Review and Q&A: You Know What I'm Sayin'?
Author: Daniel Garcia Ordaz
Books are read, you know what i'm sayin'? But before I opened the pages to this classic from El Zarape Press (2011), I had been privileged to watch the author recite them at several events in south Texas. This collection seeps through my ears and plays a Miles Davis horn, puts me in the living room in East Los Angeles squeezed between my mom and dad watching El Chavo del Ocho.
These poems are alive!
A fantastic play on words and language. It's got soul, history and a few of my favorite che's sung to the tune of "These Are a Few Of My Favorite Things."
This is a sample of how he can take a classic song and make it a great poem. One of his most popular among other gems. Another of my favorite poems in this collection is, "Why Come Nobody Tol' Me Dat?"
It's the child we left behind as we matured and learned some stuff...
"Why come nobody tol' me dat
there ain't no "cheeder-leaders"
with little "mimi" skirts and "pon-pons"
The titled poem "You Know What I'm Sayin'?" is an interaction between the reader and himself. In YKWIS? Garcia Ordaz talks to the masses, all ages and all classes. It's a history tour...playing with humor and this:
And where were you when you heard
That famous spoken word:
"In an apparent terrorist attack on our country..."
that day in September?
I saw more into the soul and depth of Garcia Ordaz's poetry when I stopped listening and started reading. There's a flavor here, there's music, there's education, there's blues, there's gritos and a real truth to the lines that will make you smile and cry. It'll peel away at the layers of your soul, I assure you. Don't say I didn't tol' you dat!
Q &A with Author: Daniel Garcia Ordaz
What is your purpose for writing? I write poetry because I have to write. I wake up in the middle of the night with ideas that need jotting down. I write poetry because poets are the comedians and observers of humanity. We're the town criers. We announce what is happening and what is to come when society doesn't recognize what's happening around them. I write because poetry makes babies. Poetry makes the world go' round. Poetry's in our music, in our advertising, in our daily conversations.
Are you planning to publish another book in the near future? I'm taking my last two classes for an MFA in Creative Writing from UT-Pan American, so I'm saving any personal collection for possible publication with my thesis. However, in the meantime, I continue to edit and write for publication in anthologies.
Who's your favorite poet living and gone? My favorite poetry comes from the Bible. The pretty and the ugly parts. My first love of words came from The Book. Favorite poets include Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Pablo Neruda, and I love the poetic prose by Luis Alberto Urrea, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but I also feed off the many peers and colleagues in poetry circles in the Rio Grande Valley.
You are living in south Texas, there is an influx of refugees coming from the other side of the border...What's a poet to do? For better or for worse the words of poets have led people to war, whether in a theater of combat operations or on the sports playing fields. So at a time like this where the media comes to our background filled with misinformation. It's up to us to call them out when they start sharing wrong information--the little and big things. It's up to the poets to be the voice of the people, set politics aside, and tell it like it is. A poet can protest, lend a hand, give a voice--or rather an echo because each human being must be respected to have his or her own voice--be a supporter of truth.
Born in L.A., CA in 1973, Edward Vidaurre has been been published in several anthologies and literary journals among them La Bloga, Bordersenses, La Noria, Left Hand of the Father, Brooklyn & Boyle - Boundless Anthology of the Valley International Poetry Festival 2011, 2012, & 2013. His book 'I Took My Barrio On A Road Trip'(Slough Press) was released in 2013. Vidaurre's second collection insomnia (El Zarape Press 2014) is now available.