Part II

 

The Years of Your Adolescenece and Adulthood Put Together

(Because Really, Is There a Difference?)

 

 

 

Chicana Recipe for a Metaphorical Tortilla Slap

By Sarah Rafael Garcia*

 

Directions on How to Make and Slap Them with a Metaphorical Tortilla

Just blend:

a pinch of our history,

a dash of our differences,

1 tablespoon of diversity,

1 heaping scoop of Chican@ comino,

a handful of some sweet flowing “Academic” language to cover what they call “pungent” sabor.

 

Knead it all together with the abundance of Chingona in your panza that your Abuela fed you since birth.

 

Then once you have pressed it nicely onto the comal where your fingertips burn to leave that invisible seal, flip it to heat up both sides and make sure it is cooked with the sweat off the heads of your hard-working, immigrant parents and your own Chican@ stride.

Then and only then, slap them with it.

But stand proud and wait.

When you notice that it begins to sting, speak loudly, “Vaya con dios, because he’s the only one who has an ear to hear what you have to say a-mi-go!”

 

Then smile as you walk away—to live and serve another day.

 

*Recipe provided by a damn proud Chicana writer.

 

 

Cual Which

By Aurora Rebeca Ramos

 

What do I wear

cuando me llaman piernuda if I wear shorts?

What do I wear

when they call me a monja cuando me cubro las piernas?

Qué me pongo

when I’m the only one to go to college and we’re going to misa together?

Qué me pongo

cuando quiero ir al mandado con mi mamá al super but we don’t have money?

What do I wear

when I’m not American not Mexican but yet all of the above?

What do I wear

cuando quiero ser vista como soy, who I am?

Qué me pongo

cuando quiero caminar por la calle sin que me chiflen?

Qué me pongo

cuando quiero que mis padres sean orgullosos, but of themselves?

What do I wear

when I want others to take me seriously?

Qué me pongo

cuando quiero que mi familia confíe en mi?

What do I wear

to make fantasies realities?

Qué me pongo

para ser una bruja?

 

 

Orgullo 

By Jazmin Cruz

 

How long

Has it been

since you two stopped

talking?

One week,

or two?

Just stop.

It’s childish.

She stood up

to you

And you overreacted.

Oh, you’re

not mad?

Sabes que

has reaccionó

excesivamente.

No puedes

aceptarlo.

Para sentirte

mejor, prefieres

Hacerla sufrir.

Que amiga eres.

Que hipócrita

eres.

Debería dejar

de hablar contigo.

Pero no

soy así.

No soy

Tan orgullosa

Como tú.

Lo soy,

Pero

la diferencia es

yo lo admito

 

Marrón y Enojado

By Junior Prado

 

Brown as the dirt you step on

But roses grow from the dirt

So my mother holding me said “you will bloom and become a rose”

They say brown is ugly

But I see gringas plastering their faces with the dark colors

They wanna look Latinx but don’t wanna be Latinx

They want our beauty not our struggles and pain

They step on us like we’re dirt

Forgetting we’re they most beautiful flower ever created

Beautiful to look at, but touch us you’ll get cut from the thorns of our ancestors

They raped and pillaged my people

Burying us but forgetting we’re seeds

Brown as the dirt you step on but I am a rose

 

The Walk

By Robert Hinojosa

 

Stepping out of the classroom into harsh metallic buzz of the outdated fluorescent lights, a slow deliberate movement was made, something practiced a few times, but dreamt of for a lifetime. A new pair of headphones was gently placed around a neck, and with those few movements, a new life would begin. A plan that wasn’t so much created, but destined was taking its first steps into genesis. A path would have to be forged through the middle of campus. To imagine was one, to believe was another, to do was the hardest still. A need to be seen, built in by years of voices, thoughts, and beliefs ingrained in not the heart and soul, but the very core of the being was about to manifest itself in a walk across campus. Those preformed, built in, lingering thoughts brought to life imagined walking across the world, but in this place, those first few steps would be crucial. Thoughts of the furthest building upon campus, registration and advising, somewhere, anywhere, but where no one would be heading at this time of year rose to the top. It would have to do. An individual does as they please, the crowds push against each other, and an individual pushes against themselves. Opening the door an effort was made to ensure to hold it just long enough to move through alone. The others would have to escape of their own free will. Plan set, the march towards destiny continued. Walking through the halls and courtyards, a realization that someone was walking behind took hold. Thick rubber slapping sounds of cheap sandals against the pavement perverted a destiny freshly manifest. Practically new rarely worn shoes sang a tune that reverberated against itself.

