Chicano Poet

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Henry The Satyr

Henry’s growing short horns
on his forehead
and the body of a goat to gloat.

Henry hangs out with Dionysus
in attics and basements
without casements.

The capture and rapture of girls
curvaceous Aegean telephone
ringing off the wall,

the 911 curly hair
like orchestras of question marks
in horn sparks.

Henry drank Beethoven’s Fifth---
the bodies of the naked girls
passed-out cellos on the ground.

Henry sweating from every Singapore,
smelling like a handsome satyr
on an ancient Greek vase.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Better Than Roy

The blonde daughter-in-law
is modeling her new bikini
in the hallway.

There are no clouds in the sky,
only Andy Warhol pretending
to be alive over and over again.

Julie Shroeder, the Austin killer cop,
is in Wal-mart shopping
for a new KKK ballcap.

Domino’s is at the door
trying to deliver the pizza
topped with a naked Dale Evans.

The shrapnel from a IED
cuts a Marine in half
while the President butters his toast.

Yes, sir, the dead pile up invisible
like Casper
the Friendly Ghost.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Texas-Sized Car

When Sor Juana dismounts the cross
she is sore at the world,
sore at men to be specific,

she finds men bothersome,
hairy, hard to put up with,
her diatribe is a diatribe.

You ,alike, struggle in your history
as I struggle in a biography,
made and unmade by words,

they cross the road in front of us
like sheep on an Irish country road,
it doesn’t matter if you honk the horn,

you’re just going to have to wait.
The sheep dog barks at us once
and then turns its attention to his flock.

I put the car in gear
and drive into the present perfect tense,
you in the passenger seat two-hundred miles away.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Henry Cracks The Da Vinci Code

Decades ago, before the Aztecs, Mayas, Olmecs,
we lay on a hotel bed together
on the south side of San Antonio,

the cactus Spanish missions
just a few miles away
preaching evil Christianity to the Indians

and ultimately to us,
fully clothed on the bed,
our sexes coiled like a mattress spring,

the cold steel of desire
does not know right from wrong
and is not expected to know as much.

But that night you sacrificed yourself
like Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz
impaled on Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Burnt Norton

How he caught fire no one knows,
maybe it was the sewer gases
on his dirty undershirt,

maybe it was the hat of halitosis.
Some say it was all the leftover
honeymoon sex

crammed into one hour of bliss.
Some say it wasn’t this,
some say it was the clematis.

It was, perhaps, spontaneous combustion
like the burning bush
and, Jesus! Trixie with an empty fire extinguisher.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Painting By Hernan Castellano-Giron

The White Boxer Shorts

so much depends

william carlos

white boxer shorts

standing next
to his naked wife.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Protest Poem Inspired By My Wife's Jello Pie

The jello pie you made was great
but it's all gone now
like the teen idols of the Fifties,

like the Braceros,like the smoky trains
that rolled the rails before they built
Interstate 10 next to my family's farmhouse.

I used shoes only for school,
learned the history of a foreign country---
the United States of America---

and of how it invaded our land
here in the heart of Tejas,
how it packed up the Indians,

how it sent them to the Everglades and deserts.
Babe,the jello pie you made was great
but it's all gone now.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

This poem was inspired by an epigraph challenge over at didi's
where you'll find great poets like harry k stammer,keros,annmarie eldon,
luc u,Michelle e o,Lorna Dee and a bunch of other great poets.

Henry’s Elegy For John Shaft (No Relation), Black Marine KIA

“Who is the man that would risk his neck
For the brother man.
Can you dig it?”

He went off to Iraq to fight
for the freedom of his fellow man,
he died trying.

He went off to Iraq to fight,
to keep the country free, what country?
He wasn’t sure.

“Who is the man that would risk his neck
for his brother man. Shaft!
Can you dig it?”

Yeah, dig his grave, brother!(in the hood these words are heard)
He’s a dead motherfucker,
they say this cat Shaft is a dead mother.

Black man, brown man, dying for the rich man.
“Who’s the cat that won’t cop out
when there’s danger all about.”

Don’t know, but he got the shaft.
The sex machine to all the chicks
buried by gullible lyrics.

He went off to fight the war in Iraq,
thought he was coming back,
didn’t know he was a sacrificial lamb.

Yeah, he was a complicated man (ain’t we all?)
and only his woman back home understood,
but he won’t be coming home like he should.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Henry’s Elegy For Stanley Kunitz Dead At 100

I saw Stanley Kunitz in his garden,
he was growing rocks and birds,
he pulled a word out of a worm’s mouth.

He looked to be a thousand years old,
he resembled a hunchback
or Yoda or my abuela.

He’s in the garden digging up poetry
like potatoes, like carrots, like stones
warm to the touch,

the history of the 1920’s still boiling
in his hands, still unchewed in his mouth,
the surrealists roll around in his eyes,

Vachel Lindsay, Carl Sandburg,
Kenneth Rexroth, all walk
in and out of his garden.

