Sunday, March 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Josh Fernandez to read poems from new book on Thursday

Josh Fernandez of Davis released a full-length collection of poems, "Spare Parts & Dismemberment," on May 1, published by R.L. Crow Publications. Shoka/Courtesy photo

By
May 16, 2011 |

Writer Josh Fernandez, who attended Davis High School and graduated from UC Davis, will read from his newly published first book of poems at 8 p.m. Thursday at the John Natsoulas Gallery, 521 First St. in downtown Davis.

The book’s title, “Spare Parts and Dismemberment,” offers an immediate hint that Fernandez has not written verses etched in picturesque pastels.

“Some of the poems are pretty gritty,” he told The Enterprise last week. “Sometimes the imagery is not pretty. It’s intended to be powerful, and intended  …  not necessarily to shock, but to jolt the reader.

“I wanted the book to be dynamic and interesting, and definitely contemporary. If you can grit your teeth and get through them, there is something to be learned.

He continued, “Some of the poems are about addiction, and recovery. Some are about ethnicity, being part Caucasian and part Mexican … it gives you a glimpse into a couple of different worlds.

“Some people call it ‘borderland poetry,’ ” he added.

Fernandez visited Davis High last Thursday, reading some of his poems to English classes.

“The students were a little surprised at some of the poems, a little taken aback, but they were really engaged,” he said. “They enjoyed it, and they were thinking. They had been studying very traditional, old poetry, and I don’t think they were expecting something so contemporary and so raw.”

Fernandez said that compared to the carefully rhymed and structured verses typically taught in many high school English classes, his poems are “more free form, some of them are a little bit ‘stream-of-consciousness.’

“I don’t pay too much attention to tradition, but when you read my poems, you hopefully will recognize that I have studied tradition, and respect tradition. I just don’t pay too much attention to it.”

Fernandez offered Enterprise readers these two samples of his writing:

Visiting My Sister at Sunset

In the grainy evening

I walk toward your grave,

but it feels unlawful

to be here.

I half expect

the groundskeeper

to chase me

off with a broom.

I worry

I offended

the unwritten tenets

of the cemetery,

have broken

its sacred membrane

of silence.

All I can do is try

to watch my footing,

avoid twigs

and walk gently

over the dead.

She Left Me for a Darker Mexican

But I remember

one good day

in Oakland

when we watched

Princess Di’s funeral

for nine hours

straight.

We laid

on the carpet

stewing

in our hangovers.

I imagined

the procession

of cars crawling

up the old color TV,

out of its wooden

box

and into the sky.

We drifted

in and out

of sleep.

She almost purred

and I wondered

if it was too late

to send

flowers.

Asked “what goes into a good poem?” Fernandez replied, “It’s kind of a feeling, like a hunch almost. And you follow that hunch all the way to the end. A lot of the time it won’t be anything (you’d want to publish). But then there’s the lucky time when it is something, and you can cultivate it into a finished piece of writing.”

Fernandez is pursuing a master’s degree in creative writing at Sacramento State. He’s also a freelance journalist, doing articles for spin.com and alternative newspapers like the Sacramento News & Review, Boulder Weekly and the San Antonio Current.

Copies of Fernandez’s book will be available at Thursday’s reading, and the book may be ordered online through Amazon.com. He also likes to hear from readers through his website, http://www.josh-fernandez.com.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or (530) 747-8055.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

    By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Child abduction case in jury’s hands

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

     
    Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    MU Games closing in late March

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Still no parole in toddler case

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    City offers wetlands tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Young patients bond with special stuffies

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Radio talk show moves to Mondays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Assault awareness campaign kicks off

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Forum

    Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    City may get charged up over energy choices

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    Milt Priggee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

     
    Rowing: PE as well as life skills

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Police complaint procedures drafted

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Clarifying energy update letter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Weekly claw pickup necessary

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Design innovation centers for the 21st century

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Speak out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

     
    A new perspective on life

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

    Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

     
    Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8