Chicano Poet

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Salinas' poems I have been posting
come from the book The Sadness of Days,
published in 1987 by Arte Publico Press.
Don't know if the Press still sells any,
but the book is available on the Internet.

The Odds

When the odds are against you
all you have to do is grin…
How does a man of substance
learn to divide and subtract?
But by paying attention
and simply trying. How does
anyone do anything? Even animals
have customs; I only wish
they could ask a perfect
question like what time is it?
or, when do I have to go to bed?
Going to bed is difficult, especially
if you don’t have someone dear…

Let the dead-mad divide and
anger the moon, but I prefer
to simply go unadorned
among kings and hold my head
high among the common towns
I come from, unnoticed in my
open coat and summer hat.
I’ve known dogs in my life
who have died gallantly
with feet straight up in the air.

by Luis Omar Salinas


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