Blood Mysteries

Dixie Salazar

The third collection of poems from Fresno’s Dixie Salazar finds epic moments in lives that might, at first glance, pass for mundane. Several of the poems spring from Salazar’s work with prisoners at the Central California Women’s Facility at Chowchilla, and they manage to convey desperation and privation without sacrificing lush language. Among the best are “Contact Visit,” about prisoners returning from seeing their children, and “Amazing Grace,” a lyric meditation on a homeless woman. My personal favorite is “Saturday Night at Albertsons,” a lovely riff on Allen Ginsberg’s “A Supermarket in California.” Salazar has a keen eye for the tenderness often obscured by an uncaring world, and she uses language to unlock the spiritual element in subjects others might dismiss.