Chicano Poet

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Living In A Taco Bell Hell

Henry stole the vernacular of the Negro
because he could not foresee that Spanish
would be the sought-after language

even as far north as Minnesota
while Mr. Bones of barbecue
remains addicted to Taco Bell

( : the white man’s Mexican food : )
which don’t taste like it should.
The authentic enchiluders belong to raulsalinas,

ain’t no mincing words in the mincemeat---
it don’t mean a thing
if it ain’t got dem beans.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Chicano Captain’s Log

The Chicano Captain Kirk
is mixing chili powder, corn flour
and cilantro to kill the Gorn,

the bamboo canon flashes,
the Gorn goes down as if
it had been slapped by a giant Alurista,

as if he’d been knocked off balance
by Alma Villanueva’s wide naked hips
and plump derrière,

as if Sandra Cisneros had fed him bad mango,
as if La Jefita had hit him on Octavio Paz’s face
with a hot palote,

as if somehow ( : yes, somehow : )
every Chicano poet who studied under Levine
actually wrote Chicano poetry.

In the end, Kirk helps the Gorn to his feet,
and the lousy lizard stumbles away
like the smoking mirror of our past.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Mind Meld

The thoughts a spider might have:
thoughts that would make us dizzy perhaps,
thoughts that only cave men could fathom.

Thoughts which would create an angry mob
out of Americans, out of Africans,
out of Indonesians and Australians.

The anticipation of a bug’s flight,
memorized buzzing,
memorized footpaths,

none of them a surprise to this illegal alien.
The thoughts a spider spins
so much superior to our own.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

For Lilly

The new granddaughter’s home.
Years have begun to pile up
like stones from Mexican pyramids,

moved by wind and sun.
Don’t let the damn Spaniards
of my gray hair hurry anymore,

don’t let that stinking Stephen F. Austin
of my arthritic age
advance beyond Texas,

don’t let a fat, Spanish-speaking only
Sam Houston hide like a janitor in the Alamo
of my future dust.

The new granddaughter’s home
and sunstones crushed by Olmec heads
blind me with tears of joy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

We Were Sitting

we were sitting making love
the past was early enough
to fit behind a leaf

sitting in your embrace
reading a story
one sentence dropping down

diamondlike into your excitement
each time
the east dried in the dust.

if i force myself to remember
the summer days
march out the other end

like shadows
a greased up ruffled collar
rising from the sea

the wind had a smile
on its face
i will never forget.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Carl Sandburg Hair Cut

I’ve got my Carl Sandburg hair cut
and my broad shoulders
and I’m heading to Chicago.

I’m gonna butcher Al Capone,
I’m gonna buy some 25 cent girls,
I’m gonna skin Eliot Ness, Loch Ness

and don’t Mess with Tex Ass,
but not necessarily in that order.
I’ve got my Carl Sandburg hair cut

and I’m heading to Chicago
to butcher all you fat, little buddha pigs
while Mrs. O’Leary’s cow is still smoldering.

I’ve got my Carl Sandburg hair cut
and my broad shoulders
and I’m gonna railroad you outta town.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Amber Alert

My childhood is missing,
activate the Interstate signs,
put up the picture of me as a child

on the fair and balanced network,
Crock News, MSNBC and the Cartoon Channel,
put up the license plate number

of my family’s 1951 Studebaker,
last seen going to Baenziger’s Grocery Store
to buy flour for the tortillas.

When the cops
and the volunteer searchers
finally find my childhood,

they grab me by my little neck,
they shake me, and I cry like a baby
until they realize their mistake.

No, my name ain’t Amber, you stupids!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Kora In Hell

The pure products of America
go crazy in Iraq,
Miguel the Marine from San Antonio

blown to bits, his wife’s tits,
her brown ass will belong to someone else,
his daughter will only have pictures.

