With great joy I’d like to share the news that I have just published a poetry chapbook with California-based Lummox Press. I would describe this 56-page book, entitled “thank you for dreaming,” as my grateful response to those who dream. To my own ancestors and family members, without whom I would not be alive to write these words. To the many women who, despite terrible circumstances, have refused to be silenced. To all those people who acknowledge the truth that political borders are nothing but imaginary lines drawn on a map. To those who feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and comfort the afflicted. Thank you so much. Now, more than ever, this world is needful of your compassion and hope.
Although this is not specifically about the Broadway-Fillmore area, it DOES reference St. Stanislaus Church. For more information about the book and how to purchase it, please take a look at the publisher’s website:
And, please stay tuned, as I intend to do a presentation of the book in the Broadway Fillmore area later this spring.
To whet your appetite, here is a poem from the book – but not the one that references St. Stanislaus. You’ll have to get the whole book if you want to see that one!
Mary Comes Down
It is said
she was assumed into heaven.
Deathless, she stood on the moon,
was crowned with twelve stars.
But today in Rome I see her
begging outside the stone churches
that hold her statue.
In Jordan she sleeps in a refugee camp,
invites neighbors for tea,
shoots a film of her kids’ pick-up soccer games –
(she’s heard that in the West
they like this sort of thing).
In the San Fernando valley
she bends to harvest grapes,
she cuts garlic and gets half
the wages she was promised.
In Mexico she sells lace
and tells anyone who will listen
that four of her sons
have disappeared from Veracruz.
In Iowa, she sweeps the floor at Walmart
after the other workers have left.
Before this, she worked in a slaughterhouse.
Her task: to kill the male chicks.
She who once deflected
the Plague’s sharpest arrows
now tends to those dying of AIDS
in a Kenyan village.
Sometimes she makes the news
when her raft capsizes on the Mediterranean,
but it goes unnoticed
when she is sold into slavery,
dies in childbirth,
walks for a day to fetch water,
and finds the well dry.
Again and again
her son offers to raise her,
adorn her in royal blue,
a final glorious mystery.
Again and again
she shakes her head,
gives the diadem back,
casts off her mantel
to cover a child.