an image diary

"And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be? ... You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream! If that there King was to wake you'd go out -- bang! -- just like a candle!"

"Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise."

"Well it's no use your talking about waking him when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

. . . . . . .


High platelet count, elevated ALT, fractionally high glucose ... indicators of infection, organ trauma, irreversible damage perhaps, and a future in insulin. What you get for enduring that irritable woman and her needle: I've been waiting for her most of my life: this is no surprise. All my elders went on insulin. Oh, the crackling in my knees, the years in miles. The other years I don't remember. Thirty some years ago someone cornered my fridge in my kitchen and plugged it in where it's been running ever since: the real age of the machine, the repairman said, shows up in the cogs. We two (the fridge and I) are something like the same age. I filled it with fish and broccoli yesterday. Something to do.


Meanwhile at last it's time to get busy. For a long time I thought I'd offer here brief readings of poems I love but put it off for getting 'round to it. (Rigoberto: "
My point here is that Chicanos and Latinos need to write their own criticism instead of waiting for critics with a weak understanding of our work to mistranslate.")

Another thing: "I don't cook for myself" means someday when I grow up I will. Got black beans and chile reducing on the stove. The makings of a beautiful dip.

So deadlines are useful.


[First a statement on criticism: for the critic forgets (me too) that authority isn't pandering to the law. For the law has so many conflicting desires motivating its selectivity, but most of them are about power, and authority isn't about power.

Authority isn't about the No-of-the-Father, either, not since it exhausted that option by bringing it to light decades ago, anyway. Or at least if authority is to remain on that level, it is choosing to remain on the level of forging categorical divisiveness, marginalization, hierarchy. I've said this here before. It does not matter what the critic chooses to hold up: where there is made an up, there is a down made too. This is Fallen World sensibility. The tree (of good versus bad) took root and felled the forest beneath it. Except it was not a tree, nothing as natural as that. It was a building. A tower, right?

In reality, authority in the hands of the critic stands in precisely the same relation to corruptibility, or to love, as art stands. Which is a metonymical--an artificial--and not an essential, relationship (so watch where you put that thing). I'm pretty sure authority is nothing more than service work, and that criticism has no true authority over art, and that criticism is itself equally not for art's sake. I mean that especially in the sense of that privilege which art so often takes over people, even negligibly. What I would author, critical or otherwise, is for my sake and for the sake of other people. Not the other way around.

If I prefer to live in an artificial world, though, I will hurt other people with it. It's that simple.
This is why personal opinion is so much roomier that critical evaluation. (There's a person in it.) In this way, then, if you accept it, I offer only my view points.]


"When Evening Becomes Stellar," Emmy Perez
The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry, Francisco Aragon, Editor, University of Arizona Press, 2007.

[in process]


"and what is the use of a book...without pictures or conversations?"

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