I am wowed by the verbal dexterity. The lyrical consciousness is intriguing and the imagery is captivating. Alverez is a mesmerizing storyteller and a prolific poet. The Poet dishes a sumptuous literary toasted bread and a poetry refreshment and it is difficult to resist. The scintillating rock guitar string rhythm within, pounds our heart caves like the echo of an African drum throb. It raves our mental- roofs with the verve of unexpected summer whirlwinds. The legendary poet in Alvarez is a traveler, a chronicler and an unapologetic surrealist and has mastered the art of realism. I do not want to spoil the broth. Let me say we are proud to feature the internationally celebrated Poet, Accomplished Writers Projects Curator, Acclaimed Literary Publications Editor and Award -winning Author CELIA LISSET ALVAREZ- (Blurb by Mbizo CHIRASHA).
Poetry from Shapeshifting (Spire Press 2006).
I will stop waiting:
for the poetry that won’t ever come
for the feisty grandmothers who loved men
and baked weapons out of wheat
for the colorful aunts who were raped as virgins
and bled jewels, rubies and garnets
now buried by the sea like evil children
for cousins who went bad, became movie stars
or revolutionaries, or saints
for men who teach about the flesh
with liquor or guitars.
you must give up your stupid, girlish romance;
You must not ask me:
to make music for you out of sirens, chainsaws
and ice-cream trucks, the lullabies
of air conditioners and generators
or even of the rain.
You will not learn anything from me.
You must make sense of your own demons,
the witches and the Africans you burned
the fields of corn you left untended
to grow money.
I won’t be your sad Indian, I won’t
cry a single tear for you
or talk about “my people” without sarcasm.
In fact, I have no people.
Make sure you understand: I have nothing
to declare, nothing to confess.
There is only one road in: LeJeune,
with its multiple lanes draining the airport
of its sludge. All that matters is leaving.
Then the tract houses in discount shades
of deco: Flamingo Pink, Phlegmatic Mint,
All the boys
wear their crotches low, big shoes and puffed heads,
short legs, empty threats.
All day long the women sweep the porches
out into the street, sweep, sweep, all day long.
All day long the traffic groans
like a birthing woman,
all day long and all night, too.
This is the city that never sleeps,
that works all day.
The old men, too tired to stand or sit,
wait on their haunches
for the liquor store to open.
In a few hours they turn into beer bottles
girdled in brown paper bags, scratched-off
lotto tickets, spit thick as bird shit.
They go back to the dog track,
to Mango Hill, to their daughter’s houses.
The women sigh like bus brakes.
There are no girls in Hialeah.
The factories stack up like cardboard boxes.
All day long they make uniforms and
Every corner has a clinic,
a convenience store, a gas station, a fast-food pit.
I never lived in Hialeah.
from The Stones (Finishing Line Press 2006)
- Driving down Ocean Boulevard
the old fotingo sticking to my bare thighs
the smell of patchouli and a beaded necklace
wrapped twice around my mother’s neck
say I didn’t warn you not to touch it, lace so fine
it melts under your fingertips like sugar, and if you wanted
a taste I would have given it to you, I would have
lent you my big red shoes to wear around the house as long as
you promise to be careful, promise not to trip downstairs, and
laugh at other people, not even at the old ones, who do you think
you are, to wear such grown-up hairstyles, and what is that around
your mouth, what have you been eating chocolate, have you been
saying things about me to your aunts, well let me tell you
even begin to think they love you like I do, no not even
in the pool with your cousins, remember to be polite, especially
with the little ones, and wait your turn on the slide, if I see you
pushing anyone I’ll say I’m sick and we’ll go home and if you
cry like a baby we might come back next week, I’ll teach you
how to swim in the big pool, I’ll hold you by the stomach like we
practiced in the bathtub, and you can move your arms and legs until
you feel like you’re floating, and then I’ll let you go if you want me to
and if you
then we’ll just pretend it’s me, okay, and I’ll give you a taste
of my beer, if you promise not to tell anyone, especially your father,
he might be coming with us next week, we’ll see what happens, put
something on the radio, like the song says, love is in the air, so
change stations like that so fast, all you can hear is squealing and
static, did you remember to bring the towels and a change of clothes
what is that you have there, I told you not to bring any dolls, nothing
you would be sad to lose, that’s the thing about the beach, it’s not
what you bring so much that matters, it’s what you