A slight fear, a nervousness struck, a new problem had arisen to halt the world itself. How to enlighten the world to the holder of this new gadget, walking forward with a purpose unto itself, if someone was to notice, the universe would collapse. It would be silly, narcissistic, certainly whoever was behind would tell all, that here was a person who walked without purpose. That could never be. A decision was made, to stop and read a sign and see what fate had in store. Those brief moments when all the words on the sign mixed and melded and became one filled the air, clouded the sight, it was like holding Pandora’s box, and knowing what’s inside, but being unsure of how it came to be held. Cursed. A pox upon the unknowing fellow traveler. They would be known soon enough. The rubber kept slapping the floor, and suddenly made an appearance, but continued on, as though this was just another tick of the clock. It was a marvelous thing to see, here passes an enigma, but the bigger question was as to how it was able to exist at all with such tremendous effort behind every movement, yet somehow making it all look so graceful, like a seagull taking flight with a fresh crust of bread in its beak. Flesh bulged out of every crack that wasn’t covered in skintight clothing. Of all the people it could have been, it had to be the loudmouth, the one who always had something to say, a question and a statement with every word. Surely, surely to all hell, they would say here was someone who walked without purpose. A resolve to push on out of spite took hold. Turning back now would be catastrophic. Stopping in academic advising became a prerogative, a door was closed, but a bigger one would have to open. But then, to look the fool, asking about academics in the middle of the semester. Trapped, where could those tire treads be heading towards on this of all days? Of course they had to be watching, ready to report to the others, that here was an entity who acted without reason, sans purpose so to say. It would be imperative to concoct some manner of purpose in advising then, it was the only option, for there was no more reason to be there. Feeling the fool for wanting to show off means and class in this backwards society, regret itself had decided to lay upon these shoulders weary of moving on, but more so of stopping. Why of all days did the need arise to head in this direction, why was it today the hunger to show off to the crowds appeared. Cursed, the only option was to trudge onward, to own this decision. Loudmouth had seen, to continue was the only available decision, and sure enough, those inanimate objects had willed themselves to stop in academic advising. It was time to pay a visit to destiny, and all those who had seen the initial walk would be deprived of the return. Denied a chance to imagine themselves wearing those glimmering headphones, music blasting without a care in the world. Opening the door and forced out of the bright rays of the sun, the room was somehow inhabited by a few others, who may or may not have decided to take permanent residence there waiting for just such an occasion. Reaching up to move the headphones around, a thought sprouted, that they were now the only things that could be felt, the only part that was real. The cold touch of the gold plated metal on fingers, the softness of the leather ear piece, the in line microphone, and suddenly noticing it out of place, shifted it just a little bit to the left, for they had to sit perfectly in the middle, the wire had to hang just off to the side, carefree, just a little bit wild, but a sort of controlled disorder. Wondering, for just a moment, whether or not to begin to listening to music, but thought better of it, imagine if they would call our name and we failed to notice! Then, we would be the fool, not that loudmouth rubber slapper. Yet, surely in that failure, everyone would notice the gorgeous sublime design that adorned a neck, attached to a body, covered in a wardrobe that many would die in the desire to become. Slowly loosening the grip upon the wire, a small kink appeared in it, and with it a reminder to put a negative rating on the seller who claimed they were used, but like new.

There were four people ahead of us in advising each more foolish then the last. We would have to curse our luck, only this could happen to us. But that would have to wait for another day. Loudmouth asked for advising, but as next in line there was a need to go one better, a junior still, yet, precocious enough to ask about the graduate programs. Always ahead, there was a need to be, it wasn’t a question. Upon speaking the words, all the chairs behind shifted a little, their inadequacies shown to them. Now if flip flops would talk, let the words be about a person so precocious as to be planning for masters already, let them all imagine the words of a future doctor. Taking a seat in the imitation leather seats, lush with all their cotton filling, and wishing we could have one at home, only to realize that leather was the only thing that could be sufficient for someone of status. The campus could be cheap with its students, but we couldn’t do that, only the best would do.

Surely, once we had couches as soft as these, but only of the finest leather, we could invite all our friends, and friends we would make with these new headphones, because surely they all wanted to know how we had obtained them, and we would uncork that bottle of imported cabernet and tell them on those plush leather couches one day.

Time passed slowly in advising, a sound arose in the room, of a behemoth, seemingly breathing its last, clad in exercise clothing that no one would believe were ever used, much less so those that had seen this behemoth at rest, it’s very life systems struggling to keep it alive. Slowly the others disappeared as their names were called. As the loudmouth passed through the doors to the advisor, we begin to resolve to walk towards the front desk to cancel our time slot. Yet, in that moment fate would kick in, it always did, as the words began to spill out, a name appeared on the monitor, next in line, and the advisor was already walking to the door. Heavy footprints bounding to the door, moving with purpose, with reason, singular or not, each step landed with an ominous thud.

Now, how could we escape this place and walk back through the campus with those golden headphones upon our perfectly shaped ears, showing everyone that not only could we own, but put to good use this technology, that only the finest amongst them could hope to own?

The door opened and a name was called.

 

Suave Conquistador

By Griselda J. Castillo

i seared carrots on a handmade grill

back from climbing temples

along flat grassy banks

of la laguana de los siete colores

tailoring a yankee pot roast in mexico

 

the fogata consumed chen-chen

a thin jaguar barked tree

sly guides told us ate skin

our velero laughing as he stacked

our pile of wood

 

anna and is built camp beneath Ixchel

lulled by prismatic, rambling lagoon tongues

aguas dulces conversing with a cracking fire that

carried their hunger far past chetumal

over bacalar and told us we were pirates too

king rails pillaging the shorelines

of this cuento

 

needlefish thread through restless silver surfaces, hunting

stitch the limestone bottom to the night sun

 

we sat by the illuminated lagoon in Ju’Umyaxche

native for ‘sounds in trees’

listening to songs chiseled in the air

by geckos

 

devouring the meat and potatoes

of another country

 

 

The Audacity of Demands

By Charles McGregor

 

Acceptance is the new oppression. A mouthing cock,

a party favor. In ribbons and bows we pop

out of plastic closets. They exclaim satisfaction, a

 

I’ve always loved the gays. They’re so adorable.

