Chicano Poet

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Poem By Andres Montoya

after looking for che in the lines and rhymes of a poem,
the young man decides to write the crazy gypsy

for luis omar Salinas

omar, last night when the moon threatened to expose me
I jumped into a river, into a boat, untying my steed
with the speed of a thief, thanking God my getaway had begun.
I can’t tell you the names of the trees that passed or the colors,
but I tell you the frogs howled like hounds and dared me
from my spot. I said to myself, “I’ll find omar
where the poor gather to speak baseball and politics.
he’ll be there, I know, talking the philosophy of a whisper,
interpreting the dream of a widow, quick with a tear
for a boy smelling of ditch water.”
omar, I’ve been doing the tango all day
looking for you among sleepless mothers and drinking men, searching
with the smile of a madman. I want to ask you about the whistle
of a line, a gava’s evil glare, about the family
of a woman who died in one of my poems.
omar, I need to confess, when pachuco children growl
in their stomachs, I wish my poetry was a rifle to take aim.
I don’t have time to be a gypsy or an aztec, I’m chicano, an Indian
who sees life swallowed up in a dream and wants to explode.
I know you’ll see the anger of a peacock in my eyes
and understand. I know you’ll say, Joaquin, do what you have to do.
omar, I need to swim in your river of words,
your giddy interpretations of despair, your hope for the sadness
of our days, I want to give my gratitude on a plate
with beans and rice, with a laugh, a beer, thankful to talk to you at last,
discussing streets of the angry barrio.


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