Chicano Poet

Thursday, November 30, 2006

When We Were Dolphins

When we were dolphins and Poseidon paused,
gladdened by an afterthought, over-wrought,
& then the whole thing reduced to a single thought,

he glanced at us, the auditorium
turned to schools of fish
concerned with future, fins, Peter Frampton-like.

We ourselves headed out to sea,
the men in skiffs, boats and trawlers
failed in the illegible, the legible, the meaning.

Their nets from Cambodia to Catalina
flower like history, bob up and down
when dust doesn’t stand a chance.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Capone Cops

"When the pigs try to get ya
park it like it's hot,
park it like it's hot..."
Snoop Dog

The cops break in and kill
an 89 year-old grandmother
mistakenly thinking she’s dealing crystal meth.

Elsewhere they shoot three men
spending every police department bullet on them
just to make sure the black men are dead.

And when the cops who slaughtered Diallo
were put on trial, they were promptly acquitted
by a jury of their rears---

even with God as a witness against them.
At a news conference during the trial
the Police Chief called God a liar.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Writing these bad boys just for you,
whispering the words to myself first,
yelling them in the backyard.

How can we know what we don’t know?
When the “don’t know” knocks,
don’t knock on wood.

They say girls like bad boys,
they say opposites attract,
so I’m writing these bad boys just for you.

Yeah, they wearing black leather jackets,
yeah, they cussing up a storm of browness,
yeah, they call your daddy asshole, culero,

yeah, they’re punks, pachucos, putos,
they disrespect everything everyone holds sacred,
I’m writing these bad boys just for you!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The N-Word: Nissan

The cops in New York City
don’t use the N-word like Michael Richards
to stop a black man in his tracks, instead,

they fire fifty rounds into the Nissan Altima
while Richards is out of control
in Hollywood,

girls with tits as big as Dollywood,
his Seinfeld friends defend him, FOX
condemns him, the cops don’t care bout dat,

they fire fifty rounds into the Nissan Altima,
they thought they saw a black man with a gun---
they always think they see a black man with a gun.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Scar Wars

Thirty-six years after the fact
Dubya decides he’s finally ready
to go to Viet Nam,

to prove to his mommy and daddy
that he’s a man now, well,
a man with a lamebrain, newkeylur.

He once fought his war in Arkansas
or Mississippi, a southern man
like in Neil Young’s song.

A gutless wonder who grew up
to become a killer of American men & women
in a far off land.

The scorched bodies
of Luke Skywalker’s aunt and uncle
in the desert planet of Dubya’s mind.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dorotea En El Camino Amargo, Amarillo
,de Ladrillo

Do you think you can appear in this poem?
Go ahead, try it. They say
a rose is a rose is a rose

and that fireplaces are burning bright
in the forests of the night,
ripe grapes bursting on the vines,

flowers screaming for a place in the sun,
your smile shaking in a smile,
lips the color of air.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Walk out to the edge,
everything is so white,

the clouds, the sky, everything you left behind.
But miles divided by afternoon
still equal what we have,

a town of desires in the distance
and it is up to you
to fade or follow.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Wake Me Up Before You Go

Don’t let me get away with it,
whether I’m nervous or Navaho,
hiding behind cedars or mesquites,

don’t let me take ice cubes from the moon,
attack a wagon train of thoughts,
sneak up on unsuspecting saps,

love me like you have for a thousand years,
when I crow like a Cro-Magnon,
whistle like fallen wind,

don’t let me get away with it anymore,
put your foot down, handcuff the house I built,
scream at the top of your lungs,

wake me up before you go,
though I’m only dreaming dreams of you,
dreams that spiral out of control

and soon depart the milky way,
don’t let the calendars of smoke
burden our voyages of love,

wake me up before you go,
wake me up if I’m asleep,
wake me up if I’m awake.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Monday, Monday

My mother died on a Monday, Monday,
now once a week there’s a Monday, Monday.
Sunday, and then it’s Monday, Monday.

Tuesday, and it was just yesterday, yesterday.
Wednesday, and it was just two days ago
and it was just two days ago.

Thursday, and it was just three days ago.
Friday, and it was just four days ago
and it was just four days ago.

Saturday, and it’s only two days till Monday, Monday.
Sunday, and then it’s Monday, Monday.
My mother died on a Monday, Monday.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It Does Not Compute

It’s 1932 and Dali is sitting
at his computer
by a yellow-green lake,

the brown chicano island
floats against the orange shore,
pine trees pine,

terraced hill
rises into beige sky,
square apple

and Greek goddesses
fence in Dali’s
21 inch monitor.

A woman and a child
stare at the lake
or face us, face it.

Dali invented the operating system
and he’s operating
like Dr. Dre.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Cirol,there's a catch,

Sheet Happens

I just heard about the American Civil War,
a bunch of Yankees and Johnny Rebs died,
I don’t give a sheet.