A kiss on the cheek, peace sign tees,

flower power gun barrel posters,

 

Hirojima buttons (or was it Nagasaki?), straight-

-jacket activism that gums tossed bones

in the name of their appeasement.

 

Cis concessions produce out-of-the-closet galas

orchestrated with a digestible queer

until queer is no longer homeless, but spewed

 

on sandwich boards shuffling to the howl

of muffled cash register bells.

I don’t ask for a return

 

to squatters

and straightjackets

and electrotherapy evenings

and black eyes

and mock bass voices

and conversion summer camps

and the old guard of red, white, and blue.

 

I will demand an end to the cis celebrity complex—

 

to their rib thin queer’s magazine inspiration starvations;

to their thespian queer—the realness of being RuPaul fodder;

to their family sitcom queer branding a nuclear arrangement;

 

 

to their martyr queer outlawing clinched fists, black eye defiance;

 

to their prayer for a marble queer, a toothless queer

that gums resistance to the new frontier

of MADE IN AMERICA rainbow price tags.

 

Gray hair fairy dust accessorizes another headstone

while we wait on the next persuade or obey

cis-queer arrangement. They only understand

 

asphalt lungs closing Eisenhower interstates—

a rejection of Coca-Cola ad revenue clemency.

 

 

The Inaccessible

By Sergio A. Ortiz

 

I entered

the uncomfortable night

of your body

—tu amurallada ciudad—

with moistened footsteps,

and the long creak

of the catwalk was lost

amid the shouts of stevedores

and sailors.

 

It was midnight

before I found your labyrinth.

You’d be talking to me

about the fleeting language

of a broken clock, the wings

of your Moroccan city,

the life of its cobblestones,

when suddenly you became

the quiet rage, the trembling

conversation of doubts:

the inaccessible

power of an orgasm.

 

 

Passengers Boarding

By Devon Hernandez

 

I imagine

while I watch you sitting

Benches bus blue and steel

that you disappear

 

Your skin crawls

Your flesh creeps

grasping-

cilia spreading

desperate to reach

To stay,

 

But your spirit,

a phantasm-

brief and distorted,

resonates to depart.

 

You grip onto this and that-

sport’s reports, M*A*S*H,

Leave it to Beaver,

3 o’clock news,

on loop forever

 

I dream of you then

through filtered lens

I listen to you,

through stories

I know you

 

On loop forever

 

I don’t hate you then

something inside

embraces, you

walk away boarding

the next transfer to Louisiana.

 

Blue Moon

By Robert Hinojosa

 

There I sat,

(cloudy night sky, dirty black car, dead end road, dunes piled high, ocean just out of sight, nothing more)

Alone, among millions, no billions, grains, sand beneath my feet, in my hands,

Blue, black, purple sky stretching as far as I can see,

Green long gone, overgrown forgotten weeds, stale, burned out, dried up and waiting to fade away

There we sat, alone,

Wave, crashing along the beach, then another, and another,

Adding to that dirty white foam, each of you closer with every push

Clouds, neutral, every shade of gray, clouding the sky, blocking out the night,

That windy forlorn, stale, desolate night, One of many nights, every night,

Then, there you were, skyfire, asteroid, meteor, shooting star (yellow, red, orange burst)

Alone,

Tearing through the windy night, ripping through the gray clouds, lighting up every grain of sand,

Giving life to the weeds, coloring in those crashing waves, opening that blue, black, purple sky,

And then I realized, I am not alone, I never was, are we ever alone,

How can I say I am alone, when you, might not ever see the same thing twice,

Streak through night, streak through the day,

Always moving forward, never stopping, you don’t know how,

You don’t even know you can, you are, you are alone, no peers,

And then, I see another, burning through the night, ripping into the day, Twice as bright, just as fast,

But, I’ll never forget you, that feeling you gave me, that feeling you gave everyone who saw you,

(that feeling you gave everyone lucky enough to see)

What you are, what you do, I should have named you

You, who let everyone know, that we are never alone, how can we ever be,

When you keep moving forward, saying hello/giving life, to all that you see.

 

In Paris

By Ivanov Reyez

 

You are delicious in Paris,

an exotic Mexican-Indian chocolate.

You lie on a bench like Chac-Mool,

the skies a lavender backdrop,

the buildings islands of history

abandoned to silence and poetry.

 

The Frenchman at your sandaled feet

listens to the thunder everywhere.

Your toenails dusty in Métro red

dance for the coming rain.

 

Brown-calved woman, beautiful

robust creature innocent by the Seine,

the boats bobbob to measure

your white-skirted sway from behind.

You are delicious in Paris,

trotting on cobbles, drinking a café crème,

fondling a book, dropping your cone.

 

The Frenchman knows one thing,

desires one thing: you regally,

you stretched out longer than France,

musked in his arms

paler now that you exude the scent

to darken his purest philosophy,

to concretize his watery ghost of a life.

 

En París (Spanish Translation)

By Ivanov Reyez

 

Eres deliciosa en París,

un chocolate exótico, indio y mexicano.

