* weathering with sandra cisneros & sleater-kinney

Sometimes the books find you.

I remember Sandra Cisneros’ Loose Woman as one of the first books of poems I carried around with me, young and possessed of that particular hubris termed a calling to poetry (Even the phrasing of that reeks of hubris, no?).

I remember being in high school and even then struggling with how to deal with culture and words, how to balance a love of Yeats (wherever Innisfree was, it sounded dope and fancy) as well as for Juan Gabriel (try listening to “Querida” and not feeling something!).

What I was moved by most in reading Cisneros is her ability to bring such worlds together. She was the first writer I read to bring together worlds I knew – Texas, books, and, yes, heartbreak (highschool amiright?) – and show how they can coexist through the tension of words.

In the spirit of this “world-togethering,” I’ve decided to pair up this week’s poem with the video for Sleater-Kinney’s new song, “No Cities to Love.” The chorus of the song (There are no cities, no cities to love/It’s not the city, it’s the weather we love!) brought me back to Cisneros and her poems which taught me how to take note of weather.

Bay Poem from Berkeley – Sandra Cisneros

Mornings I still
reach for you before
opening my eyes.

An antique habit from
last summer when we pulled
each other into the heat of groin
and belly, slept with an arm
around the other.

The Texas sun was like that.
Like a body asleep beside you.

But when I open my eyes
to the flannel and down,
mist at the window and blue
light from the bay, I remember
where I am.

This weight
on the other side of the bed
is only books, not you. What
I said I loved more than you.

Though these mornings
I wish books loved back.


Happy weathering!


4 responses to “* weathering with sandra cisneros & sleater-kinney”

  1. Yes to all of this. I found Loose Woman in my high school library and read it in hiding because i was afraid my mom wouldn’t let me read it. Cisneros’ poems electrified me. She set me on a different course after that. Thanks for this today. Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks for sharing your Cisneros experience, Andrea! I feel Cisneros herself would appreciate the subterfuge 🙂

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