|Natural Takeover of Small Things|
by Tim Z. Hernandez
The culture of the West and Western Latino culture permeate Hernandez's poetry. Readers experience the pride embodied by hardworking men and women, as well as substandard living conditions, wasted lives, and personal loses. But there is also taste and smell to savor in Hernandez's poetry: menudo, lengua, the fruits of the valley, the earthy smell of the campo -- the beauty and the tragedy.
This 80 page book is divided into three sections: The Arms in Dead Heat, San Joaquin Sutra, and Natural Takeover of Small Things.
I. Arms in Dead Heat includes memories of life in the San Joaquin Valley beginning with the poem that hooked me, Home:
Fresno is the inexhaustible nerveII. San Joaquin Sutra describes the beauty and the tragedy;
in the twitching leg of a dog [...]
[...]III. Natural Takeover of Small Things is full of reflections on those little details that make up life and bring eventual death, the letting go of one life to begin another. Adios, Fresno says is all . . .
San Joaquin Valley,
where tired faces water quaint gardens with cut hoses,
bending to bury
the corn next to the sugarcane, reaching
for the avocado on the highest branch,
the melon's elusive fragrance
in all directions toward all the windows in all the houses on all the streets,
sweet invisible nectars drifting
in vastness of big sky
where taunts a kite
☀ ☀ ☀San Joaquin -
where sickly bodies of old Texan mothers draped in aprons of sunflower
and waning seasons sit idly by, waiting for some slick cancer to escort
their last days to proms of disintegration, while the souls of
twitch anxious habits for workloads of the waiting day, [...]
You could use more letters of love.
Here, take these. You owe me nothing, except back pay.
But I won't mention it again.
Trust me when I say I'll have no regrets leaving you. [...]
Series: Camino del Sol: A Latina and Latino Literary Series
ARC provided by Publisher: The University of Arizona Press
Publication Date: February 21, 2013
All poetry quotes taken from Natural Takeover of Small Things by Tim Z. Hernandez. © Tim Z. Hernandez, 2013.