Reading Recommendations: Estilo, by Dolores Dorantes

“14.—Danos una botella y acabaremos con tu mundo. Préndenos y el fuego correrá como plaga. Llegamos hasta tu oficina. Hasta tu máquina. Llegamos hasta tu silla de maestro. Hasta ese mundo que ya no es el mundo. Donde nada se toca y nos besamos. Unimos nuestros labios de niñas mojadas con algún combustible. Danos un bosque. Danos la presidencia.”

“14.—Give us a bottle and let’s be done with your world. Light us up and the fire will spread like a plague. We arrive at your office. At your machine. We arrive at your teacher’s chair. At that world that is no longer the world. Where nothing touches and we kiss each other. We join our girlish lips damp with some kind of fuel. Give us a forest. Give us the presidency.”

from Estilo (Style) by Dolores Dorantes, translated by Jen Hofer

Dolores Dorantes’s book, Estilo/Style, is a forceful evolution of the poetic form, engaging with the violence of government, the abuses her nation has suffered, and the enduring strength of the overlooked and the exploited. As a poet and an investigative journalist now living in exile from her native Mexico, Dorantes’s work is politically agitated; it uses the tongue of the marginalized female to rage against the state and resist the corruption of those in power. The collective voice of her piece refuses to be tamed, mollified, or ignored, even as it speaks from a place of hardship, and even as it faces dismissal by the public it addresses. Her work is haunting, enfranchising, and fiery. It is a lyric reflecting on society and language’s limits, the transfiguration of translation, and the social emergency of the moment. You can find her blog here.



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