Saturday, November 04, 2017

Lisa Alvarado - "It only looks like I'm sleeping."

Ah, mi gente, one of the things I love about La Bloga is its love and support for its blogistas, something I have experienced in spades. I was a regular for a while, and have made special guest appearances several times since then. I appreciate the chance to have had this Saturday spot for the last few months. It's a blessing to connect with talented writers and artists from all over the country, along with the wonderful writers of La Bloga.

This is my final post for now. I haven't been able to generate a consistent flow of interviews despite social media outreach Add to that sea level changes in me --- I'm not as driven to produce as I was a few years back. The people I have been able to interview offer our world much to celebrate. Another element is personal resources. Life has been challenging, to say the least.

To all the La Bloga familia, especially, Em, Rudy, Manuel, and Daniel, and to all the La Bloga readers and loyal followers, abrazotes y adios. I hope I catch you on the flip side.

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho' 
We are not now that strength which in old days 
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; 
One equal temper of heroic hearts, 
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will 
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


Bring on the Dark Ages, please.

I have seen the whitewashed world 
And I find it
I call up the bones of the ancestors 
To rise and weave the flesh upon itself
Rise from the ocean and slaveship shackles
And Rikers and Control Units and the back of police cars
Rise from Tlatelolco and East LA and Pilsen and the Bronx
Rise from burned down bodegas and sunscortched fields
Rise from Wounded Knee and smallpox blankets, 
Heart Mountain and shredded silk.
Rise, I beg of you
And color the world
Stain it with your hidden brilliance
Your beauty
And only you can undo this bleached and poisoned landscape.
I need your hue
Your tint
This place
This nation Needs your brown/black/red/yellow coloration.
New civilization
Older than the first breath

The Botany of Hope

Think, at this blessed moment: 
one thornless rose opens in the blue vase; 
that tarnished bargain treasure that you, wanderer,
ferreted out of chaos. 

You reading this — you know 
nothing of how it came to flower there, 
and I try to tell you that I wished it for you.

What knotted history twists its wild way
in your garden? That we can talk of easily, in
breathless laughter, between the war stories.

What flowers in secret 
inside the walls of your chest?
Is it longing? Fear? 

If I press my lips above your heart, 
will my kiss set it free?

Listen to the wind, the way it sighs every night.
The gates of heaven never close,
that’s our lesson, that’s our imperfect miracle.


And what good is a dream finally? It cracks your head open
and saxophone music pours out of your mother's window and
the one person you've loved like no other says it was a wrap
and you‘ve let him be, endings are what they are --
Paz y amor--You took back your Pandora’s box to heal years ago.
And there is peace and then and you see yourself with him-
Kissing everywhere. In the trees. On boats. Against the bathroom wall.

The grind of daily life never lifts and you've lost your check stubs and
and the dream dog wants to go outside please and just
when you think you're waking you're in the heart of the dream
and the dream breaks your head open.
Touching the hair of a friend at work who laughs at you. Flying
over burning cityscapes so close and so fearlessly that when you wake
there is ash between your legs. Your arms are tired and hang
at your sides like the wings of a bird who is about to die.

4:00 am
And what the hell do these dreams mean anyway? It breaks your heart,
and you stand in the lush dark of the moment no one can name
and you actually think you can write a poem--nothing makes
sense to you and you speak the words out loud for awhile and
then when no one answers you awkwardly sit down where you are.

5:15 am
And the stars overhead shine a little—no more or less than usual—
and whether it is daylight and they hide from you or whether it is night
and they are like embers. They shine and you are grateful.
Love is always a hammer.

New Mexico Diary

This place does not want you.
Or more to the point,
Your buildings that erupt thru the brown, cracked earth.
Groaning, pushing aside the scrub juniper and pinon.
What is called civilization shatters the land like and angry fist.
This place was not meant for tourists, or visitors.
Only the inheritors,
Only The People
Who knew this place, could live with it and on it.
Every morning
You understand this in a deeper way, City Girl.
As you drive past boxes like the ones you live in.
As you pass the palaces of those who think they’ve conquered.
But they will die, just as you will.
And the silent, waiting desert will remain.
No amount of throwback grooviness, big city real estate grabs,
Or carefully remembered  historias of la conquista will change that.
Nothing changes the quiet patience of dust and sand.
And one day tus huesos will crumble en algún otro tipo de polvo.
And no memorial will say more than the blink of the sun setting,
And the wind will whisper the true name of this place.


Daniel Cano said...

Lisa, your poetry is enough of a contribution to La Bloga. Thanks for posting such fine writing.

Amelia ML Montes said...

Gracias, Lisa, por tus palabras importantes. Hoping we will have you
as a guest every so often.

Melinda Palacio said...

Wishing you the best. I will miss your posts. Gracias! Thank you for being you.