Chicano Poet

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Oriole

The oriole flew
from tree to tree

unhappy with nature
it trusted buildings

which made
good stepping stones

and from there it marveled
at the humans

who thought themselves
so damn important

and said
to another lofty oriole

"If they were all that God almighty,
they would have learned to fly."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kurt Busch

The Kurt Busch
of poetry

he don’t put up
with no stinking poets

he’ll kick their precious books
across the floor

the Poetry Foundation
has banned him

from its sissy pages
American Poetry Review

will have nothing to do
with him

he kissed and told
a woman’s very private poetry

he rammed his car
into the building

which houses
the Pitt Poetry Series

once or twice he assaulted
innocent haikus

so don’t bring
your pantywaist poetry around here

unless you want your ass
wrapped around the iambic pentameter

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


after e. bishop

de repente
the bus driver

stops the bus
with a jolt

leans back
in his seat

a Mexican
has walked out

of the insane desert
and stands there

tall, dust-covered
in the middle of the road

el apeste del autobus
rises like America

but the Mexican
has disappeared

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mi Tejana

for la erika

She's hot and humid
like Corpus Christi.

She's unbearable
like summer in the Rio Grande Valley.

She's noisy and wild
like the Southside of San Antonio.

She's arrogant
like Houston drivers.

She's got great thighs
like the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.

She can be cold
like Lubbock winters.

She can be aloof
like distant Amarillo.

She can drive me to the edge
like Old El Paso,

but she's always there
when I forget what town I'm in.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Otra Vida

As furless
as a Mexican dog

I wandered
out of the barrio

crossed the tracks where
everything turned white

not welcomed
I put my tail

between my legs
lowered my shoulders

folded back my ears
and determined

to stick it out
I still don't know

what happened
to my barrio

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Side Effects Of Poetry

The girl in the seat
in front of me

at the Malvern Books
poetry reading

kept fiddling
with her hair

putting a barrette
on this side

and then on
that side

of her wavy brown hair
mesmerizing me

with thoughts erupting
where everything

in that faraway land
would be perfect

and just
suddenly poetry

its ugly head

but the scent
of that girl

clung to my jeans
that afternoon

and did not dissipate
until evening

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tengan Fe

Unruly gangs
of empanadas

had taken over
my barrio street

so I ate them
la famosa calle cuatro

has its charm you see
a gang

of maranitos
took over my barrio

so I ate them
la calle seis también

ta bien
a gang

of tamales
invaded my raza

so I ate them
and threw out

the corn leaves
so you can

wear them
as chones

Thursday, April 09, 2015

A Poem By Xanath Caraza


Por Xanath Caraza

Llueve en la América profunda
Llueve en el corazón
Se abren los trigales con el viento
Desde las nubes grises
Se desprenden gotas
Que alcanzan las espigas
Las mueve, las alimenta
Llueve en las praderas
Sopla el viento en la esmeralda tierra
Se provoca la tormenta
En los maizales
Sonidos huecos de lluvia entre las hojas
El viento corre entre los dorados campos
Los doblega y levanta en un eterno vaivén
Siento la humedad en la piel

(Iowa City, octubre de 2012)

It Is Raining

By Xanath Caraza (Translated by Sandra Kingery)

It is raining in deepest America
It is raining in the heart
Wheat fields open with wind
Drops slip
From gray clouds
Reaching stalks
Moving them, feeding them
It is raining on the meadows
Wind blows on emerald land
Provoking storms
In corn fields
Hollow sounds of rain on husks
Wind runs between golden fields
Bending and lifting them back and forth
I feel damp skin

(Iowa City, October 2012)