Driven into the Shade
by Brandon Cesmat
Book design by Mary Ellen Wilson, San Diego, California.
Winner of the 2003 San Diego Book Award for Poetry
Published by Poetic Matrix Press
Driven into the Shade is a look over a life, a look back into sources,
a look into influences and confusions, a look at where this life comes from and
how it goes where it goes. There is duende here for sure, blood root dark and violent
that feeds into so much beauty rising from the ground of Brandon's history. This
work cannot be let go because his passion is so elegantly unstoppable. Real art
has certain elements: craft — by all means, if it is not well written we do
not take the artist seriously; a story you can connect with — it draws you
in because it tells you about yourself; a passion that drives the work and tells
you that the emotions are real; and duende. In this work these elements are full
and present, scripted and yet unnoticed and we marvel at how the art is brought
forth and for what purpose the work is held.
"Poetry as treasures: poetry as words that are more than just words. They are possibilities
beyond compare. Possibilities as poetry? Those are the treasures we seek and find
in Driven Into the Shade."
— Simon J. Ortiz, author of Out There Somewhere
Brandon Cesmat teaches literature and writing at several colleges in Southern California.
His first book Driven into the Shade received a San Diego Book Award. His
short story collection When Pigs Fall in Love & Other Stories is from
Caernarvon Press. He is an active teaching artist in California Poets in the Schools
(CPITS) and an active member in Teaching Artists Organize (TAO).
Cesmat harvests brush every summer with his wife and their three sons at their home
just above Paradise Creek in Valley Center, California.
The 2003 San Diego Book Award is given to books with a 2003 copyright and was awarded
to Driven into the Shade on May 22, 2004.
San Diego Book Awards association SDBAA, INC. was launched in 1993 with a gathering
of like-minded people with a goal of furthering interest and support for San Diego
From Driven into the Shade:
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If I lie down for the wheel of time
to roll over me, I am full of use;
I keep time from falling, I catch memories
and hold words as sand holds the colors of
a mandala. Everyday on the beach,
blueprints to circumvent suffering are thrown
and then withdrawn to the laughter of waves.
The saline of saltwater and blood.
I remember selling plasma,
my cool red cells flowing back into the vein,
the temperature of my strange self
on the path through my heart