Saturday, October 13, 2012
Olga García-Echeverría was born and raised in el Este de Los Angeles. As a story teller, her book, Falling Angels, is split in half between cuentos y poemas, stories and poems, writings that serve as translations for experiences and feelings. She carries the imagination of the reader from standing on the corner of Alvarado and Wilshire, eating a mango as she waits for the 720 Metro Rapid Bus on her way to work in Santa Monica. Or the experiences of a brown man, a baker from East Los Angeles, delivering in Orange County and as he knocks on the door, he is shot from behind by local police for “looking suspicious”.
The cartoneros of Latino America where men and womyn who would go around cities collecting cardboard when it was all they could do to get money during the recessions of their countries. Later, they were contracted to paint the cardboard as poetry would be printed and bound to the books, later to be sold. Her recent writings, Lovely Little Creatures, are inspired by this tradition of creativity and resistance.
She was once told that the blending of English and Spanish in her writings would never be accepted, but coming from the realities of a mestizaje, she continues to express herself in the land between linguistic borders.
I've already eaten the thin white skeletons
of foreign words
choked on the bones of Inglés Only,
learned the art of speaking in codes
and code switching,
learned to spit palabras
out of boca abierta