Boomerang: Poems by Brenda Cárdenas

by Sampsonia Way    /  August 31, 2010  / No comments

Brenda Cárdenas’ poetry works itself into the folds of overlapping worlds: Spanish and English intermingle with ideas of childhood and adulthood, song and poem, and day and night. Her topics, in the midst of transition, maintain individuality within the patterns of a collective. Words push and pull in a delicate dance; their hard, stand-alone meanings (fear, zigzag, zero) are tempered with lilting, soothing rhythms, like a provocative duende mixed with mother’s lullaby.

In Boomerang, her recently released collection from Bilingual Press, Cárdenas uses this form to obscure the constancies that define our every-day world.

Empty Spaces

She is a switchblade afraid of the hint in a two-second glint that
might spring you an arms length away. I fear. She kisses close, to
shut the open gate of hunger, heavy-footed as history perched on
her chest. Empty spaces. She never rests. Stumbling through the
clutter of language, she rummages cramped closets for her lost
sounds—i greigas y erres—tumbling like marbles spilled in the
attic. Spaces I fear. She mainlines white noise—a guest persistent
as rain flooding her muted room. Spaces. She adds another hue to
the walls crawling with orange and blue that zigzag the curves of
her world to the ceiling. I fear empty spaces. She is reeling in a
ravenous subjunctive that would doubt its own bones were it not
for her grip slipping from your moist shoulders to the winter of
metal bedposts. Spaces I empty. She grinds against you, minding
only the bland blue sky that filters through the O’Keefe hollow of
her pelvis. I empty fear. In this abyss, she comes, braying the
silence away.

Like this poem? Read another Cárdenas original: Calculations

“Empty Spaces” and “Calculations” from Boomerang by Brenda Cárdenas, copyright (c) 2009 by Bilingual Press. Used by permission from Bilingual Review Press, Tempe, Arizona.

Read Sampsonia Way’s interview with Brenda here.

Read Brenda’s bio here.

CLICK HERE to buy a copy of Boomerang.

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

View all articles by Sampsonia Way

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