Chicano Poet

Friday, July 29, 2005

Henry’s Purple Love Poem For Sandra Cisneros

You bring out the Mexican in me,
your purple house meandering,
the mind Malinche in the purest form, reform,

the river in the canyons of the city, pity.
You took that picture of Henry
for the cover of his third book, Henry crook,

unbeloved Chicano poet that he was
and still continues to be, agree,
Henry won’t get down on his knees, pee.

The Mexican in me is brown and beautiful
and ugly just like the agringado---
who woulda thought the only ones left, Paul, Ringo!

Henry writes his angry poems,
his poems about the truth,
the truth’s horrible knives sticking out of it,

the lies are filtered out, El Grito, Frito Bandito.
You bring out the Mexican in me
even though I’ve been Chicano all my life.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Driving Through Sinton, Texas

Driving through Sinton, Texas
with my parents---
the cotton town

where Ronnie Burk
would be born later,
the small distance

between Sinton and Taft
filled with rows
and rows of cotton.

The railroad railing
parallel with
the asphalt highway,

the cotton gin
and cotton warehouses

the metropolis of Taft,
tin skyscrapers
to a child.

And now machines
pick the cotton,
making the bales

as big as the RVs
that head to the beaches
of Corpus Christi---

nothing but a gas stop
or a restroom break.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Award Show For The Best God Of The Year

Mr. Bones claims to
understand the world
a lot better,

after a few deductions.
Why do we,
the most powerful

nation on the planet
always turn to killing
to solve problems?

Why do we
always rant
and rave

about other countries
possessing nuclear weapons?
chemical weapons?

The bottom line
being that we are
the only nation

with true weapons
of mass destruction.

Mr. Bones has
figured out the
age-old question.

There is, after all,
only one god.
The other gods

have to be false gods
because they have
no power compared to

Jesus Christ,
the Republican

So, the Most
Destructive God Award
goes to…JESUS!

Come on up
and accept your award
J. C…

and God smote
the emcee
to prove his worthiness.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

El Pachuco Called La Plancha

for Dulcinea del Toboso

They used to call him
La Plancha (the Iron)
because he was

always hot
after women.
They said

you could see
the scorch marks
on their inner thighs.

These are stories
I heard in the barrio
as a kid,

don’t know what
happened to
La Plancha.

Was he
Rudolph Valentino,

or just Sancho.
No women come forward
and say,

“Yes, La Plancha
was a hot lover!”
Another pachuco down the drain.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Henry’s Hungry Love Poem For Alison Stewart’s Reporting
On The Latest London Bombs

Alison Stewart’s little brown wonders, under, glass,
purple inside, legs slightly open,
asking stupid reporter questions,

all the pretty outfits covering her cockpit,
her curly Microsoft hair, IBM thighs,
nipples all a ripple from the latest terror tipple,

the double-decker parked red
in the middle of a London street
like her red lips horizontal, frontal,

the tubes tied, no subway born,
walking and talking the crowd surrounds her,
pubic public hair, republic, kingdom come.

Alison Stewart’s little brown jugs,
snug as bugs, lying on bear rugs,
Henry growls, his paw is raw from what he saw.

She spits out the news
to lubricate the American public,
her panties on the newsroom floor galore.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Elpidio, Illegal Alien, In The North Tower

Crossing the Sonoran Desert all he could think of
was getting to the Promised Land,
living the great white way

and sending some money back home
to help his father and mother,
his brothers and sisters.

A cousin was already in New York City,
loading clothes into trucks,
clothes going who knows where,

clothes made in China,
clothes made in South America,
so when Elpidio finally

made it to the Big Apple
he lived with his cousin
in a one-bedroom apartment,

he delivered breakfast to the North Tower
every morning, tacos, pancakes, donuts, gourmet coffee.
When the plane hit he was on the 90th floor.

Later, he felt himself falling with the building,
sucking in the smell of concrete, fire, sky.
Suddenly, he flew in all directions

and he couldn’t keep track of himself.
They found some of his body parts,
but they did not count him as a human being.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Henry’s Over New York City With John Keats As Paul McCartney

The bacteria in his lungs, laundry, lumber,
the Mohawk construction workers, Wookie, wee,
Fanny had a skirt skated, Scranton,

Albany upstate earthquake motor many Moe.
He could take beauty and roll it, mold it, fold it,
in the pockets of his mind, coalmine, unwind,

she stood by his side today, tomorrow, Tomas,
language lizard volcano memory mention Millions.
John thought words grew out of lyrics, land, Lubbock,

guess he never saw sand, Shropshire, Sammy,
the mirror in his own face, fathom, flying,
foolhardy Chapman marbles garbled,

Empire State Building shaking, parrots, plumber, Paul.
John Keats walks across Abbey Road barefoot, run, ranch,
he’s the only Beatle, footfall, French kiss,

Byron Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft
they are wearing borrowed skin, shoulders, Siamese
so this is how that rumor about Paul’s death started, stranded, stumbled.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Henry’s Elegy For James Doohan

The Klingon torpedoes hit the Enterprise
right on the motor outlets,
disabling the propulsion revulsion.

