My Nature is Hunger by Luis J. Rodriguez
The words in Luis J. Rodriguez’s collection are so eloquent, the language so vivid, that the images leap off the page forming full-fledged films in the reader’s mind. His voice is sometimes gritty, sometimes even harsh, reminding us that life isn’t always gentle. This is because Rodriguez understands diversity, first joining a gang at age eleven, before separating himself from gang activities in his twenties to pursue journalism.
Even at his most visceral, Rodriguez wrings truth beautifully from rough environments, or from hard situations. The poem, “Red Screams,” could be potentially cathartic to so many. It strummed the strings to my heart’s soul.
“Cinco de Mayo” should be required reading for anyone who ever celebrates the holiday. Rodriguez brings to life the pains of all forms of warfare, those fought on our streets, those fought on the battlefield, or those fought with personal demons as a result of other types of warfare.
Rodriguez most definitely has a way with words. He teaches us lessons, or brings our memories sharply back into focus; and he does this in a way that is thought-provoking, touching, and always beautiful.