Te acuestas en un banco como el Chac-Mool,

los cielos un telón de fondo color lavanda,

los edificios islas de la historia

abandonados al silencio y la poesía.

 

El francés en tus pies calzados con sandalias

escucha el trueno en todas partes.

Tus uñas de los pies polvorientos en Métro rojo

bailan para la venida lluvia.

 

Mujer de pantorrillas morenas, hermosa

criatura robusta e inocente por el Sena,

los barcos se menean para medir

tu meneo en falda blanca por detrás.

Eres deliciosa en París,

trotando sobre adoquines, bebiendo un café crème,

acariciando un libro, dejando caer tu cono.

 

El francés sabe una cosa,

desea una cosa: tu, regiamente;

tu, extendida más larga que Francia,

almizclada en sus brazos

más pálidos ahora que tu exudas el olor

para oscurecer su filosofía más pura,

para concretar el espectro acuoso de su vida.

 

Thoughts 

By Topid Ogun

 

Night brings no gloom to the heart

With its welcome shade

Through the transparent darkness a gentle wind speaks

That experience must be converted into thought

As mulberry leaf is converted into satin

That character is higher than intellect

And thinking is a partial act

And mind thinks and acts

That scholars will lose no hour which man lives

As long as thoughts are still apprehended

That character is greater than Will

Because thinking is the function

And living is the functionary.

 

Alaska

By Cal Ramos

Digital Photography

 

Gas Station

By Robert Hinojosa

 

The door is heavy,

It is weighed down by the weight of the world,

Millions have passed through these stickered,

Plastered, pasted, doors

I am one of countless many, to pass through this door of plenty,

Gas, beer, cigarettes, chips, and tacos,

Breakfast for the lazy,

Dinner for the desperate,

Drinks to hold the night,

I am a receipt, proof of profit, proof of success,

Proof of need,

And there he is,

holding up the line,

holding up those ready to begin the day,

to seize their moment, and push forth into the unknown,

whose world cannot move forward,

locked in by those promises

of a 99 cent breakfast taco,

he is a sight to behold,

we are beholden to him

and

there he stands,

an entire culture, condensed into twenty steel pans,

no thought for the many,

he can only dream of the land of plenty,

and his hopes of a custom order, from a land that was made to order.

 

Forgive Me Mr. Candidate

By Sergio A. Ortiz

 

/ I will not shake your hand

you’re not my friend / I

cannot welcome you / no one from your party

is welcomed /

I want you to say you’re sorry / we’re not rapist

(or slobs or dogs or pigs) / we only flee / injustice.

I have my hammer. I have tears. I have a backbone.

The only thing / I am giving you / is my

disapproval. I’ll turn my back

and walk away now.

 

Cobarde

By Ivanov Reyez

 

Como cobarde te dejé,

te abandoné en tu llanto,

tu piel una rosa de dolor;

tus palabras—que me hechas menos

y me amas—

fueron pisoteadas sin compasión.

 

Se me hizo fácil

herirte con mi silencio,

dejarte suspendida y preñada

con mi odio y misterio.

Allí te dejé colgada de un barranco,

gritando sola con tu alma

que supo amar con el amor profundo

de madre y amante.

Allí te dejé en tu abismo sin mí,

la tirana de tu propio destino.

 

Tuve un placer sadístico

en rechazar tu amor suplicante,

en rechazar y ahogar tu sufrimiento.

Te callas o te vas, te dijé,

y estoica, humillada,

como un hielo en fuego,

te volvistes una presencia vacua

que se me hizo fácil abandonar.

 

Fear and Loathing in San Antonio

By Ray Zamora

News cast-Negative blast-Rat race is fast. Police state-hesitate?-bam quick they are dead in hate. Stayed out late didn’t make it home. Got a little too drunk, got a lot stone. Played it safe-stayed with buddies. Played it safe to live and party again another day. Played it safe-didn’t want to get pulled over and harassed. Red and blue red and blue sending star spangled tremors down my spine. Interrogation shake down- plead the 5th. Pat down- plead Devine. Questionnaire of 20 or more;( what’s the score officer? I’m simply getting home, my license and registration I have shown. Red and blue red and blue white-lightning of thrills for the blue bus kidz’ chills of delight. Twilight ceremony broadcast space station Earth. Red and blue minds blown in ritual… I believe in spiritual art form I believe in the color purple and red and blue transform. So, why do you shine Pink? I have heard of body odor but you stink like you ate Body as your Order at the loco deli and that smile on your face reads you’re not friendly. Red and blue? As American without a lawyer I advise you to stay as far away from me as possible. I’m afraid of myself and there is no telling what my blown mind is capable of… So please turn off the sirens and turn down the lights…. Red and Blue? Let’s all play it safe and walk away……

 

The Challenge

By David Bowles

 

During the waning years of Toltec dominion over Mesoamerica, the aging king of Teotihuacan called his two sons before him. Sitting on his feathered mat upon his jade throne, he addressed them with solemn ceremony.

“You have both concluded your studies well, though, it is clear that you, my elder son, have the keener reflexes, grasp of history, and mind for strategy; while you, his younger brother, show great aptitude for philosophy, music, and the oratory required of a true statesman.