Lucas, Private First Class from Mississippi
won’t go swimming in the river
with his cousins anymore,

his girlfriend will find another hillbilly man.
David, Medic, Jewish boy from New York City
caught it between the eyes,

his wife Rebecca will mourn
but then she will find another lover.
The pure products of America go crazy.

Jamal, Sarge, from Atlanta leaves behind two boys.
The wife will find a man and the boys
will struggle with the pure products of America.

Why does the jerk ( : Mr. Bones was cussing the hell
out of WCW IV : ) always look at the negative side of
everything? Mr. Bones growls like a rabid dog. Henry
tries to calm him down. “Look, Bones, it is all very
natural, it is human nature for the survivors to move on.”

Mr. Bones ain’t buying Henry’s weakness. Why does
WCW IV insist that these guys have died in vain, and
that their treacherous spouses will abandon them. At
least the children are portrayed in a realistic manner.
And what about female soldiers who die in the war,
don’t their husbands find new women?

Footnote, new socks:
WCW IV always elicits this kind of reaction. His
latest collection of verse, entitled America’s Big Ass
has not won over many readers. Especially, Americans
with big asses. But, then, even Americans with small
asses ( : Mr. Bones, for example : ) seem more upset
than they should be.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

So Much Depends

So much depends
upon a red wheelbarrow
glazed with blood

among the dead Marines
blown apart
by a roadside bomb

or killed
by small arms fire
( : as if there was such a thing

as small arms fire: )
So much depends
upon the things

that we can not control
while George pushes a blood-stained
red wheelbarrow around his ranch.

Don’t know about you but
Mr. Bones feels it offensive
to compare our great President
to a lousy poet!

“No, stupido,” Henry corrects
Mr. Bones, “this poem is by
WCW the Fourth, the great-
grandson of the Fifties poet.”

Footnote, no socks:
William Carlos Williams the IV inherited none
of his great-grandfather's artist gifts. His talent
exhibits itself in grotesque parodies of his
ancestor’s accomplishments. Though WCW the
Fourth did follow his great-grandfather into
the practice of medicine ( : he’s a Vet, specializing
in rats: ), it is rumored that most of his patients


Monday, October 16, 2006

Dem Chinamen fellers, dem is sum smart
little critters. Dey built a wall to kept out
dem barbarians. Why the hell dey wanted
to keep dem out-of-towners out of their
bars is unclueless to me. Parently, the
great Confuse-us say, “ if you build it,
they will come.” Dem barbarians
couldn’t hold theys licker cuss there don’t
peer to be any of dem round nomore.


What Chuang Tzu The Butterfly Saw

I, Chuang Tzu, the butterfly am flying
over a junkyard right now,
that purple Pacer looks like it was rear-ended,

that Ford Fairlane rolled over a few times,
a Chevy van looks like it burned,
an ambulance is mortally wounded.

As I fly south I float past
the sewage treatment plant,
rising vapors make my flight unstable,

so I proceed to town,
flying past a school window
I observe a shapely blonde teacher

having sex with a student.
In a neighboring yard
I spot crimson flowers

which recognize me
and summon me with square scents
that fit my round pegs.

That Sgt.York sure is a silver-tongued devil!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Elegy for Love

What happened to the bells and whistles of our love,
what happened to the wild desires?
Now you call me sir and I call you ma’am.

What happened to take what you want, when you want,
what happened to the ripping off of clothes?
I sit on a bench at the mall waiting for you to shop.

What happened to the fire that used to rage,
what happened to the tender thunderstorms?
What were our pet names for each other?

What happened to the bells and whistles of our love,
what happened to the runaway locomotives of our lust?
Is that them, derailed and frozen in our Arctic hearts?

