Chicano Poet

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Testimony At The Jose Emilio Pacheco
Bitter Divorce Proceedings

If Dylan Thomas was upon us
would Rosa Parks give up her seat on the bus?

If Johnny Milton was broke and blind
would his black sisters spare him a dime?

If Abelardo came back to read
would La Malinche’s brown ears bleed?

If Robert Lowell demanded a lap dance
would a young Mother Theresa step out of her pants?

If Joe Blow Mandelstam begged for his life
would the first stone be thrown by his wife?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tersa Rima

I wrote a short poem.
This is it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

…Beware: another Creeley clone…

I Know A Woman

As I sd, interrupting my
girlfriend, because she
is always talking,---Joanie, I

sd, which was not her
real blonde name, the bed sur
mounts us, what

can we do but screw,
shall we,
why not conceive a baby,

go ahead, she sd, for
christ’s sake, not there,
look out where yr going.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Old Dale tried to knock the wall down.
Instead, he broke his neck.

He hailed from North Carolina.
No loss there.

When John-John crashed his plane,
killing his bride and her sister,

it became a joke like Nantucket.
His last words were…

When nobody claimed Delmore’s body,
the coroner tapped his foot impatiently.

The skyscrapers of New York City
crashed to the ground like Sonny Liston.

Ah, those were the good old days.
Now Ali just shakes like a leaf.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Munitions Workers Of America

Even the best hands of my generation
are guilty of genocide.

At the factory where they make the wire harnesses
which power the missiles and helicopters in Iraq.

The workers choose to be ignorant of their fruits.
Women who raise children, attend church

with their husbands, husbands who teach children
baseball, and toss a football in the backyard like grenades.

Men who barbecue on Sundays, their charbroiled burgers
resemble the leftovers of a car bomb.

Men who gut their catch on the shores of the lake---
the guts which could belong to those women

blown apart at the outdoor market in Sadr City.
The best hands of my generation work in mysterious ways.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Speed Racer

The skeptics say Danica didn’t win to race.
Elio says he slowed down to let her win.

Of course, that’s just machismo talking.
But Danica’s been close so many times.

It was bound to happen.
She’s rarely out of the top ten.

What did they have to say when Janet Guthrie
finished sixth at Bristol?

Racing them good ol’ boys,
and then going flat out at Indy.

The skeptics say Danica didn’t win the race.
But the flag man doesn’t wave the checkered flag at losers.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Chicano Poetry For Dummies

I am Joaquin and I have always been Joaquin.
I don’t give a damn about Gringo Lingo.

I don’t give a damn about Chingo Blingo.
The hell with them Latino poets.

The hell with them Hispanic poets.
It was never about being a fancy poet.

It was never about being a polished poet.
It was never about knowing all there is to know.

It was never about imitating your failures.
I am Joaquin and you are not.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Louis Untermeyer’s Deaths of the Poets

They buried Edgar Allan Poe
with a haunted hoe.

They deposited Robert Frost, I fear,
without a farmhouse near.

They cremated Wallace Stevens,
and sneezed, “That makes us evens.”

They shoveled William Carlos Williams
until he surfaced with them Chinese billions.

They saved Allen Ginsburg’s dead feet
to keep alive the Beat.

What’s in that blueblood bowl?
The confessional heart of Robert Lowell.

And that’s his cousin Amy’s butt,
ten times bigger that King Tut’s.

When they put to rest James Dickey,
his neck was one huge backwoods hickey.

Why did Robert Creeley choose to depart
from a place so devoid of taste and art?

Hart Crane needed no undertakers,
he dug a hole into the breakers.

Warm was Carl Sandburg
before he turned into a gnarled iceberg.

Berryman thought he was one the Wright Brothers,
but he was just one of the Blues Brothers.

Delmore died in a cheap hotel
so he could get used to hell.

James Wright wasted his life.
Add his offspring, and that’s twice.

A poet’s death should always be poetic,
even if his life is boring and pathetic.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I always loved Creeley, but the son of a bitch
couldn’t spell worth a sheet. I ask you, what
the hell would it have cost him to buy a dictionary
or turn on spell check. What a moron. For the
life of me, how are we to guess at what these
misspelled words mean, sd, yr, ag, etc. I quote
the entire poem hoping someone has the
patience to figure it out.

I Know A Fuhl

As I sd to my
fd, be I am
al, tk, ---Jn, I

sd, wh, was no hs
nm, th dk su
rn us, wh

cn we do ag
it, or el, sh we &
wy no, by a gd bg cr

dr, he sd fo
cht sk, lk
ot wh yr go.

Go ahead. Elucidate me. I wish you luck. I know
R. P. Blackmur gave it a gallant effort once, but
gave up broken-hearted. Even that silly, little
chipmunk of a critic William Logan gave it a shot,
embarrassing both himself and the New Criterion.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I always wonder about the stupidity of us poets.
Sometimes we hold a gem in our hands and we
throw it away to pick up a dusty pebble. Witness
the idiocy of Richard Wilbur in Museum Piece.

