Chicano Poet

Friday, May 29, 2009

Here's a poem by my nephew

Doing Time

Outside the sun shines bright and the kids play
Outside my eyes squint and the trash blows away
Outside I can smell summer cooking the streets
Outside it will continue to get hotter over the next few weeks
Outside everyone is hurrying to get things done
Outside oiled bodies are glistening in the sun
Outside you can be free
Outside...its where you'd be without that felony

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Boy In The Plastic Bubble

When Artemio was growing up
he lived in a plastic bubble

to keep from being infected
by the outside world

he wore blinders like a horse
he sang only his own songs

he wrote only his own writing
colored his own colors

but one day his bubble burst
and the world came rushing in

engulfing Artemio in a tremendous sea
expelling all his misconceptions about himself

Artemio gasped for air
Artemio thrashed about

yet soon he was thriving in this alien world
soon he had mastered it conquered it

carnal, I hate to burst your bubble
but somebody has to

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The You Of Artemio

Artemio it turns out is no different
from you or me

of course sometimes he can outrun cheetahs
other times a tortoise flings by

or you will find him explaining to grain
whose stalks roll rampant

silence is over-rated he says
lifting the sea with a hammer

giving his girl rosebushes instead of roses
the wind too is a victim

the appearance of a comb in life
is not to be doubted

sticks fight sticks in the barrio
their shadows observed by Artemio’s hands

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rope A Dope

Artemio remembers with pride and disgust
what has been done to him,

what he has done to others, what he would like to do,
the beans he ate for breakfast

for a hundred years it seems,
no speak in spik Miss Abernathy snapped,

the grave-like tacos which tasted so good
he would not admit to himself,

the small things, the big things,
the just plain chingaderas of his brown upbringing,

battling not just the outside world
but the inside world as well,

finally defeating both, not arrogant,
I Am The Greatest, he whispers.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jungle Boogie

Lions roar inside of Artemio bees buzz leopards leap
hippos hip giraffes stick out of the top of Artemio’s head

closer to home the jaguars call
obsidian swells his teeth deep wells welcome maidens

the desert lies on his tongue
spiders come face to face with spider monkeys

too many things inside of Artemio
to list them all comfortably

accurately or just for lack of time
the natives are restless

tigers haul water inside of Artemio
brightly under the cover of darkness

when Artemio wakes up the dream has scattered
like wildebeest from terror

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Desperate Characters In An Past Life

if this poem survives another minute
notify the authorities

the old neighborhood brown as ever
no tapirs seen yet

the cops still beat the crap out of you
underneath the waterfall

have you drank beer or smoked cigars
by the gullible Guadalupe River lately?

carpet in the corridor of your comfortable home
runs back and forth

an anatomy lesson, boys,
girls have innies

Friday, May 15, 2009

Poetry Reading

By the time we got to the reading
Carmen was done playing the part of Dona Grocera

raul with his resilient fingers swayed
in less than a year he would be dead

Juan Feliz Espantos read soundlessly
or so we wished at length

Bryce from Wings Press
was drowned out by the artillery

going off in the head of fine girls
all semen flowed looking for an opening

hot summer night
illegally parked on earth

Thursday, May 14, 2009

White Flag

That lion and elephant I bought
to keep you out

the deadly cap one color only
leaky little jellyfish its treasured eyes

a stout gymnasium just plain squares
nothing kept you out of my heart

lucky gates high ruby fences
a crumbly sand with olive oil

you’d think an exploding star
would not falter

a brass monkey the annoying fiddler
a Berlin Wall of pomegranate seeds

an Oakland Bay Bridge squashed brain
indigo now

that big round boulder from Indiana Jones
polished severely

a nebula back in school
to learn how to stop the nonsense

stone courted rock
to gain a foothold

so far nothing has kept you
out of my heart

I bought this glass counter
to see what was going on underneath me

I copyrighted every planetary love poem
the campaign worn and cropped

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


After God took a rib from Adam
to make Eve

he took a rib from Eve
to make Ellen DeGeneres

his only problem was
he could not decide

what kind of genitals
to give her

bumping his head on the sun
he cursed the rays

worked on Ellen’s privates
by the cement pond

kept his eyes on his own blurry reflection
least it get out of hand

all the while his lengthy eyelashes
brushed against Ellen’s new belly.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

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I never have the courage of a tree
to say it with a leaf, a branch,

I do not suck up the rain water
from twenty something feet away,

I do not try to snare the clouds
as they scamper by the roofs,

I never cuddle with the sun
and purr contento,

No, no, I am always out there
going against the grain.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Fleurs du mal

The illness descended from the pyramids,
entered the brown, scarlet boy,

the bug, thinking itself a gift,
gave freely of itself, unselfishly,

and kept on battling to give,
and give it did,

jangling its wooden key in the metropolis,
chilangos came from far and wide,

even the narcotraficantes were blessed,
but by then the boy had recovered his poverty,

regained the values of his padres
which though prophetic, proved worthless.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Identity Theft

If Artemio had any sense of identity,
it was buried in the deep past,

stone pyramids did not enter into it,
Mexican revolutions dead stadiums,

guerilleras not part of it either,
brazeros zilch, algodon cotton,

campesinos nel, chasing the crops
in canvas-covered trucks not important,

yet words of all sorts humbled him,
beckoned him, torn like a weed

from the ground, the weed clutching
the stony clods of dirt,

Artemio unknowingly accepted the air,
wore the sky like a shirt,

did not call the sun by its Aztec name,
gave it his own foul name,

gave everything a dirty name,
if Artemio had any sense of identity,

it lay within, and without---
sole surviving son of La pinche Malinche.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


When Artemio hands down a fatwa
even E. F. Hutton listens,

inaudible protests
from every corner fall flat,

a dizzy bee rejects a flower,
the Danube has shoulder & ankle pains,

poets fight over their useless,
cojonic words,

an event does not happen,
an accident is destroyed by a train,

ah, sweet revenge,
and the girl Artemio loves so much

has been reduced to this---
the precise data follows.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Before And After

Artemio has always surmised
that something, yes, something

must escape a black hole,
at least, water vapor,

because water always
finds its way,

almost as if it has GPS,
it’s never lost,

put a space boulder in its way
and it will turn it into sand,

sure, here on earth there is troublesome time,
but out there, no such thing has ever existed.

What astrophysicists do not realize is that
mathematics is an imperfect science,
otherwise there would only be whole
numbers, and if every time one did the math,
there would be no remainders.

Quetzalcoatl Sandoval
in 2012 And Beyond

Friday, May 01, 2009

To The Batcave, Robin

That dreaded level in Mario Brothers,
bats in the belfry which Artemio owns,

split-level really, upstairs,
the creaking of the creaking itself,

Artemio’s childhood home razed,
not even the termites wanted the wood,

the creek refused to flood
in heavy downpours,

Artemio’s hanging upside-down
in the public library,

filling his head easily
with guano,

which he now
passes on to the unsuspecting.