The Confessional poets make their confessions
to him and pass on,
the language poets utter nonsense and disappear,

the New York School of Poets closes,
the San Francisco School of Poets closes,
but Stanley’s in his garden,

digging up poetry, planting poetry.
Stanley’s in the garden ravishing Eve
and Eve is ravishing him.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

In The Act Of Falling

Henry and Mr. Bones fall alongside Berryman,
“Where we going?” asks Mr. Bones of Henry
while a wide-eyed Henry remains speechless,

the sound of the air flowing by,
getting louder and louder.
“This don’t look good!” yells Mr. Bones

just as they go splat and flat.
Henry gets to his knees
and sees Mr. Bones crawling away,

they’re both in pain.
They look at Berryman and say,
What were you thinking?”

But Berryman ignored them,
too concerned about his own ego
to worry about his alter egos.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Anti-War Protest, 1968

Henry was there when Forrest Gump
and Jenny found each other
under the shadow of the Washington Monument

and Allen and Cal Lowell
protested against the Viet Nam War
the same day Forrest shows

President Johnson his buttocks.
You can’t win war with flintlocks,
you can’t win capitalists wars.

Henry rode the Greyhound
all the way back to Papalote,
his legs asleep,

meals of potato chips and Coke,
romancing a hippie girl
from Pittsburgh to Memphis.

And in the blink of an eye
we lost the war
just like we will lose this war

and the sacrificial lambs,
well, they won’t come back---
only the wolves in sheep’s-clothing survive.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Henry’s Drunken Conversation With Dylan Thomas, 1964

“you’re wanted by the Polease
and my wife thinks you’re dead.”
Junior Brown’s homage to the work
of Yoko Ono

Oh, screw you Dylan Thomas
thinking you’re John Lennon
cheating on Cynthia with that Jap

anese artist, tartist.
The hell with Fern Hill
that little mound of dirt and lust.

Huh, do not go gentle into that good night.
Well, you know what?
Stick it up your behind!

You’re the fool from Liverpool
sitting with a black bird on a hill---
nature will send you the bill.

When you were young and easy
you made the rest of us queasy.
Drinking yourself silly in New York Citty,

sucking on the future New York school titty.
You can’t mourn the death of poetry by fire
outside of a Bismarck North Dakota pagoda.

It was, after all, my dirtiest year in heaven.
John running wild in Hollywood with May Pang,
wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.

Once, waking up in the white giant’s thighs
in the Welsh countryside,
God’s Beatle-haircut in the middle of Abbey road

didn’t bode well, but I don’t know if it’s Dylan or John
who’s been shot.
Let’s see what you got!

Give poetry a chance,
give peace a chance.
Nobody’s been invited to the cavern dance.

John’s playing the guitar in a star,
Dylan’s writing in a slur
as Caitlin purrs.

The bartender in Beatle boots
is in cahoots.
Aren’t the children getting tall? Dylan cries in his beer.

Henry nods in acquiescence,
the hell with peasants.
A naked John Lennon clings to Yoko

on the cover of Rolling Stone.
You can’t nickel and dime
the goddamn crime!

The New York skyline glistens
like twin towers if you hold up two fingers.
You stupid fool, you shouldn’t linger.

Oh, screw you Dylan Thomas thinking
you can replace John with the screaming hymens
of 12 year-old girls on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Papalote Princess

“There’s pigeons down on Market Square.
She’s standing in her underwear…”
from Mary Jane’s Last Dance by Tom Petty

There are no jobs in Papalote
so she moved to the city
where lies are, at least, made of steel.

She met all the famous poets there.
Sister, you’ve come a long way
to a place littered with astronaut trash.

Your brown eyes and legs in the apartment,
two words left standing
by the Scandinavians.

Henry took floors from the skyscrapers,
but they looked out of place
in the Papalote moat.

So he wrote a letter to the
Virgen de San Juan
and promised like a house

to keep doors and windows shut.
Love is not a rat that gnaws,
love is not Catwoman Dominguita

naked except for underwear.
What buzzes doesn’t have to swear
Yeats and toilet paper.

They don’t send out the Gestapo
just because you were speeding, honey.
Please take your foot off my throat.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Face On Aztlan

Your brown face boring holes in my mind
after all these Mexican years,
jaguars leaping,

quetzals springing from the dirt,
jungles eating up the sky,
a poem cut in half by obsidian.

The bloody pyramids
glistening in the Aztec sun
like a two-way mirror,

you see the truth
from either side of your face.
My soul a nickel and a penny,

sad resident of Aztlan,
the smoking lake you can not rake,
the bean brown lawn,

our sacrificial hearts
beating outside the body
to the rhythm of the dancing tribe.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

On My Raft And Sullen Cart

The Klu Klux Klan drives by silently at night,
are they looking for a new comet, a new planet?
John Keats wrote a nice poem about that once.

