The Heat of Arrivals

The Heat of Arrivals

by Ray Gonzalez, Ray Gonzc!lez, Ray Gonzlez
     
 

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Ray Gonzales takes the reader to the heart of the Chicano/American Southwest experience. His is the voice of the desert flowers, hardscrabble border cities, the scorpion, the snake, adobes, petroglyphs, arroyos, and mesas. The poems tell the stories of Native peoples and invading Westerners and the Chicano fathers and grandfathers who have long been silent.

Overview

Ray Gonzales takes the reader to the heart of the Chicano/American Southwest experience. His is the voice of the desert flowers, hardscrabble border cities, the scorpion, the snake, adobes, petroglyphs, arroyos, and mesas. The poems tell the stories of Native peoples and invading Westerners and the Chicano fathers and grandfathers who have long been silent.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his fifth collection, Gonzales resurrects ghosts of long-dead Indians and Mexicans, mythic mountain men, relatives, snakes, scorpions, and lizards in his continuing exploration of Chicano heritage and self-identity. The Chicano and Native American references will be recognizable enough to non-Hispanics, but Gonzalez's frequent intensely personal allusions may prove less accessible. The sequence called "The Snake Poems," referring to an incident in which an adolescent Gonzalez failed to kill a deadly rattlesnake, grapple with this unresolved childhood conflict: "I go to the adobe house,/ regress into the snake boy I've hated." The final section, from which this collection's title is taken, is a departure. Here the recurring desert images give way to urban scenes; the search for self moves toward the creation of self, and the safety of simple language gives way to a somewhat tentative experimentation with incongruous grammar. The most vivacious poem in this sequence, "Praise the Tortilla, Praise Menudo, Praise Chorizo," reads like "Fern Hill" if Dylan Thomas could hang with the homeboys. It's a bittersweet prayer for a life consumed by time as quickly as one relishes spicy menudo: "our lives going down like the empty bowls/ of menudo with the chili piquin of our poetic dreams." This vibrant poem suggests the arrival of a new, unpredictable stage in Gonzalez's careerif he'd only exorcise those ancestral spirits, kill that snake and release the vato loco in him. (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781880238387
Publisher:
BOA Editions, Ltd.
Publication date:
09/01/1996
Series:
American Poets Continuum Series
Pages:
90
Product dimensions:
6.23(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.60(d)

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