In this Book

Flamenco Hips and Red Mud Feet
summary
“Duality” is at the center of Flamenco Hips and Red Mud Feet, a striking collection of poems both intimate and grand. The poet, Dixie Salazar, has spent a lifetime forging her own identity out of two cultures: “On one side was my father’s world: Spanish speaking from las montanas. On the other side was my mother’s world: a deep Southern drawl wafting from the magnolia and chinaberry trees.” As her poems reveal, she is a product of both cultures but not completely at home in either one.

In the two sections of the book—“Inside” and “Outside”—parallelism and symmetry interact with themes both public and private. Flamenco Hips and Red Mud Feet presents thirty-nine poems in free verse and traditional poetic forms, especially the sonnet and adaptations of the sonnet. The sonnet—usually consisting of the octet (eight lines) that sets up the main idea of the poem and the sestet (six lines) that resolves, answers or completes the poem—is a natural form for a poet whose identity is divided. Double sonnets and “double-linked sonnets doubled” reflect the duality the poet feels inside her skin. And the poems written to and for a “lost sister” reinforce the theme.

Throughout this provocative book, Salazar navigates the alienation of her cultural in-between-ness. By the end, she appears to become more comfortable with her status of “outsider,” deciding that she doesn’t need to give in to pressures to pick a side or to accept others’ ideas of where her own “borders” begin or end.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Part I: Inside
  2. p. 1
  1. Half and Half
  2. pp. 3-4
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  1. Subjunctive Mood
  2. pp. 5-8
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  1. Spelling It Out
  2. pp. 9-10
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  1. Stolen Names
  2. pp. 11-13
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  1. No Wonder
  2. pp. 14-16
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  1. You Could Say
  2. pp. 17-20
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  1. Nothing Para Nada
  2. pp. 21-22
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  1. Frost
  2. pp. 23-32
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  1. Dancing with the Skeletons
  2. pp. 33-37
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  1. Davy Crockett Meets Coronado
  2. pp. 38-41
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  1. Cornbread y Caracoles en Cielo
  2. pp. 42-43
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  1. Blue Waltz Perfume
  2. pp. 44-46
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  1. Ode to My Imaginary Sister
  2. p. 47
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  1. You Were There
  2. pp. 48-53
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  1. The Recipe
  2. pp. 54-57
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  1. Beach Walking with the Stones
  2. pp. 58-60
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  1. Part II: Outside
  2. p. 61
  1. Cayucos Fog
  2. p. 63
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  1. Ode to a Boy at the Beach
  2. p. 64
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  1. America's Most Wanted
  2. pp. 65-67
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  1. Conductor's Lament
  2. p. 68
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  1. Art Lesson with the Hearing-Impaired
  2. pp. 69-71
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  1. Smoke Signals
  2. p. 72
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  1. Pruning Roses at Corcoran Prison
  2. pp. 73-74
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  1. Virgin Behind Security Bars
  2. pp. 75-76
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  1. Killdeer
  2. pp. 77-79
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  1. Stellar Jay Sonnet; The Parrot at Emerald Thrift
  2. pp. 80-82
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  1. Watching the Wizard of Oz on Spanish TV
  2. pp. 83-85
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  1. Overtime at the Paul Revere Motel
  2. pp. 86-87
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  1. Muscatel Sonnet
  2. p. 88
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  1. 3-D Jesus
  2. pp. 89-90
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  1. Fiber-optic Angel
  2. pp. 91-92
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  1. Jesus Loves You at the Venus Beauty Salon - Fifth Avenue, Fresno
  2. pp. 93-96
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  1. Fixed-Income Sonnet
  2. p. 97
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  1. Yard Sale in the Fog
  2. pp. 98-99
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  1. Dusty Footsteps
  2. pp. 100-102
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  1. What's Amazing about Grace
  2. pp. 103-104
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  1. The Pull
  2. pp. 105-106
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  1. Long Ago the Same
  2. pp. 107-108
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