(The old lady don't know I blog
so shut your pie hole, ok?
I wouldn't want one of you bozos
to spill the beans!

crotchety old man found here

Thursday, October 12, 2006

How Flaubert got stuck inside an atom is not
something Mr. Bones could fathom.Henry kept
telling him,"Don't worry about it,Bones!"
Flaubert was screaming inside the atom,tears
flowing down his cheeks,electron waves bouncing
off Mr.Bones,but going back to their natural
state almost immediately and reverting to
particles again.Flaubert lost his big belly.
All this is happening as Berryman is in
mid-flight,dream songs dragging the Washington
Street Bridge along,folding it like a chair,
and stupid Flaubert trying to sit on it.It's
not a real chair you dumb ass! Henry tells
Mr.Bones, "See what you get when you split
an atom,see,I told you to stop fooling
around,Enrico "Enfermedad" Fermi!"

The Waiting Game

During the Stick Age women and children
gathered sticks, of course,
and during the Stone Age they gathered stones.

The piles of sticks became a southern state,
the piles of stones became a mountain state.
During the Ice Age women and children

gathered ice, of course.
During the retreat of the Little Ice Age,
they gathered water in baskets.

During the Poetry Age women and children
gathered poetry, of course.
And what were the men doing all this time,

you might ask? Well, men were resting or
busy impregnating the women
and waiting for the Age of Man.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

still from 1918 silent film(wood s lot)
Great Balls Of Fire

Jerry Lee Lewis crawls down a hill
chasing two little girls,
his suit grass-stained, the Chinese quizzical.

The buildings on the hill bunch up.
In their whiteness and blackness,
they resemble a dog’s dream.

The dark gray sky catches fire,
clouds rolling on the ground---
any sea too far away and nameless.

The roundness of a momentary god
flashes in Jerry’s head
but withers into glee.

The little girls think they’re home free, “We’re home fu-ee!”
Jerry thinks he’s home free, “I’m home free!”
But flames engulf all three.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

OCHO # 6 with poetry by Lorna Dee Cervantes,Lyn Lifshin,
David Raphael Israel,Diego Quiros,Michael Carlton,Reyes Cardenas,
John Korn,Zachary Blessing,Michael Parker,Dan Coffey,Grace Cavalieri,
Erica Fabri,Adam Fieled and Jess Menendez is for sale here.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Mexicans have their Panchostein. The monster
is ever present, always chasing the Mexican throughout
his impoverished nation, chasing the Mexican even
across the border into America, chasing the Mexican
all the way to London. How the hell Bolt Boy (in his
Mexican incarnation:Muchacho Tornillo) crosses the
Atlantic is not divulged to us. Octavio Paz saw the
face and the culo and knew they were one and the same,
but the pendejo never realized that the face belonged
to Panchostein.

graphics by timothywyllie

A La Mitad

You cut the Buddha in half,
the sand pours out and piles up to your feet.
If you taste it, it is sweet.

You cut Jesus in half,
the salt pours out and piles up to your knees.
You taste it, it tastes like the seas.

You cut Allah in half,
the pepper pours out and piles up to your waist.
You taste it, totalitarian state.

You cut Quetzalcoatl in half,
the past pours out in a primordial brew.
Before you taste it, it is tasting you.

Friday, October 06, 2006

What really lies inside the poem? Before it, after it.
Even inside of it there is something which is not the poem.
It is living inside the poem but yet it is alien to it. Entire
worlds and universes dwell there. The poem lies there,
above the surface. We can not see the colossus underneath
it, very like the hidden part of an iceberg and just as cold.
So in these prose prefaces to these poems I seek to explore
that, maybe even by accident elucidating something,
some small something to cling to.

M. Bones

Henry’s Elegy For Percy Bysshe Shelley

When they pulled Shelley’s body ashore
they found “Hyperion” open in his pocket,
sea water draining bitterly into the sand,

the fishes just off shore drew circles,
their fins swirling, surrounded by Italian air
and a sea turtle swimming away.

Shelley’s hair was tangled in seaweed,
his face as pale as an unwritten poem,
words just out of reach.