I just heard about World War One,
a bunch of DoughBoys and Germans died,
I don’t give a sheet.

I just heard about World War Two,
a bunch of GI Joes and Kraut Hans died,
I don’t give a sheet.

I just heard about the Viet Nam War,
a bunch of Mericans & “ read between the lines” died,
I don’t give a sheet.

And when the next war comes,
I just won’t give a sheet,
I just won’t give a sheet!

Now that’s funny,
I don’t care who you are!

Git Er Done!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Inner Landscape

ten clouds drifted overhead,
their shapes pre-determined,
sunlight traveled for nothing,

stones pockmarked the surface,
dust devils rose into the sky
to breathe.

Who could love you there?
Hair and arms free
from everything we have,

landscape after landscape
bereft of anything green
like this latest war.

Man has come here
in his mechanical form,
roaming his fingers over you,

looking for history in your torso,
in your arms, in your thighs,
the barren past seems so important

but not to the eons of you,
no, you don’t care about the past or future
and it is so damned obvious.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

This Ain’t Your Japanese Grandfather’s
Atomic Bomb

The men stood next to the atomic bomb,
praised Allah, faced Mecca,
a nervous joy spread through them,

their minds raced, their hearts pounded
as if their hearts were pumping sand
from head to toe,

a hot sand like that of hatred,
a hot sand like that of love,
a hot sand like that of revenge.

They could be mistaken
for the Three Wise Men,
they could be mistaken for the Klan,

a nervous joy spreads through them,
crosses the Atlantic and mushrooms
in the metropolis of their minds.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


The sound of a dead America hangs
with the dust in New York City,
dust mixed with human molecules,

floating bone fragments,
gases that once were human.
That gas, there, ebbing and flowing

used to be a child riding
in one of the planes.
The gas circles invisible firemen

who run through the duststorm,
it circles itself
and then dissipates

to whatever these gases
dissipate to and the sound
of a dead America hangs in the air.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Sad Time Traveler

He must have been seven or eight
when he stabbed a classmate in the hand
with a number two pencil,

he doesn’t remember why or how,
what classroom, what teacher
but it happened at La Juana.

He was a poverty-stricken farmboy,
never owned a pair of shoes
until he started school,

his mother patched all the holes
on his clothes and then
she died when he was twelve.

He would give anything
to go back and relive
those years again,

he would give anything
to relish each and everyone of those years,
memorize every single second with his mother.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Caterpillar And The Men From Cambridge

“The most celebrated of all caterpillars, whose history is in
part recorded in Professor Lloyd Morgan’s Habit and Instinct
page 41, was striped yellow and black and was seized by one of
the professor’s chickens. Being offensive in taste to the chicken
he was rejected.

-----The Meaning Of Meaning
( : preface was plagiarized from a Weldon Kees poem : )

What Do Chicken Little And Yogi The Bear
Have In Common?

Apparently the chicken is much more smarter
than the average man, Bobo,
man tasted war and liked it,

he has taken every opportunity to partake of it,
blood and guts seem to excite him,
he finds more and more ways of destruction,

he always volunteers, he’s always gung-ho,
he’s always ready to die
for any large or little country.

The chicken shys away from anything distasteful
but man seems to long for war,
cherishing the maiming, the murder and the mayhem.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Genesis And Revelation

On a cold night just like tonight
you drove us up to Mt. Bonnell.
What year was that? Early Seventies?

Was that before or after the Big Bang?
Were Chicanos just a gleam
in La Malinche’s eyes,

did the better part of our race
run down her thighs?
These are tough questions, I know,

but I have to ask them,
for your sake, for my sake,
for the sake of our race.

We are flying away from each other
at twice the speed of light
so I have to hurry and tell you I still love you.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Today no one has come by to ask me
why I’ve stolen one of Cesar Vallejo’s lines
and yesterday, well, yesterday

no one came by to cuestion me
about what I’m up to with this thievery
and the day before yesterday

again no one breathed a word to me
about these lines I’ve stolen
and placed up there below Agape.

Tomorrow may be quite different
or it may not be so different
but today no one has mentioned nada.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Self-Portrait In The Cotton Fields

You were chasing the wind
around the fields of cotton,
throwing rocks at it,

the wind ran this way and that
trying to make you miss
but you hit him at least twice,

his forehead begin to swell
and he dipped a shoulder in pain.
Soon it disappeared

and you went back to picking cotton,
fourteen-year-old Chicano punk
sent by the grandparents

from the barrio to Don Urias’s land, the cotton
replaced since then by a manufacturing plant
that spits out metal parts

and the wind sweeps by
looking in vain
for that rock-throwing sin verguenza.

sin verguenza: shameless one ( :mostly uttered
half seriously, half jokingly: )