Chicano Poet

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Poe With An M

You tell me not take Edgar Allan Poe for granted
as if I knew who this Poe guy is.

He wrote this, and this.
You recite from memory

sugar-coated stuff
only girls and gays would know.

When you tell me he married
his thirteen year old cousin,

then, and only then, do I realize
how far we’ve come.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Crane Train To Mental Well-Being

Your friends, brothers Bryan and Joe
still argue over Cheryl,

Joe’s ex-fiancée who ran off with Bryan,
and who subsequently divorced Bryan,

and Frasier Crane, their doctor,
tries to resolve the impasse,

but makes it worse,
and you explain to me

the pros and cons of reconciliation,
and I only see the doom.

Here again we are confronted
by what rhymes with Nantucket,

but I know you’d think I don’t care.
I do, I do, suddenly

the Staten Island Ferry makes landfall,
and my reptilian reflexes seek caution.

I too would have fought for Cheryl,
blonde hair, blue eyes, long, long legs, no brain.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Old Couple

The old couple in the city diner
must have been young, passionate lovers once.

He helps her with her walker,
he himself stoops over.

I hold the door open for them.
Time is not circular.

I hope you Mayan fans
will understand,

I am merely stating the obvious.
They just did not have any experience

with old age, they could not know otherwise.
The old couple struggles into the taxi,

it might as well be a yellow Mt. Everest
they are trying to conquer.

The monster from Ski Free
sweeps them off the slopes.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Revising The Fifties And Sixties

After seconds (maybe a minute) of research on the New York
School of Poets, popular opinion has won out, and we must
remove a few of those poets from that School and place them
into the Confessional School of Poets. First and foremost is, of
course, Frank O’Hara. He should never have been pigeon-holed
into the NYS of Poets. He was always a blushing, girlish,journal
writer. He deserves to be right there with Lowell, Berryman,
Sexton and Plath.

Elegy For Frank O’Hara

He was hit by a car,
it left a big scar.
Not on Frank,
but on poetry’s flank.

He loved Mayakovsky,
he never heard of Zukofsky.
He was a confessional poet,
now everybody know it.

Even this poem written in 1966 by the late Leroi Jones
has excluded O’Hara from the New York School.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Minor Elegy For raul

Had a dream about raul last night,
he was telling me,

carnal, even in Aztlan the Fat Lady sings,
and I’m confused and ask raul,

“You mean the Fat Lady who’s supposed to sing
at the end of the opera?”

“Yes, the very one!” he tells me.
That idiot sportscaster, Dan Cook

from a San Antonio TV station
coined that phrase

and never, never have I hated San Antonio
as much as I do now.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Cabron

In a battle with a cabron like me,
you’re gonna get your ass chewed off.

I don’t care if your mujer and son are present,
I don’t care if your papi and mami

try to protect your culo vendido.
In a battle with a cabron like me,

you’d better run if you want to keep your manhood,
and don’t think I won’t push your woman out of the way

if she tries to stand between you and me.
A cabron like me just doesn’t give a damn.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Here is a recent comment from one of my loyal visitors:

Here is a little history on how the Chicano word was chosen by the Mexican - American students of the sixties . . . it is August 1968 and I am a young, carefree and happy student at San Jose State. I am a student in the EOP program's summer progrm set up by MASC students and its chairman Daniel Hernandez. It is amongst the first programs aimed at recruiting Chicano students while at the same time there was the Black EOP recruiting Black students. A lot of blacks were brought in from the south.

Forward las camaras - I am standing in front of the student cafeteria talking to Adam Escoto and Danny Valdez walks up to us and starts talking of a meeting held by the National Council of La Raza where it was decided that it was more appropiate to use the word Chicano as a way of definig Mexican-American. Danny handed us each a button that had written on it Chicano Liberation - so off came the Mexican-American Libertion button. it was not a simple redefinition of a people but a sifting of the historical facts to define a people and its strategy for liberation. Notice I do not use the word equality. Such as, equality in a diverse society, as it is said today. I am using the word liberation. After all Tijerina had confontd the fire power of this country at a forest in New Mexico.