Engineer Scott spends the next
light-year fighting the light-gear,
no fear,the nurse will appear,

he cusses and cusses the buses of photons,
the spiny-headed Klingons,
their spiny-butts that scratch the toilet bowl.

You can’t be beaming people up and down
to this and that alien world
out of harms way… Captain Kirk

can be such a jerk, Spock can be
such a cock, Bones can be
so cabrones, but here at the end

of the universe nothing matters.
matter is not matter, and there’s no space
for space, “Beam me up, Goddy!”

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Henry’s Elegy For A James Dean Hourglass

A stinking station wagon takes your life,
the chrome bumper reflecting asphalt,
the idiot Turnupspeed picking his nose,

the seats of the wagon covered in dust,
rearview mirror askew, like you,
a cloud caught in it.

Your Porsche Spyder eight legs,
abdomen blue, the spider web tarantula,
Cholame, iguana, rana, piranha,

East of Eden, Rebel Without A Life, Giant,
the Fifty Foot Woman weeping
like a petit little brunette.

The doors of the Spyder open invitingly,
let death in, your smile surrounded by it,
your future stuck between the sand grains

that make up the deserts of the world,
the sand grains get bigger and bigger
until you can not see around them,

pound them, sound them, hound them,
no hills, no valleys, no rivers,
just the endless sand of eternity.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Flu, Flarf, Barf,

Henry’s suffering from the flarf this week,
runny nose, runny ass, runny ideas
about the dolts wearing bolts, we’ve been told.

His doctor says take this, take that, do this, do that,
the bombs go off in the belly of his London,
the tube needs lube, the double-decker, wrinkled pecker.

Keats got off the bus just in time,
the roof flew skywards, the sides
went window-shopping for Twiggy’s skinny legs.

The Beatles played Revolution in Utopia,
Ringo dropped the gee from his name,
small explosions shaped like Rocky Raccoon,

Henry threw up as we speak, threw up Arab math.
Mr. Bones handed him the guitars
Lennon had once played upon, Yoko’s boco,

the oriental mental, scream dental,
and the black smoke rising above the English sky---
there’ll always be an England blowing up!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Keats Reading

Keats was reading all the books
inside the library at Alexandria,
maps of Atlantis, pictures of Hercules,

blueprints for the Trojan Horse,
the beauty that was Helen,
the rats that gnawed the wheat.

He worried that his life would end
while there was ink
left in his pen.

His lungs would search for air---
the atoms that we breathe
used up on London Bridge,

the carpenter had wasted them on houses,
the blacksmith had hidden them,
in of all places, underneath horses.

He worried that he would not write
that great poem to store his soul, his life,
but, if you scratch his poetry, you draw blood.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Keats At Fifty Eight

What if we had spent
the last twenty years together,
would we bicker all the time

like the wife and me,
or would we have written beautiful
poetry together?

If Keats had lived to fifty eight
would he have revolutionized the art,
written sonnets that would have replaced the world?

His words too beautiful to look at
like the sun
churning in your hands.

I can not look into your eyes, querida,
and not feel the pain in my heart
tearing the past apart

to see if two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and I took the wrong one, sad poetry
blocking the way like a dead Robert Frost.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Keats Looking Into Chapman’s Future

It was his love for Fanny
that he thought of while at work,
and lines of poetry.

His ever present cough in the night---
Jack jumped over the candlestick---
beside the creek, a thought of Greek---

he envisioned Athens below the hill,
the ancient past
left in the hands of Shakespeare.

Milton in his blindness
pulling down his underpants,
paradise can be so dark.

Shelley trying to fight off the storm at sea,
longing to kick desert sand
in the face of Ozymandias.

Keats pondered all of this and more,
going home after work
a poem crossed his path like lizards

and the sun was setting behind the Atlantic,
its red face like American Indians
shooting arrows at pale-faced poets.

He traced his thoughts upon the paper,
the poems becoming alive in his head.
Suddenly, the words do not belong to him, anymore,

and that is how they came into our possession.
We marvel at his offspring
and the songs they sing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

LA Lullaby

The LA cops got the bad guy,
sure, in the process they killed a baby,
but the important thing is

that they got the bad guy,
the baby was just collateral damage,
the LA cops are wonderful human beings.

“Damn baby deserved it for getting in the way,”
says the police spokesperson in private,
“he should have crawled away!”

Akoo, akoo, akoo, I’m here, don’t shot!
But, the cops shot anyway,
a drug addict is a menace to society,

and who knows, maybe the baby
was going to turn into a bad guy when he grew up.
Better get him now while he can’t shoot back.

Monday, July 11, 2005

When Keats Lay Dying

When Keats lay dying like an eagle,
his thoughts took flight
on wings of wax

and found the face of God was dead.
His thoughts were shaped
like Elgin Marbles, parted from Parthenons,

the Acropolis was supporting crops,
the rows and rows of what we try to eat,
but can not swallow.

