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Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut
By Vickie Vértiz
88 pp. / 6.00 x 9.00 / 2017
Paper (978-0-8165-3511-8)
  - Camino del Sol

Related Interest
  - Poetry
  - Latina and Latino Studies
  - Women's Studies

Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut uses both humor and sincerity to capture moments in time with a sense of compassion for the hard choices we must make to survive. Vértiz's poetry shows how
I want to dance in Vickie's SoCal androgynities—her pixelated, hybrid Latinx Los Angeles cosmos, with its 'factory imaginations,' its 'Mexican or not,' its many lives rushing by and the 'death stench' and the tiny rivers of tears into the tacos. A furious pace, a 1,000-degree eye, here Vértiz pours out her deep reflections, her erotic 'garage' novelette, her low- and high-rider journey into the various infernos and paradisos. A collage of breathlessness, a nirvana incandescent set of urban and personal illuminations. A groundbreaker, a Chicana world mural tumbling toward you fearlessly.

—Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States

Vértiz is a powerhouse. Her work is incredibly nuanced with a savory sensibility, a full-flavored taste of place without sentimentality, without pity, and without need to justify its worth. These poems are smart, sassy, sonically enhanced, and scintillating for the senses. A must-read.

—Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, author of Burn

Indicating array and incision, Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut is where the ones who are first, and last, come first. Their verbs survive, enduring violent spacing, constantly displacing song in having vividly been made to come, in form, as questions emphatically unenclosed, in love in brokenness, in the language of all languages, as lit up as Los Angeles. On the way home, but always only on the way, Vickie Vértiz runs la vida down.

—Fred Moten, author of The Service Porch

history, oppression, and resistance don't just refer to big events or movements; they play out in our everyday lives, in the intimate spaces of family, sex, and neighborhood. Vértiz's poems ask us to see Los Angeles—and all cities like it—as they have always been: an America of code-switching and reinvention, of lyric and fight.

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