“Twenty years of undocumented life still haunts Castillo, especially in his poetry.”

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo – Origin of Difference

********For the thousands who were thirsty

The difference between the sun and a man’s body
************dried out and bleached in the desert at the border

***************with his feet so torn it seemed as if he was walking with all the wrong joints,

Read rest of poem 

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo – First God 

His head is a large copper drum with a snake’s tongue.
Everything dances against his body

Read rest of poem 

…Twenty years of undocumented life still haunts Castillo, especially in his poetry. Many of the poems in Cenzontlewere completed after Castillo received DACA status and later a green card, and yet they manifest the confusion and dislocation he experienced while living undocumented.  “A very foundational part of me was in that mode,” Castillo says. “And that’s the poet I became. It wasn’t on purpose, but when I realized it and tried to change, it was too late.”

Castillo crafts evocative scenes that draw readers in, but then, after a section break or sometimes even a line break, the focus changes. Readers are thrown into a new scene, equally compelling but seemingly unrelated. This juxtaposition prevents Castillo’s work from offering the comfort of logic or predictability. Instead, they twist away from you

A DACA Poet Speaks Out –  Tara Wanda Merrigan – Paris Review – February 5, 2018

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