Juliana Aragón Fatula

writer

Review of Crazy Chicana in Catholic City

on June 3, 2017

 

2012_chicana_3x4 condundrum book cover (2)

Written by Rodney GomezRodney Gomez

 

Hello and thank you for accepting my friend request. I wanted to send you a quick note of appreciation and thanks. I finished reading Crazy Chicana in Catholic City this week and wanted you to know how much I loved it. I don’t know what to say about this book except that I am in awe of it. I am in awe of how much is here, in simple lines, that gets right to my core and has moved me to write. There’s no bullshit here, it’s just honesty and wisdom and a lot of hurt and laughter. The book is a complete, real person. There are so many lines/sections I kept marveling over:

 

 

 

“Latino man with no mojo.

 

Wishes the missionaries

 

stayed in Espanola

 

he could’ve been just another

 

vato loco in Tenochtitlan

 

gettin’ his groove on.”

 

 

 

“My parents ate beans, beans, and more beans,

 

they broke their backs in fields for us.”

 

 

 

I read a lot of this as tribute to your parents who, like mine, sacrificed everything for their children. I’m just a pocho from South Texas but I connect with your family, the way you describe the faux elements of the church and the beautiful but brutal surroundings in the last section, Garden of Eden. “Bloody Cookies” is glorious. I laughed but it was the kind of laugh you get when you’ve finally put two and two together and discovered something new. “Bilateral Mammogram Dx-Hx Right Breast Asymmetry” is so beautiful. I was floored by the imagery, the way you frame the story to have the reader think nothing good is coming at the end, but then we see this life propagating itself, never ending, and there is solace there. “rage” is a masterwork. One of the things that has always drawn me to Anzaldua is her championing of the weirdos, the rejects, the ones who don’t belong, the in-betweeners. And in this poem I feel you are providing a poetry of the outsider, a blueprint for that kind of poetry that refuses to be fenced in, kept back. Well the whole book is like that, but this poem in particular.

 

 

 

Thank you so much for writing it! I know how sometimes we don’t hear praise for our work and the soul we put into it. I wanted to make sure you knew you had a big fan.  I want to read more of your stuff, definitely.

 

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