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Friday, October 30, 2009

the day before (bits)

tomorrow is the first deadline for a contest that i want to enter. i think i'm going to make it. i think.
the starbucks' sound system is playing a jewel tune. yuck.
i'm really stessing about the third section of my ms. it's a nine-part code-switching sequence. it employs spanish/ spanglish/ english and it's full of references to mexican pop culture/ history. it borrows language from robert hayden and corridos. it's a poem i wrote for chicano/a ears. in fact, if the reader doesn't know spanish/ mexican history then i doubt the reader will "get" the poem. and i kinda like that. one goal of the poem is to induce a sense of linguistic loss/ confusion in monolingual readers.

i think some monolingual contest screeners/ judges might toss out my ms because they don't "get" the sequence. but then i remember there are books out there with code-switching poems: bird eating bird, matadora, some clarifications y otra poemas, poeta en san francisco. these collections give me hope.
jewel is singing that she has small hands. who gives a flying fuck, jewel.
why am i so full of self-doubt? i know all poets suffer self-doubt, but i think i would medal in the self-doubt olympics.


Jills said...

Didn't you read Margaret Atwood's speech at the Whiting ceremony? I think it was for Nami Mun. But it's for all of us.

"It's time for a bracing quote from Tennyson," she said. "'Doubt not, go forward. If thou doubt, the beasts will tear thee piecemeal.'"

carrie said...

keep your code switching. anzaldua.

Suzanne said...

Not all poets suffer self-doubt -- only the good ones! ;-)

I heard that Brenda Cardenas had an amazing paper at the Wind Shifts Panel the other night, it was on the exact topic of your third section.

I can't wait to read your book!

Radish King said...

So what if your reader doesn't get the poem? It's their job to do the work, not yours to worry. I say fuck em if they can't take a joke or figure it out. I for one, am most excited to read your nine part code switching sequence. And that other thing, trust your reader. Oh yeah, and one more thing, no one knows what the hell I'm writing about ever, but so what?