Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mariano Zaro - Featured Poet on February 24, 2013

After a hugely successful and well attended reading by Sunland's Elsa S. Frausto, who read both her own poetry and her translations from Spanish, we will continue our explorations of multicultural poetry in the reading of Spanish-born poet and writer Mariano Zaro. The reading will take place at the Bolton Hall Museum on Commerce Avenue in Tujunga on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. In addition to the reading, there will be an Open Mike segment allowing poets to present their own work. 

Mariano Zaro is the author of four poetry books: Where From/Desde Donde (Bay Books, Santa Monica), Poems of Erosion/Poemas de la erosion (Carayan Press, San Francisco), The House of Mae Rim/La casa de Mae Rim (Carayan Press, San Francisco) and Tres letras/Three Letters (Walrus-Morsa, Barcelona). His poems have been included in the anthologies Al Aire Nuevo (San Luis Potosí, Mexico), New Baroque (Los Angeles), LA Melange (Los Angeles), River’s Voice (Los Angeles), The Seattle Muse (Seattle) and Luces y Sombras (Tafalla, Spain). 

As a fiction writer, his short stories have appeared in several literary journals in Spain and the United States: Menos 15, El signo del gorrión, Caracola, The Louisville Review, Poeticdiversity, The Baltimore Review, Pinyon, Magnapoets and The Portland Review. In 2004 he received the Roanoke Review Short Fiction Prize. He has translated American poets Philomene Long, Alicia Vogl Sáenz, Sarah Maclay, Michelle Mitchell-Foust and Tony Barnstone. He earned a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Granada (Spain) and a Master´s in Literature from the University of Zaragoza (Spain). He conducts poetry workshops and he currently teaches Spanish at Rio Hondo College (Whittier, CA).

PHOTO ALBUM: Village Poets Present Mariano Zaro



---Mariano Zaro

My father wraps plums
with newspapers.
I cut the pages in half.
He wraps the plums.
We are in the attic.
It’s summer.
We don’t talk.
He rolls the fruits,
his fingers twist both ends of the paper.
It´s raining outside.
The plums look like wrapped candy.
He is meticulous, not too meticulous, just enough.
The plums have to be without nicks or cuts,
firm, not too ripe, unblemished.
The storms have been coming all afternoon.
That´s why my father is home;
he couldn’t go to the fields.
His hands are so beautiful
I am almost afraid of them.
He ties the plums with a thin string,
like a necklace.
Five plums in each string, exactly five.
I don´t know why.
His hands inspect the fruit, twist the paper,
tie the knots, do the math.
I hide my hands under the newspapers.
He is on a ladder now.
He hangs the strings from a wooden beam in the ceiling.

I pass the strings to him.
One by one.
Sometimes, unintentionally,
my hand brushes his hand.
He leans his body against the ladder,
rests for a moment,
cleans his sweat.
My father is old.
The strings dangle from the ceiling.
Plums in-waiting like dull,
modest Christmas ornaments.                                                     
Fruit for the winter, he says.
As if you could wrap the summer with newspapers.
As if you could wrap your father’s hands
for the future days of hunger.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


On January 27, 2012, at 4:30 p.m., at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, CA, (10110 Commerce Ave, Tujunga, CA 91042) Village Poets will present the poetry of Elsa S. Frausto. The event will include an open mike and refreshments.

Elsa S. Frausto's work has appeared in many local and international publications, among them Porte des Poetes, Speechlessthemagazine, Poem of the Month in Poets at Work, Badlands and Poets on Site. She was the coordinator and host for Camelback Readings held at the Sunland-Tujunga Library. She has been a member of the Chuparosa Writers for many years and is Poetry Editor and Translator for the Spanish language literary magazine la-luciernaga.com

Poetic matter is not expressed by means of words. It has neither form nor content for the simple reason that it lacks existence outside of the work.
                  ~   Osip Mandelshtam

Good writing is like speaking. A speaking that echoes against walls, then within them.
       Poetry- the word on the other side- behind the word- if words are three dimensional.
                     ~   Elsa S. Frausto


Body Double

Bedroom on the second floor.
House steady in the wind
like night with held breath.
Step outside, get a good view.
That's me inside looking out.
Me outside looking in.
The window blinds accordion the light.
Outside, the same wind plays patty-cake
with my hair. Inside, I laugh at the sight.

(c) by Elsa S. Frausto