Monday, August 17, 2020

Ditch Water Poems

There was a time when I tried to read literary journals until I realized why they were utterly unreadable to me: all action resided in the head and everything took place, even childhood, within the city limits. And the city was always the same: blah blah big blah blah anonymous blah concrete blah metaphor for inner-self. Blah.

Give me someone who knows the taste of nopales and the palette of dirt possible beneath the fingernails after a hard day of work in the sun. Give me poverty and burning sex in the back of a car that needs a new engine. Give me the bruise of a prostitute's lip and the soapy smell of dishwater to wash my hands in. Give me the hope of selling drugs and sex as a way to mitigate the dead-end road that ended a few miles back.

Joseph Delgado's book of poetry offers writing that doesn't attempt to tame or domesticate the wildness of the human heart at the edge of destitution. His land is vast and populated with junkies and prostitutes and dear old aunts who can teach you to skin a rabbit or kill a man. The smell of oil, grease, tobacco, and sex are not piped in for the tourists but instead provide an accurate indication of the land's plentiful scarcity and lack. The taste of cheap beer and smoky guajillo permeates the forty-eight poems that make up this sexy AF collection. Ditch Water: Poems by Joseph Delgado is available by Kórima Press.

Drink deeply from the ditch.