My poem, "The Miracle of the Walking Fish," a bilingual immigrant narrative poem I wrote for David St. John's poetry/ composition workshop (where grad students, most of them poets in our PhD in Creative Writing and Literature program collaborated with grad student composers at USC who set their poems to music) will be performed at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music this Sunday. In the same class, I met the very talented composer Laura Kramer, who set my 12-section poem to music. It's a masterpiece song written for Baritone and acoustic guitar. "The Miracle of the Walking Fish" is a narrative poem about a young mexicano who travels from Baja California to LA to find his dad, and finds love by accident.
In a way, this poem is a love song for LA, celebrating its vibrant multiculturalism, its place as a host site for all the immigrant narratives Angelenos carry with them upon their arrival. In another way, "The Miracle of the Walking Fish" is a conscious and unconscious attempt to humanize the immigrant narrative, to celebrate and explore the passing through and between cultures, identities, roles, and dreams that's both a cultural metaphor of LA itself and also a cultural amplifier for the storytelling itself.