Chicano Poet

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Marching Against The War

The Oglala braves wanted my scalp
for dating Marty Clifford, Sioux goddess,

marching towards the Capitol in Lincoln,
a horse-drawn paddy wagon

following behind us,
we were idealistic

marching against the war in Nam
not knowing we’d despise

those same Vietnamese who’d microwave
their fish in our breakrooms at work,

living in homes financed by the government
while we lived in crime-infested barrios,

desolate reservations,
growing old disgracefully.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Glass Houses

from a newspaper article

Along the border, Mexicans are being Mexicans,
what makes you think

they can be any better
than their savage ancestors,

says an old white rancher,
who claims his family

has owned this land for generations.
What ancestors,

the Aztecs,the Mayans or the Spanish?
The rancher gives a quizzical look,

no dout inherited from his benevolent
Teutonic past.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

San A Ba Biche

Mi abuela’s English consisted of
san a ba biche,

answering the rotary phone with “Que?”
and ages before that

making tamales stuffed with

at ninety her memory was still
as good as tortillas,

riding the trolley from the train depot
to downtown Seguin,

woods still grew between there
back then she smiled,

and then she would turn

some days we were lucky
to eat a handful of beans she said.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fear And Loathing En Los Fifties

Abuelo came back to the car,
they’d told him at the rundown burger joint

in desolate Normanna,
we don’t serve Mexicans here,

so we drove on to the next
dust-covered, cotton town

and there at the next cockroach-infested
burger joint,

they did indeed serve Mexicans,
and the burgers were great.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Couldn't make it to SWSW,
next best thing is listening
to KUT with live music
from all over town.

Check out the Austin Chronicle,too.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pushando Botones

“Those damn gabachos!” said Al O’Canas
when Armstrong walked on the moon,

the same Al who had led a boycott
against the King Bee Restaurant,

yeah, the one on Kingsbury Street,
Al who drove around

in a big old car with no brakes,
the monster had fins

and a push button transmission,
the botones were on the right side

of the steering wheel,
he had to push the reverse button

to stop the car,
don’t remember

why he objected
to white men walking.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

La Lucha

It’s the late 50’s or early 60’s,
Bouncing Benny Mata is trying to be

a clean wrestler in a dirty world,
back then 12 Star Wrestling

was shown live at 9:00 pm
every Wednesday night

by a San Antonio TV station,
in black and white, of course,

don’t remember if Benny won that night
or not,

body slammed to the mat
by a six something white guy,

Bouncing Benny Mata gets back on
his feet like a Mexican jumping bean.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pulp Fiction

The tree was suffering from paranoia.
Thank you, Kilmer, moochas grazias.

Better than a squirrel
gone nuts.

By now the deaf woodpecker
can only blame himself.

The leaves fell doubled-over in pain,
or they were very good actors.

The lightning broke a limb, or two,
it can’t count,

nor can it understand
the concept of zero.

Damn tree will outlive us all,
long enough to see the first tree elected President.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Check out shadow of iris.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Pencil

for Esperanza Resendez

I was a wild, unkempt Mexican farm boy,
rock-throwing, foul-mouthed,

forced to join civilization
(start school, in other words).

In the first grade, I stabbed Esperanza
in the palm of her hand with my pencil.

Years later, when we’d become adults,
she showed me the tiny bit of lead

still embedded in her hand.
I felt no guilt because

it had been some other me
who had done that.

Yet, now in my old age, I realize I’m
still that rock-throwing, foul- mouthed

Mexican farm boy who can’t be trusted
with a pencil.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Terrible Frank Bidart

Do not think the bolts are pleasant,
they itch, they rust, they attract lightning,

Siamese twins separated at birth
by this awful neck,

lumbering here and there
I wear out my heels,

my bulging smile hates the city,
the inescapable streets.

Alienated by having this verse
thrust upon me,

my pleas for sunlight are met
with snowflakes,

my suit is all collar now
gathered against sand and dust.

Pigeons pick up the East River
with their bellies,

the metal and mortar
reflected in their eyes.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


I was just remembering that day
when Chico got shot

while sitting in his car
outside of Salazar Grocery Store,

years later he would die
north of Luling rounding a curve

drunk on his ass.
They found him the next morning,

one DeLeon versus Perez battle
finally over,

eyes open, weeds in his mouth,
a shirt button clutched in his right hand,

his overturned car within inches,
the Aztec sun burning a hole in the sky.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Caution: Language

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Check out the audio at the Poetry Archive.
Unfortunately, it requires RealPlayer.