Chicano Poet

Friday, February 15, 2008

Quetzalcoatl Sandoval,Jr, raulrsalinas and clyde torres
Spring 2007 at Blue Star Arts Complex in San Antonio,Tejas
Photo by Nancy Finneran

Remembering raulrsalinas

There are no more Chicano poets being created-----
of course, I hope I’m wrong. When I first ventured
into the Chicano Movement, Alurista, Ricardo Sanchez,
raulrsalinas, and organizers like Corky Gonzales were
already forging a model. One which had great promise.
I had come into the Movimiento through the Peace
Movement, protesting the Viet Nam War. Thereafter,
at every poetic gathering, whether it was a Floricanto,
or later the Cantos Al Pueblo or gathering at the
Guadalupe Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas.
I would always run into raul. From our first meeting,
I knew that this was not just a Chicano poet, but a man
who felt deeply that changes were needed. He did
not wait for somebody else to do the job. He was
the foot soldier, he was on the frontlines while many
of us cowered behind stone walls and waited for him
to clear the minefields. He pointed the way. Let’s
not let him down.

Henry’s Elegy For El Tapon

Oh, Christ, Mr. Bones, life sure goin’ away
cried Henry into his sleeve
not only for El Tapon but for hisself

because when some great poet dies
and you’re a poet too ( though not great, of course)
you can’t help thinking of your own death.

El Tapon walking the city slicker streets
of Los Angeles or Austin or San Quentin,
the same culture we’s pushed into by the white America

of those time and these.
El Tapon was able to work his way
to the surface, to swim against the current,

to place that stone on top of the hill---
the very stone Sisyphus couldn’t muster.
I’s a tellin’ you, Mr. Bones,

El Tapon as a great man,
greater than you or me ever hatched to be.
He strove for the big picture, he tweren’t provincial like America.


At 3:30 AM, Blogger Cuitlamiztli Carter said...

A fitting tribute to a very unique man, a force for poetry and cultural unity in my own fine hometown of Austin, Texas. raúlrsalinas will be missed.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger RC said...

Thank,for the comment cuitlamiztli.But he left a road for Austin to follow.And it's not a toll road,anybody can use it.Let's hope they do.


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