Monday, July 18, 2005


Monday’s post from Daniel Olivas

Lizz Huerta is first generation of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent; she calls herself a Mexirican or Chican-riqua. Lizz was born and raised a few miles from the border where she has continued to live, physically and metaphorically most her life. She is the author of three chapbooks, The Wings of Every Crow, Hostage of Gravity and The Papered Seed Inside of the Stone. Lizz has backpacked most of Mexico, lived in Guanajuato and Switzerland and is currently back in San Diego where she is working on new poems and hopes to publish soon. Saturday night, I had the pleasure of doing a reading with Lizz at the latest Vermin on the Mount reading series held in Chinatown. She is a dynamic, powerful performer whose poems should be read by all. To purchase any of her chapbooks, send Lizz an e-mail at Here is a sample from her chapbook, Hostage of Gravity:

“To Know”

Our fathers were working
men whose nails were
never clean, whose
bodies were leather, the
slick scent of oil, of metal.
Men who came home worn,
creased at the edges, tired
dollar bills.

Men who’s calloused hands
coaxed ballads out of
cracked guitars, coaxed laughter
out of their dusty sons
and dangerous daughters,
Our fathers were men who
would have loved to pluck
the mistakes out of our lives
like feathers from their tongues.
Men who killed suffering cats, not
given to sentiment. Men whose
souls aged overnight.

But today, our fathers
are aged men with bitter
bodies and livers swollen
to the size of their fears.
But we forgive them, a
thousand times a day.
Oh fathers, we beg to know-
how much of Abraham
you have within you?

What have you
sacrificed? What would
you offer if this tired
life was God’s altar
on Mount Moriah?
We, your Issacs, beg
to know, we beg
to know.

AMIGOS: At the very same performance where I met Lizz Huerta, Salvador Plascencia, author of the remarkable novel, The People of Paper (McSweeney’s Books), was in attendance and introduced himself. My review of his novel appeared recently on The Elegant Variation edited by the hardest working man in the blog-o-sphere, Mark Sarvas (who also was in attendance).

REVIEW: The prolific Rigoberto González (who has a birthday today!) offers a review of Sheryl Luna’s Pity the Drowned Horses (University of Notre Dame Press). Read more of Rigoberto’s El Paso Times reviews here.

FINALMENTE: The indefatigable Raymundo Eli Rojas has entered the blog-o-sphere with La Pluma Fronteriza. This is the blog counterpart of "Pluma Fronteriza" which was founded in 1999 and has become one of the most widely distributed publications in the history of Chicana(o) literature. Drop by and say hola.

All done. Until next Monday, enjoy the intervening posts from my compadres at La Bloga. ¡Lea un libro!


msedano said...

i woulda introduced myself, too, except i spent the day building a new jaula for the pollitas, and i was showing my age. damn, a little heat and hard work just kicked my ass. i used to be able to go all day then play all night.

what did you read? what guides your selection when you do a piece in public?

daniel olivas said...

i read three flash fiction pieces from "devil talk" and two poems. it was a young crowd (20 and 30 somethings) so i could touch on sex, politics, etc. because lizz and i were on the bill, the audience included a lot of gente, which was very cool.

Manuel Ramos said...

Another great post, Daniel. Thanks for the news about the Pluma blog, as well as the poem from Huerta. Did you take that photo? Classy. And congrats on the reading - hope it went well.

Anonymous said...

You were there, Sedano, and you didn't even say, "Hey, Fellow Bloguista!"?


daniel olivas said...

manuel: thank you. the picture of lizz was taken by an online publication who, i believe, will not sue me for using it (it's a chicano lit publication out of san diego). the reading was truly great. good energy, loving crowd...about 50 or so. lots of booze flowing (it was held upstairs from a wonderful bar called the mountain in chinatown).

msedano said...

como que venguenza. i have an excuse: i wasn't there, loco. but i've heard of that bar, my daughter speaks highly of it.


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