Blood Soaked Dresses

Blood Soaked Dresses is a recently published book of poetry by Boston area poet Gloria Mindock. The book was recently reviewed in the Boston Globe:
Every day we wake to newspapers full of new human catastrophes of all types in various places, year after year, decade after decade. Bosnia, Aceh, Sudan, Bhopal blur in our minds into a vague disaster stew. And though we are caring people, we are human and the tragedies are painful. So we ignore. We forget. Unless someone insists on reminding us, as Gloria Mindock does of the civil war that raged in El Salvador from 1980 to 1992. In her new poetry collection, "Blood Soaked Dresses," she holds up the events so we cannot look away...

Now she wants us to remember that as long as there are survivors to remember, tragedies continue to echo long after the news photographs and on-the-scene reports have faded. And even without survivors, the facts remain. And so Mindock has made it her mission to bear witness, as centuries of writers, composers, and visual artists have done before. (more).

Here is one of the poems of bitter memory from the book:

El Salvador, 1983

Somewhere, someone is mourning
for the body of a brilliant one.
Man or woman, it doesn't matter.
The tears in this country, an entrance
to a void . . . shadows touching skin like frost.

A star fell north of this city. Armies parade around
in their uniforms bragging about the killings.
Dead bodies thrown into a pit, cry.
Flesh hits wind, wind hits flesh.
How many dead?
Finally, they are covered with dirt at noon.
All eyelids are closed.
No one knows nothing.
No breathing assaults to hold us. The bitter ash
weeps over the world, and no other country
wants to see it, taste
the dead on their tongue or wipe away all
the weeping.

You can purchase Blood Soaked Dresses at this link.


Anonymous said…
pretty title.
Anonymous said…
i like it
Anonymous said…
Ya, reminds me of when the Battallon Atlacatl raped 12 yr girls on Cerro Chingo El Mozote in 81 3 days ago 26 yrs ago.

BTW, check out what a salvy is making.
C'mon Tim do a post about it..
Bread and spread in el salvador by a Salvy, and not Directed by a Salvy who was comprado like the Inocentes Voces director in the USA, who used Mexicans for Salvadoran Roles.
Anonymous said…
And to think that crooks like Saca are now proud of that legacy left by the founder of his party and the death squads. It makes you want to vomit.
What's even more despicable is the recent award given to him by the Republican Institute or some sort of right wing wackos organization, because of him being a "champion of liberties", lol,lol,lol
Anonymous said…
yeah, agree. but also let's not forget that there were no innocent combatants in the salvadoran civil war. the innocent ones were the civil population, especially the unaligned ones who were caught in a stranglehold struggle between the salvadoran army and the guerrillas. because really, anyone who knows the story of the war well knows what strategies the guerrillas used to involve and recruit members. but anyways, that is the point i am trying to make, in order for the country to come to terms with this issue everybody has to acknowledge what really happened, be aware of the all the facts, not just the ones on one side of the story, and move on, thank God that war is in the past. let el salvador rise from its ashes and move forward ahead to face the challenges of the new century. peace for all, my good brothers.
Tambopaxi said…
Agree with Anon 10:43. There were no real winners in the whole mess. Everyone lost, especially those poor folks caught in the middle.

El Sal is far from perfect 15 years after the Peace Treaty and it can be argued that violent crime today has actually made parts of El Sal more dangerous than it was in the 80's. Still, combatants were able to end the war of that period and that's something they can be proud of.

The end of the civil war notwithstanding, the war on poverty and on common crime itself has yet to end. Indeed, I perceive those two problems to be getting worse, not better. Does anyone have any reliable figures to show what's happened with poverty and violent crime since 1992?