David Bowles's Blog: Meme Floe
May 27, 2016
My poem “Potter at Chaco” will be appearing in the anthology Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, edited by Scott Wiggerman and Cindy Huyser, coming soon from Dos Gatos Press.
May 19, 2016
Ghosts of the Rio Grande Valley is now available for pre-order! Part of the Haunted America series from The History Press, my latest book features seventeen harrowing hauntings from deep South Texas, each accompanied by illustrations by José Meléndez and photographs by Alexis Tran.
Here’s the description:
Tradition meets tragedy in the chilling local lore of the Rio Grande Valley. Hidden in the dense brush and around oxbow lakes wait sinister secrets, unnerving vestiges of the past and wraiths of those claimed by the winding river. The spirit of a murdered student in Brownsville paces the locker room where she met her end. Tortured souls of patients lost in the Harlingen Insane Asylum refuse to be forgotten. Guests at the LaBorde Hotel in Rio Grande City report visions of the Red Lady, who was spurned by the soldier she loved and driven to suicide. Author David Bowles explores these and more of the most harrowing ghost stories from Fort Brown to Fort Ringgold and all the haunted hotels, chapels and ruins in between.
Here’s the cover:
April 29, 2016
April 26, 2016
My poem “Braided Soul” will appear in IMANIMAN: Poets Reflect on Transformative & Transgressive Borders Through Gloria Anzaldúa’s Work, edited by Ire’ne Lara Silva and Dan Vera, coming November 2016 from Aunt Lute Books.
April 24, 2016
In the April 24, 2016 edition of the San Antonio Express News, there is a fantastic review of The Smoking Mirror, penned by the redoubtable Bryce Milligan.
April 19, 2016
On Tuesday, April 19, I was interviewed by Jason Henderson of the Castle of Horror podcast concerning my latest book, A Kingdom Beneath the Waves, and other looming projects.
Listen in by clicking the embed below.
April 15, 2016
Appearing in the latest edition of the journal Asymptote are my English translations of two Nahuatl poems from the Aztec codex Songs of Mexico (Cantares mexicanos).
April 14, 2016
Author and padrino of Latino spec-fic Ernest Hogan has reviewed A Kingdom Beneath the Waves (Garza Twins #2) for La Bloga.
“A Kingdom Beneath the Waves is one of the most imaginative fantasies I’ve read in years,” Hogan declares. “Latinos of all varieties will find things to identify with, and the book is so action-packed its appeal will be global.”
April 5, 2016
This poem was originally published in the fall 2015 edition of BorderSenses.
It was 1983. Saturdays, my dad would rouse me early,
The dawn fumbling blind through the dense south Texas fog,
And we’d drive across the bridge into Nuevo Progreso,
The river roiling and rushing far below.
I was always struck by the skewed sameness,
The familiar differences that tease the mind,
The town a shadow sister of mine and others along the verge
Of here and there, Spanish in mostly all the expected spots,
English missing from official signage but cropping up
Unexpected like hints of jalapeño in the midst of sweetness,
Tourists smiling delighted at the broken but earnest messages
Of curio shops and street vendors, dentists and cops.
We would have breakfast in the same restorán,
Dad sipping café de olla while I drank my chocolate,
Savoring the hints of cinnamon and vanilla,
Sweat beading my face as I ate my huevos rancheros.
We would stroll along the uneven sidewalks, perusing goods,
Dad stopping to chat with strangers or familiar faces,
All of them willing, time-worn greetings and topics interwoven
Into a woof my adolescent eyes could nearly see in the air,
Dense Spanish sparkling with ancient hospitality.
I was the silent güero, pale and freckled, so unlike my darker father,
But my copper hair was tussled all the same.
We would load the car with Mexican cokes and Joya,
So much tastier, more refreshing than American drinks,
Glass bottles tinkling like angel bells,
And driving out to the edge of town to the Pemex station,
We would fill dad’s guzzler to the brim with gasoline
Before heading home.
I remember asking once, as he paid the attendant and exchanged a joke,
Why we could speak Spanish despite our surname,
Why all my cousins were Garza and Pérez and Casas,
Why I was cursed to stand out not just because of my Anglo mother
But also because of his imprecise heritage,
A man that straddled ethnicities without a word of explanation.
“We are border folk,” he said with a wry grin, “bloodlines
That cross and recross boundaries of river and class and culture.
Each of us is who he is, wholly unique unto himself,
A wondrous admixture of language and tradition.
Do not be ashamed. There is no limit you cannot cross,
For you are frontier-forged.”
Now, thirty years later, I traverse that bridge with my own son,
Dark like my father, child of a Mexican mother and this ineffable man.
I pull into a spot along the empty streets, a quick “ahí le encargo”
To the brown-shirted, entrepreneurial, ad-hoc parking attendant.
We walk together into the same eatery. I have coffee, he sips chocolate.
There is a stillness here that worries me, an unraveling of tapestries
That seems to mirror my own losses. On the street, music jangles awkward
Into the emptiness. A few tourists ignore government warnings
And wander like us. Vendors smile and hawk their wares,
Willing to chat though with a forced casualness
That their twitching eyes belie.
My son wants us to hurry. We have come to pick up his glasses.
That is what this place has become for me: cheap medicine and car repair.
The border is diminished, border folk unmoored.
I give the attendant a ten-peso coin.
We drive back in silence.
The river roils, rushes.