“You have both furthermore demonstrated your valor in battle, slaying enemies and taking captives without fear. It is true, my younger son, that your style is more foolhardy and fluid; your elder brother instead commands the respect of his colleagues and unerringly transforms disparate warriors into a seamless fighting body, devastating to its foes.

“Hear me, my sons. I am proud of you both. I believe that under the right circumstances, either of you could rule this kingdom. But you know our ways. Each prince must prove himself worthy of the mat of authority. So today, you shall both leave my palace, set out with nothing but your breechclouts, your flesh, your minds—and you will work a mighty victory in the name of your father the king.”

With a bow, the brothers quit the throne room and disappeared into the haze of a distant horizon while the city looked on in sober silence.

Months passed. The royal spies brought back fleeting rumors, but the king waited in quiet, tortured suspense for the return of his sons, praying to the twin gods of chaos and creation for their success.

An entire ceremonial year passed before heralds trumpeted on their golden conches the arrival of both princes. Their father stood in the portico of his palace and watched as from the north a phalanx of warriors approached, his elder son at their head in the regalia of a general.

Circling around the palace from the south came the younger prince, skin a darker burnished bronze but wearing the same simple breechclout as when he had left. Slung across his chest was a bag woven from reeds.

After embracing them on the steps, the king took his place upon his throne and bade them speak of their triumphs before a gathered group of courtiers, counselors ,and generals.

“I traveled to the north, Your Majesty,” the elder explained, “to barbarian lands. There I came across a band of Chichimec mercenaries who sought to enslave me. After I bested a dozen of their numbers with my bare hands, however, they allowed me to join their ranks. We fought in several battles, contracted by one desert kingdom or another, and my superior training and prowess soon garnered me a command.

“Then came the day that a client tribe refused to pay the accorded fee, and I rallied the barbarian warriors to follow me in seizing control of their lands. That people fell easily beneath our obsidian-tipped lances and mighty clubs, and I was declared leader of the hybrid nation. A fortnight ago, we began marching south toward Your Majesty’s realm, and along the way we have conquered two more city-states, which I now lay at your feet, Father, as vassal nations, along with the 10,000 men in the army I now command.”

The king’s normal dour expression was broken by the hint of a smile. “My son, you have more than demonstrated your worth. I accept your gift with pride and recognize you as a general of the Toltec domain.”

The prince bowed low and went to stand among the other military leaders. The aging sovereign then turned his gaze upon his younger son, who came forward, forehead high, eyes gleaming with what seemed inhuman surety and peace.

“Lord Father,” he began, “knowing the likely path to victory of my brother, I elected to travel south, into the highlands. There I found shamans who counseled me and bequeathed me the six holy sacraments of the Flowery God—peyote, mushrooms,morning glory seeds, tobacco leaves, moonflowers, sun-openers.

“I scaled the divine peaks of the White Mountain,

struggling against the cold and snow. When I reached the summit, I prepared the narcotic concoction the ancients called gods’ gall. Readying myself through prayer and blood-letting, I took a deep draught. A whirlwind of cosmic energy unmoored my soul from my flesh, and I found myself rising toward the sun.

“That fiery god was surprised to find me in his orbit, and he reached out to bat me away. But I seized his flaming limbs and began to grapple with him, striving to pin him to the earth or sky. Locked thus in combat, the sun and I wheeled through the heavens for many months of thirteen days, plunging each evening into the bowels of the earth, where the shades of my ancestors beheld our titanic struggle.

“Over time, I robbed the god of rest. His charring heart began to cool. And one morning, as we emerged at the horizon from the Land of the Dead, I tumbled the sun to his distant, watery kingdom. He bowed and acknowledged defeat.”

An outraged rumor rippled through the throne room. The elder son shook his head, irate and embarrassed. The nobles of the realm stiffened, anticipating judgment.

“My son,” the king rasped. “Surely you know how difficult this story is to credit.”

“Indeed, Your Majesty. Such was my thought when the blazing god prepared to return me to my flesh. No one will believe me.”

The prince ascended the first few steps of the dais. His brother moved forward, spear in hand, ready to intercept.

“Yet hear me well, Father,” the younger prince whispered.“I strove with the sun himself, and in the end, I won. As proof and tribute, I bring you a blossom, plucked from the fields of paradise that skirt the Holy House of Dawn.”

He drew from his reed bag an unearthly, achingly beautiful flower and laid it at the feet of the king, its petals still glowing with ineffable light.

 

Oglala Lokota Women on Horseback

By H. A. Hathaway Miranda

 

Digital Photography 11×14

 

Gringo Face

By Fernando Meisenhalter

“Hey, have another beer,” José says.

José and I are at a bar downtown Mexico City, and a nearby drunk stares at us with dark, tragic eyes, his mustache thicker than that of Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, and ten other national heroes combined.

“Hey, gringo,” the drunkard says to me.  “Look, your country is falling apart.”  He points at the images on the TV.  An earthquake just hit San Francisco.  It’s all over the news.

“I’m not a gringo,” I say.  “I’m Mexican.”

The drunkard doesn’t believe me.

“It’s true,” José says in my defense.  “He looks like a gringo, but he’s not.  He’s Mexican.”

“But you look foreign,” the drunkard says.

“My parents are German,” I say.

