MAKE THE LIGHT MINE
11 new poems from LUIS CUAUHTEMOC BERRIOZABAL
KSE #364 (poetry chapbook)
$6 postpaid in US / $7 postpaid elsewhere
payment via paypal to django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com
please include a note with your order listing what item you are ordering and also your mailing address (which paypal often fails to provide me)….thanks!
While contemporary poetry has painted itself into a corner in many ways and gets less relevant and more self-validating by the month, we’re all fortunate that independent poets such as LUIS CUAUHTEMOC BERRIOZABAL continue on, oblivious to trends. Luis has appeared in more than a hundred literary magazines, both online and print, and has a number of chapbooks, including seven from KSE since 2006 AND he was one of five featured poets in our POLYMORPHOUS URBAN: POEMS FOR LOU REED collection from 2014. Also, when we did the KSE 9th Anniversary event in Dallas last year, I read selections from three of KSE’s core poets over the years: the late Doug Draime, John Sweet, and Luis.
Two years is too long without something from him in print here, so I approached Luis about doing another chap of new work for KSE, and he graciously presented me with about 50 recent poems, all gems, and from those I selected 11 and sequenced them in a varied and ever-surprising running order, which serves as an excellent introduction for those unfamiliar with his work….and a fresh and exciting re-acquaintance for his many devoted readers.
Luis is certainly in the international lyric poem tradition, a tradition that is consistently being refreshed and remaining relevant. I know that when I am “introducing” someone to poetry, trying to get someone as excited as I am about poetry as an art form, I will often give that person a bilingual edition of Neruda. There is no pretentiousness there in his work—-just a depth and an elegance and an understanding of life, with lines constructed from the things of everyday life. Whatever one’s culture or time period, the work of someone like Neruda or Cavafy or even W. S. Merwin transcends walls and artistic movements and political situations to speak from heart to heart, from soul to soul. It provides a poetic hand extended from the page to the reader, ready to take you along.
Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal writes beautiful lyric poetry that uses unadorned language and an understated voice to pull the reader IN to his world. His use of the “poet” narrative persona is masterful and never calls attention to itself. The speaker is a poet, the way another man might be a chef or an auto mechanic or a carpenter, and he uses the tools of his trade to understand the world….and to make the world a little bit more understood for those who read his work. His poetic voice is calm but his content can deal with the tragedy and loss and pain of life, and often there are subtle non-sequiters or the narrator expresses delusional tendencies. There is also a kind of incantatory quality developed from everyday detail—-the kind of thing one can find in, say, Gertrude Stein or Toni Cade Bambara’s works. Luis’s poetry grows out of….and creates on the page….a world full of orange groves and gravel roads and dimly-lit furnished rooms and half-melted ice cream cones and unshaven grandfathers….and longing for a better tomorrow. Reading Luis’s poems (and they always read well ALOUD too) reminds one why poetry does matter to real people living real lives. Thus, KSE is proud to present this new collection from a contemporary voice that deserved to be heard, to be pondered, to be savored. LUIS CUAUHTEMOC BERRIOZABAL.
Luis is also a master of “voice” as an entryway into character. In his day-job, Luis is a professional whose position requires him to LISTEN to a lot of people, to read between the lines of what they say, and to anticipate their needs and what they are REALLY trying to say….or trying to avoid saying. He brings that kind of sensitivity to his work–each poem is spoken by characters whose language defines their worlds and their thought processes. You are inside their heads, seeing through their eyes, and USING THEIR VOCABULARY AND THEIR SYNTAX when you are within the world of one of Luis’s poems.
Whenever I speak with Luis, he is always introducing me to a Latin American or European lyric poet I’ve never heard of, or ONLY heard of but not read, and I’m always the richer for it. I wish he had a blog where he discussed his voluminous reading!
Get your own copy of MAKE THE LIGHT MINE, 11 new poems from Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal…..only $6 US / $7 elsewhere, postpaid. Ordering information at the top of this page.
KSE also offers many other chapbooks of contemporary poetry and CDR albums of experimental music. Check the “available” page on the top right of your screen.
As always, thanks for your interest and support over KSE’s ten years!
previous KSE poetry chapbooks from Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal (all out of print)
KSE #59, Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, “Without Peace.”
KSE #82, Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, “Keepers of Silence.”
KSE #100, Ronald Baatz & Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, “Next Exit: Seven.”
KSE #103, Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, “Garden of Rocks.”
KSE #122, Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal. “Still Human.”
KSE #141, Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal & Cynthia Etheridge, “Overcome.”
KSE #174, Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, “Digging a Grave.”
KSE #272 (poetry chapbook) POLYMORPHOUS URBAN: POEMS FOR LOU REED, featuring new Reed-inspired poetry from LUIS CUAUHTEMOC BERRIOZABAL, JIM D. DEUCHARS, MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH, A. J. KAUFMANN, and MATT KREFTING. Art by David Payne.