I'm feeling rather passionately about this woman, this poet, this chingona. This woman writes verses and prose I can feel with all five senses and I want more. She is known for the poetic fictional The House on Mango Street which happens to be about a poor Mexican immigrant family living in Chicago as told through the eyes of adolescent daughter Esperanza. It's a classic, deceptively easy to read and if you were a Mexican kid in the 90s, you probably read it.
Read 'Loose Woman', this poem is provocative. It burns away at social expectations of femininity. It bruises and bares teeth at the conventions she breaks without apology. This is one of the few pieces of literature I've come across about a woman who breaks the rules and doesn't punish herself. The poem is open and fearless and leaves an inspiring ferocity behind…hard not to love.
Even in our currently pro-feminist times, this 1995 poem is an instant shock. I'm actually very curious about what a male reader's potential reaction to 'Loose Woman' would be.
In the last creative writing course I took almost ten years ago, I remember a fellow classmate stating they felt calm while reading one of the other student's stories and the professor commented that the reader's sense of calmness comes from a controlled writer. That's nice and all, but I can't help but feel like a moth to the flammable language of Sandra Cisneros. I included a link to a transcript in which Ms. Cisneros discusses her writing methods and as far as I can tell, her final product is very controlled but her work gives the impression of in-the-moment-ness.
I went to the library to check out The House on Mango Street and took Caramelo too. I read The House on Mango Street waaay back when, but I know I didn't appreciate it as much as I do now. So far, Caramelo is satisfying my Sandra Cisneros craving, thank goodness.
I'm completely enamored. I fell hard and deep and I'm pretty sure I'm never going to recover. For a candid sliver of insight into the mind of this witch-beast-woman, check out this transcript of Ms. Cisneros' 'Talking in Our Pajamas' at the University of Michigan from 2006.