CELIA LISSET ALVAREZ was born in Madrid, Spain to Cuban refugees fleeing from the Castro regime en- route to Miami. Alvarez has lived in Miami all her life since, and acquired first an MFA in creative writing and then an MA in literature from the University of Miami, where she met her husband, fellow Cuban-American poet/scholar Rafael Miguel Montes. They have two daughters, Lucy and Sara. Alvarez’s debut collection was the Spire Press Award-winning Shapeshifting (Spire Press 2006), which was quickly followed by a second collection, The Stones (Finishing Line Press 2006). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, such as Fifth Wednesday Journal and BloodLotus, and the anthologies Obsession: Sestinas for the 21st Century (Dartmouth UP 2014) and Eating Her Wedding Dress: A Collection of Clothing Poems (Ragged Sky Press 2009). Her short stories have appeared in Fringe and zingmagazine, and the anthology Women Moving Forward: Narratives of Identity, Migration, Resilience, and Hope, Vol. 1. (Cambridge Scholars Press 2006). She has also written essays and reviews for Prairie Schooner, Thanal Online, Grist, the Southern Humanities Review, Jacket, and Lore: An E-Journal for Teachers of Writing. Alvarez has taught English composition and literature and scientific and creative writing at the University of Miami, Miami Dade College, Florida International University, and St. Thomas University. She also spent four years teaching high school at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, an all-girls Catholic school. She is currently the editor of Prospectus: A Literary Offering. In a review of The Stones, Matt Merritt writes that Alvarez’s poetry contains “highly sensual, occasionally synaesthetic imagery that really grabs you. You taste, smell and feel the Caribbean and Florida. Beach roads, markets, Sunday church services— they’re all there, recognisable and never sentimentalised:”
TIME OF THE POET CHRONICLER AND PROJECTS CURATOR
Mbizo CHIRASHA, Contributing Editor to the Diasporian Online. Mbizo CHIRASHA -( Chronicler and Publisher , AFRICA WRITERS CARAVAN. Chief Editor at TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC. Projects Curator at WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS. Chief Influencer at Brave Voices Poetry Journal. Author and Editor at Porcupine Quill. UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist. 2020 Free Speech Fellow at PEN Deutschland.2020 Poet in Residence of the Fictional Café . 2019 African Fellow of the Ihraf.org. Contributing Writer at Monk Arts and Soul Magazine . Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie at Bezine Arts and Humanities Magazine and The Poet A Day. Featured Poetry Artist at World BeyondWar.Org. Arts Features and Political commentary Writer at Cultural Weekly. Featured African Writer at Demer Press International Poetry Series . Featured African Performance Poet at 2020 Medellin International Poetry Festival. Featured Poet/Writer at INKSWEATAND TEARS Journal.2019 Live Literature Hub Curator/Producer at Sotambe International Film Arts FESTIVAL. 2009 Poet in Residence at International Africa Culture and Development, ICACD). 2003 Young Literary Arts Delegate of ZimBookFair to Goteborg International Book Fair, SIDA African Pavilion . Co-Editor of a three Languages International collection STREET VOICES with prominent Germany Author Andreas Weiland . Featured Poet at Cervena Barva Press Newsletter. Literary Arts and Poetry Contributor to the Zimbabwean Voice of the Voiceless Newspaper. African Participant to the World Poetry Almanac Book Series in Mongolia. Resident Coordinator for 100 Thousand POETS for Peace- Zimbabwe. Founder and Creative Director at GirlChildcreativity Project . Writer in Residence. Global LITERARY Arts Projects Influencer. Published Author and International Acclaimed Poet.
TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC -An Internet based Poetry Center, Archiving Theme based Digital Poetry Anthologies and Profiling Iconic Poets and Writers The Journal – This journal is published four times a year and Its selection of ten best poems from well established poets . The Journal will also feature prolific poetry book reviews by world class poetry reviews. Time of the Poet Anthology Series– a global poetry call platform that have matured from being a single profile blog article into a globally acclaimed theme based anthology series with the latest SECOND NAME OF EARTH IS PEACE – a multi-genre collection of short stories ,hybrid essays,flash fiction and poetry for peace and freedom of expression reflections. INSIDE the Poetry Cafe– This section features Profiles of established Poets , Writers and Artists from around the globe and Submissions are by invitation. Drum Beat Vibe- News on Fellowships ,publications , poetry stories and hot news.