The good grey guardians of art
Patrol the halls on spongy shoes,
Impartially protective, though
Perhaps suspicious of Toulouse.

Here dozes one against the wall,
Disposed upon a funeral chair.
A Degas dancer pirouettes
Upon the parting of his hair.

See how she spirals! The grace is there,
But strain as well is plain to see.
Degas loved the two together:
Beauty joined to energy.

Edgar Degas purchased once
A fine El Greco, which he kept
Against a wall beside his bed
To hang his pants on while he slept.

Why the hell would he ruin a perfect quatrain
like the last four lines? Admittedly the rest of the
poem does bear some good lines and would
stand on its own, but the last part makes the
rest mediocre. Plus the appearance to the name
Degas in the preceding two sections is
irritating as hell to the poetic ear. What the fuck
was he thinking? It is indeed a museum piece.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Is There Still Hope?


I noticed you released your cicadas.
They bugaloo down Broadway.

Petula Clark thinks they are headed downtown.
Lennon poked a lot of Yoko’s poco loco koko.

This is much later of course.
After you changed horses in the middle of the Norses.

Now the black cloud has obscured the sky, Lucy.
Only guys like James Brown have a brand new bag.

Yet, I wanna hold your hand underneath cicada songs.
I wanna make your monkey shine.

I wanna make your banshee hum.
Despite the ills of Strawberry Fields.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Androcles And The Ant

I tortured Mandelstam.
I shoved his wife’s brassiere in his face.

I shoved his wife’s panties in his face.
I told him, she’s a good fuck.

I told him, you stop writing crap
about the State.

And I will stop fucking her.
You stop insulting our dear Stalin.

And I will stop fucking her.
But Mandelstam kept writing his smut.

He marched on like a measly little ant.
Content with carrying off creatures

ten times in his own weight.
I ask you, who needs lions?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

How I Made Texas

I don’t know why Marilyn Monroe dismantles
the Hollywood sign in this 1960 photo.

Frank Sinatra rushes down Mulholland Drive
in his skivvies in a neighbor’s mind.

James Garner is still one of the Mavericks
on my rabbit-eared TV.

Kennedy’s head seems intact
but has a spot reserved for bullets.

I am twelve in the Sonoran Desert
dreaming of creating this version of Texas.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Field Trip

When I was in Jefferson Elementary School
we walked to the Palace Theater.

To see the Ten Commandments.
Charlton Heston parted the sea.

And made it crash down upon the enemy.
Decades later, I see him curse.

At the human race as he kneels on the surf.
Underneath a half-buried Statue of Liberty.

In Planet of the Apes ----- and Nova.
Does not have a clue just like Heston does not have.

A blinking inkling dying from Alzheimers.
He does not know who or what or when or why.

Monday, April 07, 2008

This week is Austin International Poetry Festival week.
If you live in the Austin,Tx. area now is your chance
to hear some great poets. All readings are free,and there
are plenty of open mic readings if you want to ply your trade.
Here is the schedule.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The last few poems I have posted employ a style
I call the el cardenas, for obvious reasons. It utilizes
couplets which may or may not rhyme. The title and
the last line of the poem must deal with the same
subject, either literally or at least via allusion. The
body of the el cardenas must deal with an entirely
different subject.

Elegy For The Young Heartthrob Marlon Brando

The third graders plotted to kill their teacher.
The media has a field day and becomes a preacher.

They collected weapons like Dylan Thomas poems.
A lovable Captain Kangaroo’s manliness goes boing.

Bunny Rabbit and Dancing Bear were brought in to help.
Fox News demanded the kids be turned into kelp.

I myself wish the kids had succeeded.
To prove our educational system can’t be exceeded.

I hear angry rumors about me in Creative Writing Class.
By the time Marlon died he’d grown a big fat ass.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Elegy For The Crock Hunter

The paparazzi cling to Britney like remora
on her salty labia minora.

When she goes number one or number two.
They snap the money shot for you.

They sell it to TMZ or The Smoking Gun.
When did the rest of us stop having fun?

Even the judges are swayed by the publicity,
aroused as they are by her pubicity.

Britney is more important than the news.
Forget the war, the housing crisis, the gasoline blues.

The paparazzi cling to Britney like remora.
The Great Barrier Reef Explorah.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Village People’s Elegy For Timothy McVeigh

John Ashbery came to Texas.
He claimed to be a construction worker singing YMCA.

He claimed his boyfriend was an Indian.
He claimed an ex-lover was a cop. Ahuh.

But we here in Texas cain’t be fooled like that.
We sent him packing back to New York City.

We don’t let no a rabs knock down our towers,
and we don’t lao no poet-types south of Oklahoma City!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I have decided to give up poetry.
Starting tomorrow I will become the
Food Critic for the local paper.
I will review the food served by
McDonald's Restaurants within a one hundred
mile radius of my humble abode. Thanks to
all my loyal visitors.