Dear Dagoberto Gilb,

You don’t know me but… I love you.

So I finished reading Woodcuts of Women , one of his short story collections exploring men’s relationships with different types of women, like, two weeks ago and I still haven’t turned it into the library. Mostly because I forget the book at home every day (don’t worry it’s not due until next week). Also, there are three paragraphs that just blow me away. Of course the entire book blew me away but these three paragraphs… I’m still trying to figure out how he did it.

It’s on pages 20-21 in a story called Mayela One Day in 1989. The main character is in El Paso and he comes across an older gentleman and Mayela “…as dramatic and endowed as a fantasy.”

Here’s the rest of that description:

“It’s her red dress and wavy black hair and a blue cloudless sky, as Mexican as cheap paint, that halos her, and a nasty kink in her eyes which I can see even at a distance.”

And folks, that’s not part of the three paragraphs I’m talking about. They follow after that description. The paragraphs give more background on Mayela and how intoxicated the protagonist is by her. It’s good solid prose I hadn’t read in such a long time.

But it’s not for everyone. If you like Latino/a (read: Chicano) literature (ex: Anya, Cisneros, Castillo, etc) you’ll get it. Those that aren’t use to the style may find it frustrating since Gilb’s pen is filled with soulful insight.

My friend Tony and Picasso’s Dragon discussed Gilb’s latest, The Flowers, for two weeks straight on air. And if Woodcuts is any indication of what he did in The Flowers, I understand why it took them so long.

I’m still analyzing those three paragraphs.