The Ghost of César Chávez

by David Dominguez

“By bringing us pear blossoms and knife blades, smells of salt and poison, Dominguez weaves an artful web out of the opposites that hold us together. History, both personal and communal, comes alive in the best way, here: through our bodies. As easily as we feel sprinkler water puddle under our toes, we also join Dominguez in the less sublime, but more poignantly human condition of gluttony (a box of Cheez-Its in one sitting—how often do you get to experience that guilty pleasure in a poem?). Even in encouraging his students to dream beyond the packinghouse, he foregrounds the physical: 'Give them queso ranchero, and then, tell them to share their words.' Read and savor these poems; join Dominguez 'eating figs from the garden' on his backyard patio for a plática poética—and finish fulfilled by the many ways his lively, compassionate narrations both awaken and placate new hungers.”
—Maria Melendez