“German?” the drunkard says.  “I’m sorry to hear that.  Why did they come here?”

“They’re Catholic,” I say.

“Oh, man,” the drunkard says.  “I’m gonna need another drink.”

He still looks at me with suspicion.

“I thought you were American,” he says, “down to the poor posture and vacant stare.”

“He’s been drinking,” José says.

“I guess that explains it,” the drunkard says.  “I was sure he was going to invade us, take away the rest of the country, or what’s left of it.  But where are my manners?  Sit down, manito, have a beer.  You too, gringo face, even if you look like a goddamn imperialist.  I’m in a good mood today.  I’m buying.”

He signals the waiter, orders three more Coronas.  “I want them as cold as a dead man’s butt,” he says.

“You two kids still think booze is fun,” he says.

“It’s fun while you’re drinking,” José says with a smile.

“Well, let me tell you something… let you in on a little

secret: God hates us. He does horrible things to us.  He wants us to suffer, and then die.”

“That sounds like a hangover,” I say, trying to be funny.

But the drunkard doesn’t laugh. He ignores me.

“We’re just bar hopping,” José says.

“Bar hopping?” the drunkard says.  “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“I know,” José says, “but it’s all we have.”

They both laugh, already best pals.

I need to pee.  So I get up, go to the bathroom.  But the place is beyond revolting, the stench is overwhelming, so acidic I feel my nose could melt.

Also, I discover a one-thousand pesos bill in the urinal, enough for a bottle of good tequila and two packs of cigarettes!  What kind of sick, twisted mind would leave so much money in a urinal?

I ponder grabbing it, but the note is so worn and drenched it would probably liquefy if I try to lift it.

So I leave it there.  It’s just too disgusting.

I relieve myself, wash my hands, return to the table.

José and the drunk are still conversing.

“Let me tell you something else,” the drunkard says.  “Life is endless, meaningless suffering.  That’s all it is, and God likes it that way.”

Now it’s José’s turn to go to the restroom, and I’m not happy about being left alone here with Mr. Nihilism, who’s worse than Bukowski, Sartre, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, and ten more French existentialists combined.  But I needed not worry.  As soon as José leaves, the drunkard ignores me.  He turns away to chat with the waiter.

I glance around, at other patrons, at their faces.  They’re all horrible, sad and broken, faces like warnings from Hell.

José returns full of glee and optimism.

“I’m going home,” he announces.

“What?” I say.  “What about bar hopping?  It was your idea.”

“Yeah, but I have to get up early,” he says.  “It’s my cousin’s birthday, and I promised I’d help set up the place.”

I know he’s lying. He never mentioned any birthday, and I know he doesn’t care for his little cousin.

Then I recall the urine-soaked bill in the bathroom, and realize what’s really happening.  José must have retrieved it and wants to spend it all on booze and smokes for himself.

He pats me on the back and leaves.  It’s horrible.  I bet he didn’t even wash his hands.

Now I’m alone with the drunkard, and he looks at me, devious, malignant.

“You thought your buddy would stick around, didn’t you?” he says.  “Hate to break it to you, gringo face, but in life there are no friends.  Here you’re as alone as the moon in the sky.”

I ponder about this, and somehow start to believe it. José didn’t care.  He dumped me the minute something better came up.  He didn’t even think about it.  And he’s always been like this, untroubled by reeking urinals, quick to mock and abandon his friends, and then run with any loot.

The drunkard looks at me from across the table, a cynical expression on his face.

He smiles.

“Here, gringo face,” he says.  “Have another beer.”

 

I am From…..(Part I)

By Dr. Melba Salazar-Lucio

 

…the Riverside barrio en la West Side de Brownsville

…la calle Parral, unpaved, full of potholes and caca colored caliche rocks

…Baltazar and Maria Elena, mis padres enamorados siempre besandose.

…rainy days making sokete cakes, taking luxury mud baths..and we never got germs!

…gathering rainwater para que te quede el hari bien smooth and shiney por que we couldn’t afford el hair rinse del HEB!

…Chela’s cantos y cuentos bonitos which would transport me to a little girls’ fantasyland, where I wanted to stay forever…lost in my delicious stories!

…”Las rodillas las tienes bien choriadas”mom would nag

…papitas con huevo y frijoles refritos for breakfast and barbacoa con tortilla de maiz y pan dulce on Sundays before Mass.

…los molletes con cafe para la afternoon merienda y chismes con Chavela, Keli y Locha, las vecinas de la tarde.

…Lupe, Hela and Oralia Garza, my comadritas, waiting for me at the chain link fence to platicar for hours about los boys.

…las expensive movies en el Majestic Theater en el centro y los midnight shows también.

 

I am From…..(Part II)

By Dr. Melba Salazar-Lucio

 

…eating anacuas from the Garza’s tree and golden ripe mesquite pods ready to suck the juices out…and chewing chapapote de los techos y las calles and licking gooey yellowish crystal liquid secreted by the mesquite tree…and we never got sick!

