“I emerged from the black oil pools in the forgotten house of dreams in the wild backcountry of the heart. I am heir to the sun, child of Mother Earth and the Mayan galaxy. All the mountain cures and healing waters and winds and junipers run deep in my bloodstream.” – Jimmy Santiago Baca
My hells have been relatively minor. A few puffs of smoke compared to Jimmy Santiago Baca’s early life. If I had lived on the streets as a child, sat in solitary confinement or amidst the convicts on death row, would I be able to embroider words as he does? His every turn of phrase undulates through me, refreshing my mind with possibility. We speak the same language. We access the same dictionary and thesaurus. Yet, I am unable to weave tapestries from words as he does. Or perhaps it is because I emerged from the freshly mown lawns of the suburban homes of delusion in the pseudo-estates of the mind. I am scion of the mall, spawn of wasted time and the manufactured, white middle class universe. All the Mountain Dew and Cheetos and gossip mongering and manicured shrubbery bleed out of me. I am fill in the blank.