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A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying

Laurie Ann Guerrero

Publication Year: 2013

Filled with the nuanced beauty and complexity of the everyday—a pot of beans, a goat carcass, embroidered linens, a grandfather’s cancer—A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying journeys through the inherited fear of creation and destruction. The histories of South Texas and its people unfold in Laurie Ann Guerrero’s stirring language, including the dehumanization of men and its consequences on women and children. Guerrero’s tongue becomes a palpable border, occupying those liminal spaces that both unite and divide, inviting readers to consider that which is known and unknown: the body. Guerrero explores not just the right, but the ability to speak and fight for oneself, one's children, one's community—in poems that testify how, too often, we fail to see the power reflected in the mirror.

Published by: University of Notre Dame Press

Cover

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p. 1-1

Title Page, Awards Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

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Introduction to the Poems

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pp. xiii-xvi

A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying by Laurie Ann Guerrero is a stunning collection of moving poems. Here, poetry is both universal and very local; the personal turns collective in the mode of Tomás Rivera’s Chicano classic . . . Y no se lo tragó la tierra / And the Earth Did Not Swallow Him. The authenticity and the plurality of the poetic voices strike the reader for their uncommon...

Preparing the Tongue

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pp. 1-2

Part I.

One Man’s Name: Colonization of the Poetic, i.

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pp. 5-22

Sundays after Breakfast: A Lesson in Speech

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pp. 6-23

Bluing the Linens

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pp. 7-24

Las Lenguas

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pp. 8-25

Summer

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pp. 9-10

One Man’s Name: Colonization of the Poetic, ii.

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pp. 11-28

A Meal for the Tribe

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pp. 12-29

One Man’s Name: Colonization of the Poetic, iii.

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pp. 13-30

Yellow Bird

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pp. 14-31

Little Mexican Pot

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pp. 15-32

Turnips

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pp. 16-33

Babies under the House

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pp. 17-18

One Man’s Name: Colonization of the Poetic, iv.

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pp. 19-36

One Man’s Name: Colonization of the Poetic, v.

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pp. 20-37

Roosters: Homecoming

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pp. 21-38

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Esperanza Tells Her Friends the Story of La Llorona

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pp. 22-23

She killed her babies in the river over there by the Bill MillerThey were brats. And they probably never helped her clean house,She drowned them one at a time, and herself, too, I think. That’sprobably why she cries. She probably didn’t mean to kill herself,Mexi can like us. Anyway, I think she re’carnates herself. Or...

Ode to El Cabrito

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pp. 24-41

Stray Cat

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pp. 25-42

How I Put Myself through School

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pp. 26-43

Morning Praise of Nightmares, one

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pp. 27-44

Morning Praise of Nightmares, two

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pp. 28-30

Part II.

Sundays after Breakfast: A Lesson in Cotton Picking

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pp. 33-34

Put Attention

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pp. 35-52

One Man’s Name: Colonization of the Poetic, vi.

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pp. 36-53

Breasts

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pp. 37-54

Ode to My Boots

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pp. 38-55

Ode to a Skein of Red Embroidery Thread

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pp. 39-56

One Man’s Name: Colonization of the Poetic, vii.

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pp. 40-57

Wooden Box

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pp. 41-58

Black Hat

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pp. 42-43

One Man’s Name: Colonization of the Poetic, viii.

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pp. 44-61

Mr. G’s Collection

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pp. 45-46

Cocooning

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pp. 47-64

Babies under the Skin

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pp. 48-65

Pinedale, CA

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pp. 49-66

Like Jesus

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pp. 50-67

When I Made Eggs This Morning

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pp. 51-68

Stones

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pp. 52-53

My Mother Woke a Rooster

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pp. 54-71

My Mother Asks to Be Cremated

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pp. 55-72

My Mother Will Take a Lover

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pp. 56-73

Ancient Algebra

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pp. 57-74

One Man’s Name: Colonization of the Poetic, ix.

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pp. 58-75

The Alchemy of Mothering

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pp. 59-76

Early Words for My Son

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pp. 60-77

On Blinding

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pp. 61-78

Birth Day

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pp. 62-64

Notes

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pp. 65-66

Back Cover

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p. 84-84


E-ISBN-13: 9780268080730
E-ISBN-10: 0268080739
Print-ISBN-13: 9780268010478
Print-ISBN-10: 0268010471

Page Count: 72
Illustrations: NA
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: The Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth

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