— from "Zapata Foots the Bill" by Fernando A. Flores
In order to find relevance in the world, we must ask what we are seeking from it. Field Notes pursues change inside and out. We do not want to bore the world with articles that appease the sensibilities of other writers. We want to challenge the systems and structures around us. We want to mold the world of writing and make it more democratic.
For many poets, the act of writing is about the loss of control. An author hopes that those interior ticks responsible for their art will be unleashed on the page and past the urge to tame it. Uninterrupted art is a difficult thing to achieve.
MFA so white they say “I love him” when you talk about Toni Morrison. MFA so white they think AAVE is an acronym for an artisan beer. MFA so white they think code switching is a Call of Duty move. MFA so white that you are the only black student in a program of sixty; you think there may be a black faculty member, because someone mentioned it once in passing, but you’ve never actually seen them and are still unsure.
Whenever I’m writing, I have a “different brain.” As a writer, my main goal is to protect that first brain which is the first-draft-brain. And I just have to let this brain get from beginning to end. After that, I can do whatever I want with the page. That’s how I approach my work now.
For a title that beckons death, the pages of Fernando A. Flores’ debut short story collection charm with an intoxicating amount of life. But debut might be the wrong word. In 2014, Flores published an earlier version of his imaginative and sometimes unflattering depiction of the Rio Grande Valley music scene, which was called Death […]
A wrist of sticks cut, thrust in water
to force the sweet crease of cherry flosses
& then forgotten now thickens with fur-dross,
greeny on the windowsill through which a neighbor’s
radio pines in Friday-night nostalgia
to the tune of a six-pack of something.