Chicano Poet

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A Visit To America
by Quetzalcoatl Sandoval

Perhaps in no other country in the world is the poet
separated from the average person as much and as
distant. Even in a community such as a university the
poet is held at arm’s length by the Others because
he is a specialist in a field which is not tangible or at
least made of rare parts of the molecule which can
never be seen or touched. If the poet is bold enough
to announce his existence he must either be a very
brave soul or the village idiot. Other poets may crawl
to his defense but not wholeheartedly--- no battles
or wars ever won. Defensive wounds are nothing to
brag about. How did America come to despise and
disown its poets? It is no secret that Americans have
gradually lost the use of language, relying instead on
grunts, slang, and blows to the chest or face. They
only use verbs. They can not use fingers, their life is
all knuckles now. Their thighs have reverted to scrapping
along. Maybe I have overstayed my welcome in Nuyor.
Tomorrow I will return to Mexico City. Perhaps I will
have more to say on the subject when I have a chance
to re-charge my batteries.

translated from the Greek by Ari Johnston

(this essay appears in its entirety in Zal's new book
2013, Or Not)


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