A HYBRID NOTEBOOK OF POETICS AND PORNOGRAPHIES

Pornography Disclaimer

This is a an imaginary diary of facts, confessions, or messages. This is a notebook of working but broken ideas, lines, images, notes on books I'm reading, writers I admire, and brief fantasies of language. Here unfiltered  all mannerings pseudo-private, publicized, ur-. Here I am art and unrevealed: poetic, political and pop. These are my moonlit rough beginnings and should not be taken literally, directly, truthfully, reliably, and none of it is legally binding. These lies are all choreographed, but only haphazardly. Beware.

29.3.08

YO SÍ SOY BANDIDO

Tonight I see that the new Latino Poetry Review is online, and I'm proud to be in it. Javier O. Huerta and I foamed at the mouth for a bit (well, I did, mostly. He's tremendously smarter than I am, so it was hard keeping up.) In any case, it proposes to be a great forum for literary criticism, essays and reviews concerning Latino Poetry. 

I have to say I have a natural skepticism toward group-think of most kinds. What can you expect from a Mexican Irish poet who mostly wants to see you undone. It brings out the fist-fighter in me, the revolutionary prisoner in me, stiletto bitch in me, the blood drunken heartbreak in me, the zapatista guerilla in me, IRA car-bomber in me, the limrick curseword in me, me da un chingo in me, the surrealist priest in me, the Sandra Cisneros like Walt Whitman in drag in me. 

I'd rather see someone fall and laugh out loud than pretend it isn't funny. I'd rather fall down drunk on the laughter of my own spilled blood. But

I'm unabashedly thrilled at this new website.  The promise of having interesting reviews, like Craig Santos Perez' on Alfred Arteaga's Frozen Accident, and more to my own liking, essays like Blas Falconer's in which he navigates what it means to be Nuyorican, even if you're living in Virginia and dreaming of a Caribbean Island. . . 

Friends and Strangers, I like to put on my cowboy boots and my mustache and dance a little banda too. Dos Mujeres un Camino, anyone? I'm old school. I guess what I like best about the site is that I can wear what I like with a little bit of home in it. A little bit my own animal. And what is home to any of us, except the variable of what we speak, to ourselves in the mirror like a bit of lost moonlight, or to each other when we're angry or in love and none of it comes out right? Or to the abyss, like an angry star? What else is home if not the style of a silver buckle lit by a ravenous godlike golden eagle? Well, that's what it is for me, no matter what the hell my poems are talking about. 

Identity is fun because it's fucked up. I mean, abstract. I mean, a carnival. Of unimaginable and astonishing versions of the self. I mean, a joke. A totem of galactic pranksters each with its own likeness to your haircut and your beard and your mischievous sexual smirk. I think the only danger on this site is taking our "selves" too seriously, and I'm hoping that we won't. That is, I'm hoping to see some daring, some risk, some hybrid thinking that's willing to get into a fistfight with itself. So far "we" are on the right track. Do we contradict ourselves? Very well then, we contradict ourselves. We too are large. We too contain multitudes. We shouldn't forget. This site, for me, is about just that: an active remembrance of our in-flowering otherness.  I, for one, am very glad for it. 

Friends and Strangers, you should check it out.


2 comments:

Peter said...

Very original *interview*
It really takes me a thousand places.

Francisco Aragón said...

Hi Miguel:
Half the excitement of deciding to attempt LPR was not knowing how it's precisely going to evolve. But your post here, for me anyway, captures the spirit with LPR has embarked on its journey: that we do contradict ourselves, that we are hybrid in our thinking, that we are multitudes, that are not, as you eloquently say, afraid of verbally getting into a "fistfight with [ourselves]." And yes, while I would not advocate taking our "selves" too too seriously, I'm not opposed to taking our "poems" seriously, leaving everyone to define "seriously" for themselves. I look forward to future contributions of yours to the project.

Saludos,
FA

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Poetry Disclaimer

My work has been awarded the Katherine C. Turner Prize from the Academy of American Poets, a Swarthout Award, and has twice been nominated and shortlisted for the Pushcart Prize. My first book, A Book Called Rats, was selected for the Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry (Eastern Washington University Press 2007). I'm curating editor for the online journal of poetry: PISTOLA and my poems and reviews most recently appear in Massachusetts Review, Beloit, Ploughshares and RAIN TAXI. I currently teach writing and literature at Santa Monica College in southern California.