…the dances at el centro civico with bands like: the Sun, The InnKeepers, y Los Malos

…el city bus verde y blanco que rechinaba en la esquina bringing our nanas: Chela y Maria Zendejas(AKA: Maria La Gorda)

…noches bonitas comiendo carne asada los domingos con los compadres y padrinos

…eating nopalitos con mi hermanito, Baltazar y mis hermanitas:Liz, Sandra y Marta during Lent

…making hielitos de cool aide, chocolate y limón en los metal ice trays…our make believe ice cream paletas

…atole de arroz con palitos de canela y pasas y chocolate de la abuela cradled in my cold winter days

…el momo, la llorona y la mano pachona y “Duermanse ya muchachas cabronas” Mom would yell

…swinging on home-made llanta swings, playing baseball among the giant sunflowers only God had planted in the abandoned fields along the Rio Grande River

 

I am From…..(Part III)

By Dr. Melba Salazar-Lucio

 

…abrazos fuertes y besitos inocentes when company came to visit at Parral Street…especially those old ladies who smelled of ajo and cebolla when they would touch my face so I wouldn’t get the ojo from them.

…my dad, Baltazar, making homemade kites con colitas de garra hechas trenzas so they could fly higher and higher into the popcorn shaped clouds.

…Mexican music making swirls in our two bedroom house of 5 kids and mis padres with Los Relampagos del Norte, Noe Pro, Angelica Maria y Vicente Fernandez.

…las pachangas alegres de mi padre and his compadres drinking Falstaff, Lone Star and Schlitts and singing loud enough for the neighbors to get serenaded too!

…ropa de segunda that clothed my slender body…la flaca, my dad’s nickname for me.

…joyous memories con mi hermanito, Puche writing on the sidewalk with a rock as our chalk playing bebeleche, dancing polkas, singing corridos, jumping into the mesquite treehouse Daddy made us and crying at sunset because it was time to come inside the house.

…a fairytale once upon a Riverside barrio where I spent the happiest days of my life en la West Side de Brownsville at the home of mis padres, Maria Elena and Baltazar Salazar.

 

 

The Allegory of the Hair Patch

By David Aguilar

 

I like long hair, even on women.

Easy to move, easy to part.

Locks stream down one side,

Then down the other.

 

The short stuff? Pfft.

Now that’s a bitch!

Manageable? Sure.

Nothing axel grease won’t hold.

 

This one patch, though.

This disgustingly lazy patch

Never seems to fall into place.

Mom tells me my father gave it to me.

“It’s the only thing that asshole left.”

 

Strange that it never falls into place.

The hair around is normal enough.

The front goes forward; the back, back;

The sides, to the side.

The borders on my scalp aren’t accommodating, I suppose.

 

To be in the patch must be so condemning.

Never choosing to grow in that spot right on the border.

Never belonging to one side or the others,

Hated even by me.

It’s criminal.

 

The End of the Rainbow

By Marissa Candy Raigoza

 

This is it, huh?

But I struggled to get here.

I started at red, where I faced stoplights.

Determined, I ran through them, chased by batons and cops

blowing whistles and calling me a no good chola,

ran until I made it safe to the color orange but, damn,

there were oranges there to pick,

so I plucked acres of trees, left them clean,

collected a lousy ten dollars

that didn’t cover my passage into the yellow

where I was smuggled in by a coyote

that overcharged and then released me

into the army green color of migra officers

who dared to ask if I was American.

Suspicious, they refused to let me pass,

so I told them to kiss my ass and swam

across the blue waves of the Rio Grande

splashed until I finally made it to the other side of indigo

and finally to purple

where I hung on the arch

monkey-barred my way across

to this cloud at the end of the rainbow.

Now, here I am

sitting with this leprechaun

who claims all the gold is gone.

 

White Anglo Saxon Protestant-Wannabe

By Katherine Brittain

 

The first thing the Mexican Mestizos do when their babies are born, so says an anthropology professor at UT Pan American (now UT Rio Grande Valley), is to check their skin color and report it to all the extended family members in the waiting room, for they know that the darker the skin, the more discrimination the child will face. So it is at least compassionate these days, when Immigration is headlining the news, to consider why so many Mestizos from Mexico immigrate to the States where all men are created equal and the minimum wage is more than double that of Mexico.  I know why.  These immigrants, known as el pobres, or the poor ones, have suffered physically from poverty and mentally from alienation.  Their faith in the old ways—old stories, old medicine, old religion, mediated by curanderismo—is sometimes all that gives them esperanza y salud, hope and health.

The pobres among whom I did my field research for my Master’s thesis in Anthropology, for the most part, had no medical insurance and were forced, but maybe priviledged, to seek alternative medical care in the consultorio of a renowned curandero. (That’s another story for another time.) For better or worse, as these people looked back and forth between my blonde hair and blue eyes, and the Tahoe I drove, they tended to profile me as a WASP. This hurt me.  Didn’t they also notice the cuerda I wore in the role of La Guardia?  I wanted to tell them my mother’s story to reframe their perception of WASPhood, but I don’t speak or understand Spanish.  So I’ll tell you and you can tell them for me.  Okay?

 

I found an article in the Social Sciences Journal that defines American White Anglo Saxon Protestants as being those who can formally trace their European ancestors prior to the time of The Boarding of the Mayflower. They live in mansions mostly in the Northeast.  Their natural manners are a genetic legacy, and their philanthropy is a habit derived from fiefdom.  They are fodder for conspiracy theories.  They are a rare breed—only very few can claim the blood legitimacy—and yet they set the social mores for a class of free capitalistic White Anglo Saxon Protestant-Wannabes—or, in shorthand, WASPS.  It’s important you get the semantics of class distinction.

