Synopses & Reviews
In House with the Blue Bed, Alfred Arteaga reflects on being Chicano, poet, father, race car driver, musician, world traveler, professor. In a series of compact chapters -- by turns personal, anecdotal, poetic, and political -- Arteaga addresses an array of themes extracted from the prism of his personal experience.
Among the themes are violence, change, cultural conflict, racism, and human vulnerability. United by lean and lyrical prose, the twenty-five chapters dissolve into each other like bands of color in a shifting spectrum of light. House with the Blue Bed is filled with moments of rage, moments of empathy, and moments of unparalleled eloquence.
Some sections are political: Arteaga writes about Chicano politics, Ruben Salazar, Bobbie Sands. In one unforgettable passage he describes confronting the police as they hold a loaded gun to his young daughter's head. Even after the Rodney King incident, such descriptions still manage to shock.
Other sections address the universal human condition: Arteaga's experiences as a young man working in the Los Angeles Coroner's Office or as a professional race-car driver bring him to address human mortality with rare immediacy. Still other sections are literary: musings on Robert Olson's use of the typewriter or on Frida Kahlo's theory of colors.
House with the Blue Bed presents perspectives on the world as witnessed by a Chicano poet wandering in Los Angeles, Paris, London, and Mexico City. Through Arteaga's passionate vision it is an immensely vital world, and the emotions are raw.
Eloquent, graceful, stimulating essays by a fresh Chicano voice.
Nonfiction. In HOUSE WITH THE BLUE BED, Alfred Arteaga reflects on being Chicano, poet, father, race car driver, musician, world traveler, professor. Themes of violence, change, cultural conflict, racism, and human vulnerability are united by lean and lyrical prose.