Friday, June 09, 2006

Poeta with Soul

Ysleta Poeta / Poeta de Ysleta: Sheryl Luna. She grew up here in the Lower Valley and used to live a couple miles down the road from me a few years ago. Her book Pity the Drowned Horses is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. When I hear or read her poem "Bones," specifically when I reach "the last few hares, sprint across..." line, I know that this is a poem with duende:

" people
forget to speak to one another as our ending skulks
arthritically into our bones, and the dust
of a thousand years blows across the plain,
and the last few hares sprint across a bloodied
highway. Here in the desert southwest, loss
is living and it comes with chapped lips,
long bumpy bus rides and the smog of some man's
factory trap. And there are women everywhere
who have half-lost their souls
in sewing needles and vacuum-cleaner parts.
In maquiladoras there grows a slow poem,
a poem that may only live a moment sharply
in an old woman's soul, like a sudden broken hip..."

This work always reminds me that an excellent poem does not quit too soon, not necessarily in terms of length but in the depth and quickness of associations, image to image, line to line. I would describe the poems in this collection like the "last few hares sprint[ing] across a bloodied / highway..." They do not easily give up, give in, or end... they live through risk, evoke loss and life simultaenously: "Loss / is living."

I interviewed Sheryl last fall in Denver and an excerpt from the interview will appear in the summer issue of Indiana Review.

I don't think I would have started a blog without her Chicana Poetics blog as inspiration. I was working on this post before she read my first two entries... I was hoping to finish this entry before she checked out the blog for the first time.

She gave a reading in Ysleta last year. A photo of Sheryl with her grandmother and mother at the reading:


Sheryl said...

I'm blushing. Thank you. Now I really want to tell people about your blog!!! But I want to know that you're okay with that.

Anyways, gracias!

You've always been an inspiration to me.

I may visit EP at the end of June. I'm really vascillating about having a car payment. But wow, then I could go to EP anytime I wanted.

Say hi to Peter! Maybe we could get together with Janet. I want to have drinks. Maybe a big Margarita to celebrate your new job! Hopefully you guys won't be to terribly busy in late June/early July.

It seems my blog apprehension is out the window these days! Hahaha

Emmy said...

Thanks, Sheryl. Of course you may mention my blog. Yes, hope to see you in EP this summer. We should set up a reading... that would be fun. Keep me posted and thanks for your support.

Suzanne said...

Welcome, Emmy! I love Sheryl's book, too.

Emmy said...

Hi Suzanne. Thanks for checking out the blog.