Friday, April 30, 2010

the rest


Came back from Sinaloa and have had a cold. It could be worse. One of my aunts has dengue fever and a few other family members have some sort of parasite, aka the fast shits. I can totally deal with a head cold.

I bought a ton of oilcloth while in Mexico and even though I've been too sick to sew I have cut out several pieces and am ready to make new bags as soon as I have the energy.

I know my body fairly well and can feel how the sickness moves from place to place. It starts behind my eyes then moves into my throat. I always have one night I can't sleep because of the burning. Then it moves into my sinuses, I sneeze and drip like crazy for two days and finally it exits through my throat and lungs, leaving me feeling parched and often without a voice. I don't have a voice right now but hope to have it back by tonight because I have a reading at Voz Alta. I'm debuting new poems.

I've been working on two shorts stories since I returned from Sinaloa. Really trying to get my prose voice back. I love narrative but I have a hard time sticking with it. I am not as focused as I should be and often don't know how to tie the ends up. But I'm working in it. This weekend I'm taking a class at San Diego Writers Ink on Making the Unreal Real. One of the shorts I've been working on is rooted in magical realism so I hope this class gives me for footing. The story started with a Vicente Fernandez song and I've weaved a couple of my dreams into it. We'll see. I dig it so far. The other story is a little more complicated but I'm hoping that I can tell it the way I want to. Fiction is tough for me because I don't practice it the way I practice poetry. B read the beginning on my rooster story last night and told me it sounded like a prose poem. I guess that's good but I want the story to be as strong as the language.

One of the reasons I so want to get back into fiction is that while I was in Sinaloa I finally read The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Urrea. It killed me with beauty. I haven't read a book like that in years. I enjoyed the story enough and the mythology woven throughout but the language did me in completely. I wanted to wrap the prose around me and sink into the earth with it. I've read Mr. Urrea's other work and have always enjoyed his writing. I'm applying to work with him at Squaw Valley this summer. I hope to get into his workshop. Time to concentrate on fiction.

My Sinaloa trip was more beautiful that I can explain. It was busy and full of partying but I had a couple of pure moments that I will remember forever. One was Monday at sunrise in the mango orchard. The mango huerta actually, my last name means orchard. I could smell the mangos ripening and the earth, loamy and old. I was with an uncle helping him tie little packets of insect larvae to his trees to fight the plague. He was several rows away from me, singing softly to himself. Crows were circling overhead, their cries were higher than the crows I'm used to. The light filtered through the leaves of the trees and I was full of joy. Completely at peace.

Good things are coming. I feel it. Mexico still calls and I know I have to return soon, my blood is begging to go back. I should build my little house there. A place I can return to. Swing in my own hammock.

this song has been in heavy rotation as I've been writing.

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