Chicano Poet

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Don’t Mess With Texas

the Texas militia
gathers on the border

Big John Whiteman

I don’t care
if they’re mummies

or not
if they try

to cross the river
shoot ‘em

meanwhile mummies mingle
on the Rio Bravo’s

dirty cliffs
and when the moon

goes behind the clouds
they leap through the air

the Texicans

in the morning
Big John’s brain

lies half-eaten
on once sacred ground

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Mummies Of Mexico

the mummies roam
throughout Mexico

now that
it’s all over with

fear the pyramids
say the elders

the young
do not listen

and offer their blood

deep into the night
you hear their screams

the wise
have bolted their doors

the smell
of fried nopales

is the only sound
you’ll smell

up here in the mountains
it is safe

they do not
climb well

says a wrinkled abuelo
to his granddaughter

Friday, February 18, 2011

The River Of You

the San Gabriel behind you
still waters of your spine

who knows
how many ravines

lie upstream
what wild life

comes between us
what trees

have fallen
across the river

what moons
have struggled

to stay dry
how many times

leaping fish
startle the wind

which pair of crayfish
make love-bubbles

under a stone
we want it

do not speak
of what has been our curse

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Modern Malinche

those Mexican volcanoes
of your eyes

scare off sparrows
make lava scurry like lizards

black rosy pebbles deepen
why does love duck destruction

quake yet cling
leaves float away

conquistadores approached
and their metal beauty

you toasted you traitor
I didn’t understand you then

the tower extinguished
if only by fossilized rain

we can’t have the real thing
you and I

Friday, February 11, 2011

Nowhere Man

2013 was supposed to be
a new beginning

they would take
to the sea

they would go
to that land

the priests
had shouted about

from the top
of the temples

on Roosevelt Street

a Mexican
about forty eight or so

tried to
supersede his life

a crumpled brown paper bag
lay on the cracked sidewalk

nowhere to be found

it irked him
that his raza was nowhere too

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Non Sequitur Of Life In The Barrio

alejandro ran
all the way home

with the stolen
thirteen dollars

still in his
sweaty hand

he threw the knife
in someone’s backyard

the moon
gathered barrio dust

the stars stuttered
dark-brown like alejandro’s life

the other stone
the one displaying

the Mayan calendar
beyond 2012

is still lost
and buried in the jungle

to be discovered

itching to tell
its secrets

if only
to gringos

alejandro planning
his next pendejada

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Milagro On S. Presa

Doña Ignacia ran out of the bus
flagged down a passing Ramirez Taxi

while Elena
the other passenger

did her best to stop
the bleeding

overhead unseen by no one
a shooting star

disappeared over
Mission San Jose

others would swear

La Llorona
wandered nearby streets

Ramirez Taxi
had been in business

since 1943
if you are to believe Doña Ignacia

the ambulance
got Luis to Robert B. Green

just in time
weeks later

he was back on his route
driving against the current

camarón que se duerme
se lo lleva la corriente

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

El Corrido De Luis Robles

luis robles had been
driving a San Antonio city bus

for fourteen years
had four children

a dark brown Mexican wife
who’d lost her shape now

he liked the overnight shift
because it was quiet

most of the time
his route

from the southside
to downtown

made the night fly by
this night

at about three am
he had two passengers

he knew well
they cleaned buildings downtown

then on S. Presa and Southcross
he picked up some kid

maybe fifteen
he never wondered

what a fifteen year old
was up to at this time

suddenly he felt
a sharp pain in his back

the kid grabbed
the passenger’s purses

and the wallet
from luis’s back pocket

luis slumped over the steering wheel
bleeding to death

Monday, February 07, 2011

Poor Mexican Woman

his mother was a plain
poor Mexican woman

so poor the fields
shied away from her

the cornstalks
shivered on hot windless days

the sun pretended
to be a cloud all day long

mice found nothing
in the barn

the arroyo stayed dry
even during downpours

he has no idea
how such a poor Mexican woman

could afford
to make him into a poet

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

El Machito

pinche Shorty Pacheco
se chingo a la girl

que I was in love with
I called la Hopie a puta

in front of her friends
and the next night

I caught up with Shorty
outside his abuela’s house

I beat the shit
out of him

kicked him in the face
while he lay on the ground

I still love la Hopie
but I don’t let

the camaradas know
how bad I got it

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Like Hatfields And McCoys

Chico was wearing
black pants

with a thin white strip down the sides
which flared at the ankles

black stacy adams

black short-sleeve shirt
not buttoned at the neck

when the Perez brothers
happened to drive

by Munche’s Grocery Store
they shot up Chico’s car

but only got his hand
as he slammed the door shut

by the window frame
bad blood

between the Hatfields
McCoys barrio-style

bad blood passed on
by transfusion to this day

Chico wrapped his hand
in a white handkerchief

and drove away
as if nothing had happened