Who, historically, uses the word Chicano in this country is an other history lesson for another time. The Chicano historians have so far told the history of the Chicano from a Mexican immigrant viewpoint. We need the actual Raza that has been here forever, whose Indian Indian blood is Hopi, Lipan, Jumaro etc. In other word perhaps from those in the South Valley whose ancestors were present to witness the buffalos migration to the north.

Come 1973 the Chicano movement is dead. Smoked out by the US government. Any Chicano Movement after that is what the US government wants. So congrats to those who have been dragging around a carcass and could not smell the stench of death.

Esmeralda Bernal

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Generation

They used to hate the word Chicano
and now they hate it once again,

half of my generation gone now,
Tomas, Ricardo, Cecilio, Max, Lalo, Raul,

I could go on, but why?
You will not listen,

no, you will not listen,
but that’s alright,

we will battle to the very last
of my generation,

till the last one of us has left the building,
and then you can bury the word Chicano,

if that’s what you want to do
with my generation.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Reyes Bueller’s Day Off

I was supposed to work on my paper
about preindustrial cities,

instead I meet you for lunch,
a subway and a taxi ride away,

the heretics in business suits,
the incandescent office girls

contrast with nondescript human beings
who tallow and twist about,

a holocaust of hot asphalt in their teeth.
I breathe the space between them,

and then I realize I’ve been looking
directly at the boxing glove of your smile

in the delicatessen window, you wave,
I wave back, it’s a great day off.

Please visit Playcrayon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

La MuJeR Más iLeGal Ke JaMáS HaYaS SoÑaDo

Tengo una magnun 44 apuntando a tu cabeza. Está cargada, funciona y te voy a disparar.

Me escribes un mensaje diciendo que he vulnerado tu derecho al anonimato y a la intimidad causándole un gran daño y rozando la injuria...Yo te propongo que me lleves a los tribunales, para que cumplas tu deseo de mirarme a los ojos y así puedas hacerte pajas a gusto de una puta vez.
Pues yo no creo que sea una cuestión de dignidad, sino de polla dura.
Me encantaría, de veras, quedarme en la puerta del juzgado con mi perra desatada y sin bozal mientras me fumo un porrito y ensayo mi defensa:
- Verá, señor juez, perjuro que no publiqué su nombre propio, ni la medida de su polla. Que él me aludió primero, y que yo, que soy más clara, lo enlacé después.
( ¿Qué me dirá el juez? ...)
- Pero señorita!. ¿ Usted no sabe que los links bibliográficos están penados por ley ?.
- Ups!
- Le caerán 6000 euros de multa. Así que vaya desnudándose...
- ¿Me lo quito todo?
- Sí...Los ojos también... me los deposita en esta bandeja.
Cruash! , Splash! ( cuestan de arrancar, pero al final salen... )
- ¿Algo más?
- Sí, señorita. Vaya poniéndose a cuatro patas que irán pasando los magistrados por orden de corrupción.
- Uff!...

poema de oh

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


por Anna Akhmatova

No sabemos como decir adios,
hombro a hombro caminamos.
Se hace obscuro y mas obscuro,
tu pensativo, y yo no hablo.

Entramos a una iglesia---Adentro creen
en funerales, bautismos, y bodas tambien.
Sin mirarnos, nos vamos.
Por que es todo differente?

O nos sentamos en la nieve negra
en el cementerio y suspiramos,
con una ramita dibujas el chateau
donde siempre viveremos, nomas tu y yo.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


por Anna Akhmatova

La luz de la tarde es amplia y amarilla,
el fresco de abril es carinoso.
Tu, pues, has llegado muy tarde
pero comoquiera estoy feliz que estas aqui.