Here in the sand two hundred years later
you still see the outline where they dragged his body.
The guilty waves avoid this lonely stretch of beach.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Last night Henry and Mr. Bones and Moi st towellette
were watching the 1846 DVD version of Casablanca.
Of course, all the action takes place in Walt’s Leaves
of Grass Café. The slave plays “As Time Drags By”
on the harpsichord. Emily struts into the café wearing
a chastity belt. God, she should have gotten a bikini
wax. But, I digress, this 1847 Casablanca is way better
than the Bogie version. In the end, like always, Emily
flies off into the thick pea soup and migas fog with
the Wrong Brothers. Muy, muy mal. Walt remains
in Casablanca with his new French friend Marcel
the Mime who pretends that the book Leaves of Grass
is a glass box. I hope the bastard suffocates. Le haha.


For My Girl While Flying To Paris

What do I see behind you, love,
burned cities, life unattained,
a garden unoccupied,

one of your high-heeled shoes
dodging the bullets of our own government,
rubber gloves the doctor used

to see inside of you,
sheets at home around your smile,
your name amongst blades of grass?

In other countries I hear
that the white does not lift from snow,
piers left without oceans,

a ripple spreads throughout a stone.
Dust, a clock invented by the god
as he approached the fogged-in airport.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Evolution.Creationism.Natural Selection.
Mr.Bones was reading Scientific Americano
the other day.Apparently,scientists have
proved that humans evolved not from monkeys
but from the pinto bean plant,or a mutation
thereof.A sort of pitcher plant which eats
cows.Thanks,Mr.Bones, for keeping us up to date
on our past.

The Ant

an ant opened a book
and started reading
that the overall picture

is overwhelming to us
but to an ant
everything is so simple

so simple that it confuses man
makes man stumble
man invents fire

and burns down the twin towers
the ant carries
what it can

it’s not concerned
with human life
it knows man’s limitations

it’s better not to teach
your children how to read
the ant says looking at you

with eyes that resemble
alien eyes
ants know reading ain’t important.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The School of Quietude which abruptly ended in 1954
was revived briefly yesterday by an obscure professor
from Brown University, supposedly a Chicano-only
college. Professor P. Nuevos made a gallant attempt at it
but the revival lasted but a fraction of a second. Much
like the Big Bang which, of course, is what happens when
you put a plate of boiled beans in the microwave for an

Professor P. Nuevo had his enemies. Especially vicious
was the Post Office Avant group of poets who were
known to go postal on a regular schedule.

Professor P. Nuevo remains a submerging Chicano poet
and he, indeed, does make a valiant effort at reviving
the art. He himself knows he is bound to fail.
Silly man. But, we’ll give him an F anyway, for eFfort.
And we are being extremely kind.

The School Of Soft Knocks

I went to school with Emily Dickinson,
I went to school with Hart Crane,
I went to Fascist school with Ezra Pound.

I went to school with Dylan Thomas,
I went to school with Sylvia Plath,
I got schooled a ton of sex by Anne Sexton.

I went to school with Vangie Vigil,
I went to school with Sandra Cisneros,
but I can’t hold Dylan’s candle to Tafolla’s thighs.

I went to school with Cesar Vallejo
I went to school with the bridge-leaping Berryman.
We read the books that no one wrote.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Here you find me (Henry and Mr. Bones, too, of course)
trying to produce the definitive poem about Lorca’s death.
As most of you well know, there is only a handful of
Spaniards left --- living like homeless vagabonds
throughout the planet. They are unwelcome everywhere.
The are indeed the scum of the earth. Perhaps (and this
is stretching it a bit) yes, perhaps, they serve a purpose.
(Please pretend not to hear Mr. Bones laughing and
fARTing in the background.)

Burying Lorca

They thought they were burying Lorca
in an unmarked grave,
but the grave grew bigger and bigger

and people started questioning
the astonishing occurrence.
Soon the grave reached

the outskirts of Granada.
Then it grew all the way
into downtown Granada and beyond.

Today Lorca’s grave covers all of Spain.
Nothing can live in the entire country,
a poetic Chernobyl, you might say.

They thought they were burying Lorca
in an unmarked grave
and now the whole Spanish race is buried there.