The Crystal Text

in 1974 and 1978. In both 1979 and 1980, he was invited to appear in the one World Poetry Festival held in Amsterdam, and he is featured in the Bill Moyers PBS television series, Language of Life.

In a blurb that appeared on the cover of Cruz's first book, and that has reappeared on Maraca, Allen ginsberg saluted the advent of a new talent as "Poesy news from space anxiety police age inner city, spontaneous urban American language as [William Carlos] WILLIAMS wished." The excitement attendant upon those early Cruz poems accrues still to his poems of later life, as he continues to build a poetics out of the rhythms of a multilingual American idiom. As he writes in "Nebraska," a poem from his 1973 collection Mainland: "In this part of Mexico / Se habla inglish." Steadily resisting the political pressures toward a false mono-culturalism, Cruz nonetheless achieves a remarkable singularity. His is, as he writes of Vladimir Nabokov in Maraca, "A nationality of language / spread on butterfly wings / Crossing borders."

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