I'm excited to share one of my Chavez Ravine poems, "Mud-caked," has been published in the latest issue of The Los Angeles Review. Issue 9 features the work of Bruce Holland Rogers. Other contributors include Dana Gioia and Annie Finch.
"Mud-caked" is inspired by one of Don Normack's beautiful black and white photos that capture life in the now extinct Mexican neighborhoods of Chavez Ravine before homes were torn down for Dodger Stadium. The girl in the bottom left photo is the inspiration for my poem. I tried to give a glimpse of what her life may have been like with a thematic focus on ownership.
Photos are taken from Don Normack's Book Chavez Ravine: 1949.Excerpt from "Mud-Caked":
Boys can battle for brown-grassed hills,
but they won’t snatch Bunny
—one mud-caked, plump-stuffed bunny—
from her tight grip. When she goes in for the night
she will tie Bunny to a pipe with twine:
her bunny, her patch of dirt, her pipe and twine.
Like a horse at a saloon, she will tie Bunny up
before going in for supper, before her mother can say,
“Don’t you dare bring that filthy thing in,”