The sea rolling around in the Aegean,
square salt mingling with square sea,
Archimedes measuring the shadow of the sun.

When Keats lay dying like an eagle,
he looked up at the sky to feud
with the democracy of death.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Henry Colonizes Space

Henry lands at Louis Armstrong International Airport,
it’s a trumpet full of spit, a handkerchief,
a black hand, big white smiling teeth,

sweat on the forehead, go ahead,
does everything have to be gold?
The Mississippi eye eye eye eye

all the way to the Gulf of Mexico,
swallowed down the wrong pipe,
gripe slavery, slave gripery.

Henry’s staying in a hotel by the river,
by four am the French Quarter
ain’t worth a plugged nickel,

the Superdome, chrome dome, turtle shell,
shotgun shell, Henry’s here on business---
poetry, just the wrong words,

words, just the wrong poetry,
not all the sweat is wiped off the forehead,
some of it flies into space, space race, new race.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I Am The Walrus As Played By Mr. Bones

See how the pigs run with guns,
shooting up the brown neighborhoods,
black neighborhoods, poor neighborhoods,

the hoodlum neighborhoods, see, bee,
see how they fly with their blue wings,
they are you, they are me, they are thee.

Sitting with Robert Blake
waiting for the police van to come,
stupid bloody Italian food,

you’ve been naughty, gaudy, bawdy,
you’ve let your face grow long
until it don’t belong, gong, dong.

I am the legman, the breastman,
the assman, I am the walrus M dot Bones,
goo goo goo joob.

Mr. City policeman cruising,
planting weapons, planting evidence,
putting blood on Lucy’s socks, locks, cocks.

See how they make the Mexicans run,
run with scissors, with guns, clutching nuns,
I’m writing, I’m writing, I’m writing.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Henry’s Star-Spangled Banner By Jimi Hendrix

Tatata taah taah taah, tatata taaah taaah taaah,
guitar squealing like lost freedom, lost soldiers,
black fingers hanging on the neck,

on the body, sliding along the heart strings,
the lips moving to the rhythm
of words that are not words,

the lips deep in the music,
the red white and blue music,
the marijuana march, the drug highs, the drug lows,

a guitar string breaks on the bandana,
London fog, little cat feet, don’t fret,
don’t stick your neck out, about,

don’t let them lay on finger on you,
you feel like the body of a woman,
the music being born, torn, horn,

the guitar catches fire, fireball,
the music burning, crackling,
ashes flying upward like the soul of the Sixties.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Red White And Blue As Worn By Mr. Bones

People accuse Mr. Bones of being unpatriotic,
that’s idiotic, he’s not going to ignore, war,
cops killing Chicanos, killing blacks, state-sponsored injustice.

People accuse Mr. Bones of being unpatriotic,
but, you know, Mr. Bones holds his country
to a higher standard, let France do what France does,

let Mexico do what Mexico does,
let Korea, Norea, Borea, Yorea,
do want they want, but, Mr. Bones holds his country

to a very high standard, all our documents agree,
every man was created equal, let’s make them equal,
no man is above the law, not even cops and Presidents,

children are equal, women are equal,
let’s practice what we preach, what we teach,
it’s within reach, stretch your arms out, reach,

People accuse Mr. Bones of being unpatriotic,
yet this Fourth of July he flies Old Glory,too-----
but, he doesn’t just pay it lip service!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Henry’s Black Cat Patriotic Boogie

“Ah’m again killin…”
Sergeant York

Fourth of July, you lie, fireworks in the sky
illuminate the hate, of late, primate,
old glory has become so gory,

the stars and tripe, you’ve made menudo
of your soldiers, ignored ideals, pig squeals,
pigs’ feet is all you repeat, bleat,

in your slurred speech, Mr. President, dent, bent,
the poor can’t pay the rent
and you and your family applaud, abroad,

you open the Bible and the devil steps out, shout,
no one will hear you, so you drop the bombs,
freedom is always for sale in this country, cash, check,

credit card, we all pay the price, nice, rice,
flag waving to obscure the view, screw, blew,
the fireworks display imagining freedom, Betsy Ross moss,

never get to first base with Lady Liberty anymore,
she used to be such a whore for freedom, now she’s
a leather-wearing, whip-snapping, born-again French girl, o la la!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Write It Like You Stole It

Scratch, scratch, scratch, playing the record backwards
dead Paul is, Adoy, ahoy, Yoko, poco, loco,
John was dancing dirt, pursuing peace,

out of place today when everyone’s Marine
if not in real life in Walter Mitty, Twitty,
dead children leave the city, itty bitty,

marching like storm troopers in a storm,
the hail, the nails in Jaycees hands,
imagined strawberry fields like folding chairs.

But, at least, give peace a chance, wait a second
and then invade Iraq, Afghanistan, Aztlan,
give peace a chance, then blow it up.

The more Henry plays the record backwards,
the more that Paul won’t die, Dubai, one eye,
the Cyclops brought the cops

and all the cops could say was Paul’s not dead,
well, fine, obscured by the fruit bowl,
John wrote the songs we’re told and stole.