The cops spray the neighborhood with bullets,
they kill a mentally handicapped, black girl.
The color purple doesn’t look good on a turtle.

The Minute Men gather on the Mexican Border,
trying to stop the illegal aliens.
Funny how those Arabs slipped in so easily from Canada.

The rich men convene to deprive the poor,
they’ve done it all before.
Robert Lowell wrote a poem to praise them.

Cesar Vallejo died of hunger in Paris
and the rain pelted his wooden coffin.
That’s why Rimbaud fled the art.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

1990-May 6, 2006

A Dog's Life

A dog doesn't care if you're a writer,cop or prostitute,
none of this is ever in dispute,
a dog's world is always absolute.

People call him man's best friend,
always loyal to the very end,
he doesn't have to pretend.

I don't give a darn about any of this,
all I know is that my heart is no longer in one peice,
all I know is that my heart is no longer in one peice.

Friday, May 05, 2006


I am a narwhal and not very nice,
if that’s what you came here for
you came to the right place.

I fish the seas for fish,
did you think otherwise?
There is nothing about land I care to know.

I have speared a few men in my time
and not for any particular reason,
they just happened to get in the way.

Isn’t that man’s philosophy, too?
I am a narwhal in a narwhal world.
I have not altered the laws of nature.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Wallace Stevens’ Anecdote Of The Illegal Immigrant

I placed an illegal immigrant in McDonalds
and there she was, busy as hell.
She made the burgers, fries and drinks
in spring and fall.

The town rose up around her
and sprawled east and west
and she was stuck there by the fryer
in a land devoid of air.

Yet she took dominion everywhere.
The place was yellow and white,
the golden arches were not really gold or arches
but I placed an illegal immigrant in McDonalds.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Classic Interlude: Henry’s Bob Dylan Elegy For Bogie
And Blonde On Blonde

Elvis walks into Rick’s Café Americain
with a blonde on his arm,
this ain’t the Algonquin Round Table,

watch her bosom jiggle,
this ain’t no water table.
A young punk sits nearby

clinging to his life by a thread
as all young punks do.
I think I seen him in the Nighthawk window once.

The blonde used to be Rick’s lover long ago,
somewhere in a wartime Paris,
“berets meant something then,

at least, on men!” quipped Dorothy Parker.
Even in sunshine Europe was darker
and the Arch of Triumph didn’t triumph.

The blonde made Sam play it again
for old time’s sake she told him
until Rick came by to scold him

before old Rick sensed her presence
and wimped out, poured himself a drink---
if love is not exhilarating it stinks.

The young punk walked away,
his inner organs the same as Peter Lorre’s.
The fat man wanted to re-sign Elvis the Pelvis.

Rick continued to feel morose
while the bartender picked his nose.
The blonde got up from the table,

tugged her panties out of her butt
and tried to console Rick
with the very same fingers

by caressing his face.
Rick, of course, caved in,
turned into the romantic poetry of puppy love.

When she and Elvis got into the airplane
to head to New York or New Jersey,
Rick shot a German named Herman

just for the hell of it
he told Sam when he got back from the airport.
Sam’s eyes bulged out but there was no retort.


The plane took off into the sky
awkward in the eyes of birds,
Bogie thought he was gonna cry
so he shied away from words.

He stood there on the tarmac
surrealistic things crossed his mind,
he thought to himself, “I have a knack,
always sacrificing myself for mankind.”

But mankind didn’t give a fuck
and would not have given up the girl,
let somebody else play the schmuck,
you only live in one world.

There is no heaven and hell,
there’s only momentary pleasure.
a fighter listens for the bell,
throws punches, there is no time to measure.

Bogie could not see the poetry
and clung to what he perceived as real
unaware that if you pee into the wind
your heart can’t tell you how you feel.


Back at Rick’s
the porcelain was porcelain
and furniture was furniture,

the sky above the airport
was unimpressed that blue meant blue
and clouds made of stone

remained afloat,
basaltic and sedimentary
above the ants that labored without love,

the desert reduced to one sand grain
would still be a desert,
the wind blowing across the wind.

No human thought could make a dent
upon nature steadfast
and natural.


In the airplane Elvis was talking
about his upcoming tour
in some other desert city,

her eyes were sparkling
and the propeller noise
hid the insinuation of her voice,

he leaned in and his sideburn
brushed her cheek,
her smile misplaced in a smile.

His black hair reflected in the window,
clashed with the sky outside
where Gulf Stream currents collide.

Love doesn’t really have to be love,
we substitute it for everything else
but we don’t need to tell that to ourselves.


The handsome young punk
had an appointment in the desert,
his golden hair flowing from the convertible,

the desert flowers bloomed inside a room,
gila monsters with bolts in their necks
appeared to God in flecks,

the absent-minded jackass
forgets all the shit
he has created

so don’t depend on his omnipresence
just because he appears as omnipotent
as Disney’s rodent.

Monday, May 01, 2006