In his previous collections of poetry, Ray Gonzalez has traveled to the heart of the Southwestern and Mexican-American experience and emerged with poems of astonishing power. In Cabato Sentora, his fifth, Gonzalez revisits the themes he explored in his previous book, The Heat of Arrivals: the desert Southwest and its flowers and its scorpions; the search for self; and Gonzalez's own Chicano heritage and its often bitter history. Indeed, the book itself is dedicated to "the silence of my father and grandfathers. For the language of their silence."
"In this new collection, Ray Gonzalez locates the driven passion of poetry within his family, his ancestors, his people and their stories' root mysteries . . . Cabato Sentora is at once a ramifying and fulfilling book."
And, always, there is desire
like the orange and banana changing
texture on the kitchen shelf.
Their skins sink slowly into themselves.
There is the liquid of lust and thirst,
an open gloss of choice and cutting,
a lying down toward the wind,
the heaving you were warned about.
And, soon, there is love like
miniature spellings embedded in the shoulder,
waiting to be misspelled, washed,
brought back by perception that fades
with what moves below the arm,
hinging on a doubt cried away.
There is the mistake of giving name
to the prune, the print bitten off
and covered over by black hair--
its numbers kept secret,
long strands in the tale of the carpet,
the pomegranate, the hundred ways
of staying there.
And, besides, there is danger of riding desire
until it carves you into its swollen throat,
steel-cry of possession and the infinite blessing
of fingers missing from the first time,
fingernails tracing the shape of the strawberry
to memorize roughness without leaving.
There is the flavor and the understanding,
a place to rest the eye after traveling, a force that binds you together
without you knowing red marks
on your back are places where wings
would have risen if you were an angel.
© BOA Editions, Ltd. 1998