Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Lisa Alvarado

I dust off the cinders
after thinking about you.
Ashes, ashes, everywhere.
These words bind my wounds,
like a salve to scorched flesh,
charred but still here.
Memory is a scar;
a ritual marking, a thing of value.
and stubborn;
and triumphant,
from a place that is tender, deeply so.
I am elegantly marked
in memoriam,
and set apart
from those who came before
and those who’ve come after.
I send these words
to return the favor.


Lisa Alvarado

I don’t want some young boy
rife with bad French poetry,
trying to give me le petit morte.
Come and get me, Boneshaker.
Baby, you know who you are.
The one who’ll grab it by the throat before it’s gone.
Honey, I’m a Soul-eater.
Dark with shadow,
I’m the Reaper, and it’s harvest time.
Armageddon in your arms?
Bring it on, baby, bring it on,
I’ve got something for you.
The others didn’t make it.
But baby, you’re smarter than that.
Older than dirt.
Dirtier than love.
Slip it to me, do it to me, do it right.
Honey, put the hurt on me,
black and true blue.
Give me that cadaver’s ring.
She doesn’t need it anymore,
and I’ve got plans for you.
Yellow-eyed and low down,
entrails bleached white.
I’ve got that hard luck story.
I need someone to do it right.
Kiss me baby, harder.
Honey, it’s coming, can’t you see?
You know you want it, sweet thing.
C’mon, baby, tell me.
I’ll drag my fingers down your face,
find your favorite artery.
I’ll be a good girl, baby.
and close your eyes for free.


Lisa Alvarado is a journalist, poet, performer, and installation artist.
Her first novel, Sister Chicas (written with Ann Hagman Cardinal and Jane
Alberdeston) was bought by Penguin/NAL, and released in April 2006. Sister
Chicas is a coming of age story concerning the lives of three young
Latinas living in Chicago. Sister Chicas won 2nd place Best First Novel in
English (Latino Literacy Now/2007). Her book of poetry, Raw Silk Suture,
is the newest release by Floricanto Press, and was reviewed by Rigoberto

Lisa is the founder of La Onda Negra Press, and is the author of Reclamo
and The Housekeeper’s Diary, originally a book of poetry and now a
one-woman performance, and is the recipient of grants from the Department
of Cultural Affairs, The NEA, and the Ragdale Foundation. Lisa has also
completed an ambitious trilogy of performance pieces, REM/Memory, Bury The Bones and Resurgam, whose themes are the culture of violence, popular
culture and personal redemption. She was also honored as one of seven
Hispanic Authors of the Year by the State of Illinois, 2009.


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