Chicano Poet

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Of The Chicana Poet Rebecca Gonzales

In a cave I try to hide
from Dubya
and his evil ways

I could not justify
to the
chicano gods

the way Bin Laden
is not
obliged to do.

If all we have
are just these words
and these few stanzas

then we
must stand
out in front

and make sure
the words are sharp
like obsidian

to extract
the heart
from these non-Aztecs

that search
for La Malinche
but find this wrath instead.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Slow Work To The Rhythm Of A Chicana Poet

We crawled
a steep bank

of the

we carried
provisions with us,


Three friends
who spent
hours talking

who knows
what now.


still write
chicano poetry.

And, Rebecca?
I don’t know!

gone missing
in Aztlan,

the chicana godiva
dressed only
in poetry

inside my heart.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Elements of Juan Seguin

He fought
for the independence
of his land,

he was
a citizen
and a warrior,

but when
the war
was over

they buried
across the river.

A century later
bring him back home.

They bury
him there
on the side

of Police Hill,
named so

the police station
used to
be right there


He’s buried
the oak tree

that was
a hundred years old

the white

first infested
on this part
of Texas.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Juan Seguin Elementary

I was
not born
in Papalote,

long ago
I was born
and raised

in Seguin,

My barrio
had gravel

only the
white side
of town was paved.

At the
Palace Theater
if you were

black or brown
you had to
watch movies

from the balcony.
Whites went
to white schools.

Blacks went
to black schools,
and Mexicans

went to
all Mexican schools.
I went

to Juan Seguin
there by the creek.

The only
white kids
I knew

when I was
growing up
were Dick and Jane.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Suffering From My Allergies And The Space-Time Continuum

I woke up
this morning

from my

when lo and behold
Stephen Hawking
was flying

around the room
sans wheelchair,

In his

he said,
“You’ve got
to do

about your problem,
I can’t

be doing this
you get dizzy!”

And I said,
“You crippled bastard,
get out of my life!”

he did his calculations
and left.

I felt
better by

though slightly bent
at the waist by the gravitational
pull of the Aztec sun.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

After Taking My Grandson To A Gary Soto Poetry Reading
We Watch Cartoons

Sponge Bob’s
shoelaces have
turned menacing,

they stare up
at him
with bared teeth,

they’re untied
and trip him
every step

of the way.
the kind folks

at Davey Jones’
help him

out of
his predicament.
A very

special thanks
to Gary
the Chicano Snail.

No, not

his poetry
is too
straight-laced to help!"

At least,
that’s what
my grandson says.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Mom dies 1960.I move in with grandparents.

Only This Poem Has Managed To Escape
From A Black Hole

Our house
on Fourth St.
was a run-down house,

it was all
my grandfather
could afford,

it had rope
for door knobs,
the door locks

were just
wooden latches.
The floors

were bare wood,
the shower cold water

It was not
a great way
to grow up

when everybody else
had all the
modern conveniences.

Thank God the house
is gone now
together with my youth

both tumbling
in some wormhole of time
distorted like Stephen Hawking.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Small Portrait Of My Mother

Mom didn’t
just make flour sack
underwear for us,

she used
to wash clothes

and hang them
on the clothesline.
She pulled

buckets of water
out of the

to wash those clothes
and to wash
the dishes.

But she had a creative side.
I remember she made flower
arrangements out of plain paper.

I remember her knitting
high heel shoes
as ornaments.

And I’m sure
she knit this poem
for me.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Wherein I Challenge The Royal Chicano Air Force
To A Dogfight

We had an
abandoned chicken coop
in the backyard

and on the roof
I fashioned
a helicopter cockpit.

The military
training flights
took them over our house

and back
to their base
in San Antonio.

Every afternoon
I’d climb onto the chicken coop
and don my pilot’s suit

and talked into
an old army surplus

I trained
and trained and trained
to earn

my pilot’s wings
that I use now
to pilot this very poem

into my childhood
and back
with such precision.

Friday, September 17, 2004

I Was Wearing Yellowjackets

My father parked
the John Deere tractor

the mulberry tree
in the driveway
at noon.

While he eats
I climb on the tractor
to play.

As my head
pokes into
the tree limbs

I get attacked
by yellowjackets.
I have disturbed their nest.

So I jump down
and run to the well
where there is

a large bathtub
full of water.
I submerge myself.

My head
is full of wasp stings.
The goat comes over

and looks at me
probably thinking,
"What’s wrong with this, kid?"

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The Molecules Of That Trailer Must Still Be Around Somewhere

My brother Julian
and I are

on a small
two wheel trailer.
Jumping up and down,

making a seesaw out of it.
The trailer hitch
hits a brick every time it

comes down
on that end.
Then my brother Val

comes out to play.
When he tries
to climb aboard

his index finger
gets caught between
the hitch and the brick.

As you can imagine
the tip of his finger
is severed.

We all run inside
to tell mom.
She sticks Val’s finger

into a bottle
of alcohol and
ties it up with a rag.

I wonder,
whatever happened
to that trailer?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Pot Of Beans At The End Of The Rainbow

Coming home
from school on the school bus,
I ran inside the house

looking for something to eat,
and finding only
a pot of beans

with only a
handful of beans
at the bottom.