Sientate cercas y mirame
con esos ojos tan dulces y tiernos:
Este librito azul esta lleno, mira,
lleno de poemas que escribi para ti.

Perdoname, perdoname por haber sufrido,
por haber ignorado la luz del sol tambien.
Y especialmente por haber creido
que tantos otros eran tu.

Monday, July 14, 2008

llevo tu corazon aqui (lo llevo en
mi corazon) nunca estoy sin el (dondequiera
que voy me acompanias, querida; qualquier cosa
hecha por mi es hecha por ti, mi amada)
ningun destino (porque tu eres mi destino, preciosa)
no quiero al mundo (hermosa, tu eres mi mundo)
y eres tu lo que la luna sea
y lo que canta el sol

este es el secreto que nadie sabe
(la raiz de la raiz y el retono del retono
el cielo del cielo del arbol de la vida; que crece
mas alto que el alma espera o la mente esconde)
y esto es la maravilla que separa las estrellas

llevo tu corazon aqui (llevo en mi corazon)

Saturday, July 12, 2008





de los 95 poemas
de e.e.cummings

Friday, July 11, 2008

With Belafonte

If you and I were the only two people
left alive in New York City,

your tits finally available to everyone,
no curtains, no Venetian blinds necessary,

the Statue has become
a washing machine for birds,

little clean bastards all over the place,
the zoo animals are camellias

(only you could think of that metaphor),
the lips of the rain can no longer hang on,

we look for even the hint of fruit,
some Amazon scapegoat, I gloat, you boat.

Walk all that way in slippers?
We persevere on the tenth story

of the Empire State Building,
toss chairs out the windows

to feel more alive, the crashing noise
has been taken from us,

yet, whatever is rend asunder
finds a way to become whole.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Butterflies

Our different backgrounds become apparent,
the Atlantic waves

steal a carpet from the floor,
lava at mid-sea bubbles like roses

I gave you on another planet,
a different heaven, a breathless stone

imitates a fish on land.
Oh, pre-Cambrian, oh, pre-Stupid,

you ask do these pants make my ass
look big, look where you’re going,

look askance, I answer in red letters,
I take the shovel of my heart and vanish.

I tell you your pants are fine
but I have no idea if you are horse or house.

Dinosaurs unscrew the legs
from the kitchen table,

they suck on the tile, challenge
Napoleon-sized refrigerators

until the refrigerators outnumber them.
You lead me by the hand

to some Messerschmitt dinner party
I don’t want to go to, wrapped only in skin,

my teeth ready to wrinkle and set free,
the butterflies your friends will bandy about.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Cast

I put up with your Hahvard friends
who are appalled when I blurt out

that racism is as natural
as a girl’s behind,

apparently not a widely accepted theory,
blame great minds, blame the game

I can not and have never played,
I’ve cut the placenta of fear

between precious and few,
and God’s irretrievable knife

which you and your fiends
find amazing, suddenly America made of glue,

America made of tiny tendons
that will never be able to do the job.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Domestic Bliss

The subway is always crowded with riff raff,
businessmen, dirty people, punks, nuts,

businessmen are the worse,
kill a baby for the deal,

the bag lady munches on old bandages,
dry blood is still good she smiles,

a black man hand in hand
with a big white girl,

she laughs pyramids I wouldn’t claim.
I wouldn’t claim them unless ordered so

by the wife, a bell made of yesterday
blocks my way, I search my pockets

for the sky, whose panties are these
you ask me when you do the laundry

oh never mind I forgot I bought them you laugh.
I panicked and it too a minute

for me to realize my innocence.
At the North Pole, a puddle of ice.

In Africa, my giraffe neck shortened quickly,
here, the pulp of my manhood

waves down traffic at a busy intersection,
my married daughter

knocks on the door with grandkids.
I drink broken glass and smile,

I boil the features of the moon, I scour
the shoulders of the sea,

hilarious love in a nightgown
would only disappoint

as it whistles its favorite color.
I’m too tired to argue with war and peace.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Supper

You make meatloaf for supper
while God tries to make it a sin.

