Altar That is My Mother’s Dressing Table

“…faith in the momentary”  Amalia Mesa Baines

Leaning in, I see a compact of loose powder

puffing upward like sensor dust-- 

to soften the shine on her nose and forehead

before she pulls her fingers through suede gloves

for another rubber of Honeymoon Bridge.

There’s some cheap costume jewelry—

fake sapphires set in seahorse eyes

fetching a fortune now at Little Lulu’s Vintage

A dime store fan  accordions out

the green of Scarlet Ohara’s siren eyes

fading into soft browns of Dolores Del Rio

like a spread hand fortelling the marriage of needles

and eyes—of dreams and dropped stitches. 

Symmetrical peacocks spread

shifting eyes  on chenille

where I once watched her scalloped lips

blot a hankie Marachino Midnight

tatted with the hours she waited

pearling her needles to contain

the secret whisperings of her heart--

the bitter kisses never returned.

Blown breath on the silver  moon

traces the name of the one she’s waiting on

the mirror dredges his dark brown eyes

always turning away—promising

later, to fix the cherry wood sacred

heart he broke.

My Sin meets Cotillion

Naked Maja and Mississippi Rose waft

over two sets of  eyes grazing

across tatted lace and invisible lines

unraveling in the basket of colored yarn--

tumble of two worlds she found

herself hopelessly tangled in.

She swings her hair and fakes

a laugh, her sweet sad glance swims

across the crashing years—breaks

the surface of Sunday afternoon

in my bathroom mirror today--

shadows flit, her fake pearls unstrung

and rolled to different corners

of the globe—doll shoes, scraps of letters

lost—withered and digested

by  silverfish—sparkling in the dust

and oxidized edges of the mirror

with lost glances gathered now

in a trance of heartless silver.

Ode to My Imaginary Sister

who sings “No Regrets” in Spanish,

dances on top of the stove

hot as a summer steering wheel

full of piss and sunlight

works at nothing

so much as her own desires—

belches at the symphony

the violins at the peak

of crescendo- no apologies.

She twirls a string of nectar

and reflected light dripping

down to her bare toes

sucks mangos at intermission,

juice shimmies down her chin

into a spangled navel—

“Vamanos novia,” she says

“find a juke joint,

some hot blues and cold beers;

let’s ride the stars bare

back and blow your inheritance

on drinks para la casa.”


Bio:  Dixie Salazar

Dixie Salazar is a local poet, artist and activist who has taught poetry at Corcoran Prison and Valley State Prison for women, Chowchilla where she learned how to make tamales out of Fritos and canned chile. Dixie has published a novel, Limbo in 1998, which was inspired by a toilet planted with marigolds in a neighbor's yard and she also has four poetry collections: Hotel Fresno, Reincarnation of the Commonplace (a national poetry award winner), Blood Mysteries from University of Arizona Press in 2003 and Flamenco Hips and Red Mud Feet in 2009. Recent projects involve work with the homeless in Fresno. A collection of poetry named Altar for an Escaped Voice has just been published by Tebot Bach. It contains sections of poems in the voices of inmates and also homeless poems. She has an art studio at 654 Van Ness, Fresno where she collaborates with the cockroaches. You can go to her website: http://www.dixiesalazar.com

MAY 2013

Alvarado Valdivia         Arias        Cerda        Chatelain        Desimone        Ferro    gomez        Hernandez Diaz        Huizar        Ibarra        Martinez Serrano        Molina        Muñoz        Najarro        Olivarez        Ponce-Melendez        Ramirez        Reyna        Rosales        Salazar        Villagarcia        Zablah