams
of bodies whole, it so bright
burns even an allure
us excites that singular
desire for men’s heads
in bags, for mute
The scheme is taken for a natural law whose alphabet is simple: pyrotechny and mine contain all the bits for a praxis of seizure and annihilation. Each string bares desire, confirms the black hole that sucks at everything. Even light. A pure light and a fabric of fear, a pure fear and a fabric that blinds. All is contained in the sequence of brilliant sight, luminous desire, lucent possession, that is, from night fire beacons to sirens of war to feral excitement. Intense heat and flame indistinguishable unleash a light that recalls the caterpillars to desert
-- Alfred Arteaga