The angels carry candles
in their armpits, the sweet smell

is wafting even now into yesterday.
I drink the world through a straw,

the spider web desert should be great,
the unabashed mailslot

on the front door would serve
as all we know, imagine that,

and it’s been hard as hell
but I’ve learned to breathe carbon monoxide.

I’ve learned to pause before
I send the moon to borrow sugar

from that curvy blonde next door
whose husband is always away on business.

I hear our cars in the garage
practicing their jumps, their squats,

chin ups, what the hell are we running here?
I manage one more bite.

Friday, July 04, 2008

At The Bookstore

Soon we will move to Connecticut
and be away from this fine mess.

In the bookstore I fought off
giant jellyfish and the foul smell

of windmill after windmill
until my shirt is beautiful

and you are distracted by furniture
they obviously don’t sell,

a cassock’s shrunken voice
from Mayakovsky’s hip

travels thru the spine of the book I hold,
I drop it in alarm,

pick it up, put it on the shelf,
a teenage girl walks by,

lozenges for nipples,
hair as red as a lantern,

poems are not roses I tell you,
poems are not washed dishes,

poems are not vacuumed carpets,
but,hell, I’d lose a battle with Ghandi

if I hadn’t learned the secret
from my elders long ago.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Not Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

Puerto Ricans arc like boomerangs:
I told you this neighborhood sucked,

your hips attracting priests,
whoever heard of Panavision

not showing the whole truth,
the table set with tectonic plates,

Styrofoam cups of an East Coast San Andreas,
not that I would argue with science

nor tell you and have you crying (too)
over spilt milk

like a kitty, hell, no,
I would not allow the green air to escape.

A delicate, fragile stone can not survive
a million years only to be tossed

by Mexican boys at rundown Brooklyn apartments.
And if Castro dies, will every Cuban go back? Get real!

Them Italians don’t even belong in Italy,
much less here, you hook up your bra

and spin the cups to the front.
I drink coffee through my silk throat.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Torch

The torch lies in a rift valley
where the first Lucy looked at the sky,

perhaps clawed at the sun with dirty fingernails,
her skin tough, her brain bouncing

inside itself but at ease.
The hedges by the front porch

need trimming, perhaps into the shape
of saber-toothed tigers, or Thom Thumb,

or trinkets Indians adore,
I hear you in the kitchen loading the dishwasher,

I flick through channels
as if there was no tomorrow,

Mash, Wings, George Lopez,
oh, thank La Virgen de Guadalupe

for these new re-runs,
never was a fan of La Virgen de San Juan,

reality TV on MTV is not for me,
you sit down on the couch

and I know I have to change the channel
to Lifetime or Law & Order,

I walk away like a puppy,
ears down, tail between my legs,

surf the web like a blonde
before the gangs took over the beach,

give me your poor, your unfortunate,
such small demands, some as small as this.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Fury

Not fooled by the politics, I scratch the surface:
Ah, an abandoned subway beneath New York City,

a horse-drawn carriage glitters
(did they really glitter, inquires my daughter)

the glacier-marked stone outcroppings
in Central Park never knew Lennon well enough,

the foreign taxis and dutiful busses
sneer in the Casbah of some girl

with long legs in front of TGIF,
trash flies down the street,

a computer chip embedded into its microns
of thickness, helping the wind in its error,

the wind being almost human now
not like in the old days.

Imagine spending the whole day,
imagine devoting the whole day,

one day out of 365 on the Statue,
screw that, I do not welcome that

said some guy in French
to his travelling companion

adjusting his tie as befits the continent
and a punk flips him off

and continues scrolling his mp3 player.
I accidentally bump into him,

making him lose his train of thought.
Hating punks and the French

I am out to even out the score
in my favor.