Mom was lying down
in bed

I don’t remember
when I ate
that day.

I grabbed my toy tractors
and my toy combines
and harvested the fields.

Well, they weren’t real fields-----
they were the vinyl floors
of our living room.

The patterns on the vinyl
were fields
of corn, and maize.

I worked until sunset
when dad came home
from the real fields.

God, I hope
I ate that day
because I was really hungry!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Triple-Portrait Of Migrant Worker Boys Picking Pecans

We were
following the pecans
somewhere in

North Texas,
maybe De Leon.

my brothers and I
were playing

with bamboo sticks
down in a
river bottom.

I slashed
with my bamboo sword
just right

and I sliced
Julian’s thumb
wide open.

We’re still
The Three Musketeers

but our bamboo swords
have probably
rusted away.

Monday, September 13, 2004

The British Batman

I’m Batman,
I’m the British

I’m on
this ledge
on Buckingham Palace,

I’m with
Fathers For Justice.
I’m Batman!

Though Robin
couldn’t make it
this far

he’s here
in spirit.
But just then Robin yells

"Holy crap, Batman, the
Scotland Yard men are dressed
in kilts

and will expose

what it takes
to get you down!"

poems from my childhood

The Flour Sack

When I was ten
mother would send me
on errands on my bicycle

into town
which was two miles

I had a basket
on the front of the handlebars.
Sometimes I’d

have to bring home
a ten pound sack
of flour.

The same kind
of flour sacks from which
my mother made underwear

for my brothers and me.
Chicanos invented recycling
or so it seemed.

All she would buy was the elastic
for the waistband down at the local
Duke & Ayres Five and Dime.

It was I guess
the equivalent of today’s
Everything’s A Dollar stores.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

As He Sits In His House
The White House

Oh bla di
oh bla da
war goes on

first he dies
then she dies
then you die

war’s a bitch
war’s a bitch
then you die.

Oh bla di
oh bla da
he’s at home

in his house
in his house
the White House.

Viet Nam vets
Viet Nam vets
don’t deserve

any medals---
what he says

as he sits
in his house
the White House.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Towers Of Babel

We speak so many different languages
and even when we speak English
we can not communicate.

The fire and steel and smoke
make sign-language useless.
To run away is the same as to run towards it.

When man gets his hands on God
he soon turns God into slime,
paradise becomes desert.

Perhaps only one of the Ten Commandants
has any meaning at all right now---

We must begin to speak a common language,
we must build huge,
human towers of understanding

let them come tumbling down on our
insolent heads,let them enlighten us---
the two stone tablets cast down as twin towers.

Written on Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Friday, September 10, 2004

Iraqi Flanders Fields

In this Iraqi
Flanders Fields
the poppies blow,

blown this way
and that way
by the desert winds.

We are the
dead GIs-----
we lived

just moments
along this dusty road.

Take up
our quarrel
with the foe:

The President
back home
who sent us here!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Iambic Pterodactyl

I put my foot
in a dinosaur track
and I’m transported

millions of years
into the past
when Chicanos

were contemporaries
of tyrannosaurus tex-----
the cowboy-

hat-wearing dinosaur
of the Papalote Age.
Spurs sending sparks

off the rock surface
of the pre-Cambrian arroyo.
We tried to ride

the bronco brontosaurus
until the buzzer went off,
but before the buzzards arrived!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Sixty Million Years Of Dubya

Some say
the dinosaurs
were killed

by comets,
some say
by volcanic dust

that filled
the world
to the brim.

But, I, myself,
have one
lone theory.

I think
that Dubya
is solely

for killing off
the dinosaurs.

He let
the NRA
kill more

than their
fair share
and soon enough

Dubya forced
American scientists
to come up

with this
silly story
about a killer comet.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Dubya Krueger

It dropped so low
in my regard
but yet

it still remains
my country.
I hope

it comes out
of the Dark Ages,
the Black Death

of conservatism
that grips it,
and forces it

in the wrong direction,
away from freedom,
away from

the bill of rights,
away from
the dream

replaced by this nightmare
on Elm Street
and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Dubya Gives The Chupacabra A Bad Name

They thought
they had
found a

in Texas,
an ugly

looking beast
with big ears,
hairy knuckles,

beady eyes,
not too

but the
turned out

to be false.
It was
no chupacabra,

it was
just Dubya
running around

on all fours
on his Crawford

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The FBI Visits A Papalote Enemy Combatant

knocked on
my door.

Two men
in black suits
like MIBs

told me
that these
insults against Dubya

must stop,
or I was going
to see

the insides
of Guantanamo.

"Mr. Senor, these
you’ve been hurling

threaten the
of our nation!",

they said.
Apparently I’ve become
as dangerous

as Russian poets
were to the

which in itself
says a lot
about America.

So, no more jokes
President Barney Dog

showing Dubya
the way out of
Marine One.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Dubya Leads Us Into The Eye Of The Storm

I’m watching
Dubya on TV

about how
our country
is so

much safer now
than it was
before 911

and I
see the

fall to
the ground again.
The cloud

of dust
has not
yet settled.

We head
into the future
with this cloud

our heads.
We think

we’re safer
because we can’t see
where we’re going,

or what’s
at us.

It’s Dubya
in the shape
of two airliners!