Breaking Bread With the Darkness: Book 1: The Esai Poems

Breaking Bread With the Darkness: Book 1: The Esai Poems

by Jimmy Santiago Baca, Carolyn Forch
     
 

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He wakes from his afternoon siesta,/
flapping legs and hands,/
a bluebird perched on the birch/
branch of mother's arm/
ready to raid/
cornfields/
in his father's heart/

THE ESAI POEMS is the first of four books under the series title of BREAKING BREAD WITH THE DARKNESS by American Book Award recipient Jimmy Santiago Baca. The Esai poems

Overview

He wakes from his afternoon siesta,/
flapping legs and hands,/
a bluebird perched on the birch/
branch of mother's arm/
ready to raid/
cornfields/
in his father's heart/

THE ESAI POEMS is the first of four books under the series title of BREAKING BREAD WITH THE DARKNESS by American Book Award recipient Jimmy Santiago Baca. The Esai poems are a poignant blend of Baca's wonder of his and his partner's newborn son, and the thoughts and observations of the world he will be inheriting, includlding, including war, racism, indifference and greed.

Through Esai the wonder-struck new father explores the idealic world of his family through Esai's new eyes,
"He studies his hands as if they are newly discovered planets . . .”

but realizing the harsh realities of our times adds perspective with juxtapositions:

"I'll wait to tell him how in some places armies cut off the hands of rebels...”

Written as a series of thematically connected and dated poems, moving back and forth between ideas, The Esai Poems are some of Baca's strongest poetic work. Already father of two grown sons, Baca explors the implications of beginning another family with another woman. Subsiquent volumes will include explorations of self and family with Essays and Stories, The Lucia Poems (to his young daugher), and to his son, Tones and Gabe Poems and Essays.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781890932398
Publisher:
Asher, Sherman Publishing
Publication date:
04/06/2011
Series:
Breaking Bread With the Darkness
Pages:
112
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

12-19-03

The day Saddam Hussein was captured/
president Bush bestowed billion-dollar/ kickback contracts/
to CEO mobsters in the oil racket/
to rebuild cities he ordered bombed,/
my woman was cutting my hair in the/ bathtub;/
I was standing up naked while you sat on/ the bathroom floor, Easi,/
gazing up at my penis, looking down at/ yours,/
making all kinds of guttural sounds;/
after showering, /
we sat in your playroom,/
I sat on the footstool and slapped my penis/
against my thigh, you laughed,/
growled and I slapped my penis again and again/
until you fell backward laughing so hard/
the whole time grunting at me more to make me/
whack my penis/
against my inner thigh./
That's the kind of Americans we are,/
penis-whackers,/
not war-mongers./

Meet the Author

Born in New Mexico of Indio-Mexican descent, Jimmy Santiago Baca was raised first by his grandmother and later sent to an orphanage. A runaway at age 13, it was after Baca was sentenced to five years in a maximum security prison that he began to turn his life around: he learned to read and write and unearthed a voracious passion for poetry. He is the winner of the Pushcart Prize, the American Book Award, the International Hispanic Heritage Award and for his memoir A Place to Stand the prestigious International Award. His first novel, A Glass of Water was published in 2009.

Though Forché is sometimes described as a political poet, she considers herself a poet who is politically engaged. Her second book, The Country Between Us (1981), was published with the help of Margaret Atwood. It received the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and was also the Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets. Her articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Esquire, Mother Jones, and others. Forché has held three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1992 received a Lannan Fou

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