Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Quotes from Working in the Dark

I read the book Working in the Dark by Jimmy Santiago Baca and Adan Hernandez, and here are selected quotes pulled from it:

(NOTE: Most of these are probably fragments of sentences, because I only pulled the good parts. So try to take in the imagery and ignore the context.)

While the president’s son in the Rose Garden snares a butterfly into his net and rips off its wings.

Ocean moaning in her blood vessels.

My heart is a cow’s tongue slowly licking a block of ice.

Poetry sits in God’s chair when God is absent.

I reach my bladed hands into the haunted heart of the woman made lonely by her beauty, because she is too beautiful for men to love her soul.

And when I finish a poem I measure its authenticity against their hearts’ reality and their imagination. The voice of poetry runs steadily and faithfully in the veins of all children.

My ears and arms become pollen sacks where butterflies and bees pollinate in language.

In the poem I plant my seed and lick the birth-film from each vowel.

My dove self is eaten and my wolf self growls.

The privilege of poets is that they can become all things in the act of creation, everything –and nothing.

And gently bit her lips.

I have failed many times to water the tree that grows in the heart.

I want to embrace all of life, the beautiful and the ugly, to sit with cowards and warriors and listen to them all.

Each true poem is the pear-handled pistol you point at your heart.

Let poetry be your open space that you transverse with courage.

He can sing the most hidden secrets of the heart. And these are gifts from God.

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