 

Obviously, I am not a W.A.S.P. But I would like to tell a story that will explain why even my WASPishness is circumspect, even living here in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas where the population is 90% Hispanic.

 

Please don’t think too badly of me if I tell you that when I was in Mrs. Lamb’s Kindergarten, I used to step on the sidewalk cracks because Molly Snyder told me if I did, I would break my mother’s back.

 

You see, Mother (she always tagged herself ‘mother,’ never ‘mom,’ or ‘mommy,’) was training me to be a Perfect WASP in the eyes of God, who she thought was Episcopalian.   So, having been born a rebel (I believe WASPs are bred), I felt compelled to keep metaphorically stepping on those cracks throughout our relationship.  For instance, at age twelve, when I met the handsome, off-limits-because-he’s-Mexican Dickie behind our storage shed—guess who caught us before I could accept his invitation to go to the carnival?  And, when our group got drunk on prom night, guess what tee-totaling Episcopalian I accidentally slammed the car door on as she was helping me out of the back seat at 2:00 a.m.? (She said nothing but “go brush your teeth.”)

 

And, when I was ecstatically dancing a jig in my new A&M dorm room, free for the first time, guess who I was watching through the window drive away in our Buick?

It’s not quite that I hated my mother. It’s more like this:  in the 1960s WASP women wore hats and gloves to St. Paul Episcopal

Church in Midland, Texas. I remember Sundays, sitting in our reserved-for-the-Lawrence Olivers’ pew beside my mother, playing with her white gloved fingers.  If I kicked my feet against

 

the pew in front of me because I liked the sound it made, she would pinch me with those gloved fingers. That’s the only environment in which I can remember her touch.  But lately I’ve thought to forgive her lack of affection because she gave me the things I highly value:  reading, hand work, piano, and manners—perfect WASP legitimizers, I reluctantly admit.

 

Cancer fed on my mother right before my eyes, and she died before we’d had a chance for an amended adult relationship. Therefore, I try to make amends for my crack-stepping by becoming something I think she would be most proud of:  a Perfect WASP in the eyes of the Episcopalian God.

 

My mother, a post-WWII suburbanite was a devout acolyte of the “Camelot fairy tale” of WASPdom which hides its class distinctions behind democratic ideals—where every man is king of his castle with a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage. The Protestant Work Ethic (God helps those who help themselves) was the matrix through which my mother wove her WASPishness.  But ultimately, perfectionism was the white horse on which she rode into Camelot.  Unquestioned.  Unsearched.

One needs some ideology to overcome the stigma of being an illegitimate child born in 1928. Perfectionism is a pretty good cover-up.  And it casts a really big shadow.

 

Oh, God, I hope my grandmother does not ever find out I know this story. A whole lifetime of her keeping her secret only to be blown out of the water at age 93 by her loving granddaughter?  Yet, I feel I have to include Grandmother’s moral sin as part of a social statement to el pobres who might believe that all Anglos, like me, are WASPS. But my Anglo mother was actually raised pobre, translated “country.”  It was not until she married my father that she achieved WASPhood.  Yes, it is possible to marry into WASPilty.

 

The story of my mother’s illegitimacy came to me by way of Peggy from Jewett, Texas. Peggy was the niece, and only heir, of Joe Brown.  “Papa Joe” was a truck driver by trade, and my grandmother’s second husband.  You see, Grandmother and I had begun making our annual cemetery runs together after Papa Joe passed away in 1994.  These excursions are an all-day affair because there is family buried in four different cemeteries, tucked away off four different country dirt roads, outside of four different Central Texas towns, all with populations under 1,000.  The cemetery runs always end in Jewett with a visit with Peggy.

 

My favorite time to go “flower-bringing,” as Grandmother likes to call cemetery hopping, is on a Fall football Saturday when the rest of my family and friends are high on Aggie Spirit and Lone Star Beer back at Kyle Field, twenty miles away, another world away.

During the Fall, the sumac is a bright red statement amidst the otherwise unremarkable foliage. Ah, but how I visually wallow in the lushness of this Central Texas growth compared to the sticks of palm trees growing along the level stretch of every road in our Rio Grande Valley.  By comparison, on the Central Texas back roads, I can pretend I’m on a roller coaster, taking the 40 mph curves at 55 and speeding up over the crests of the hills so as to gain air time and lose my stomach on the dip-downs.

 

I don’t know, Grandmother never seems to mind the ride. She looks Queen Motherly enough riding beside me, swaying and jouncing in the Suburban, holding forth about how she hates lazy Mexicans.  Like a bride she is holding bright sprays of plastic flowers, bought at the Walmart in Bryan out of her meager social security check.   These garish floral pretenders will replace the faded ones she takes out of the faux ceramic urns that sit, but more often fall over, in front of the various gravestones.

 

There’s not much doin’—sorry, I mean not much going on—in Hearne where she lives, not even a Walmart. I rock and roll when walking inside her wood-frame house for the foundation slants down towards the weedy back yard and the olive-green linoleum is hillocky.  She can keep chicken in the pot, but her 1977 Chrysler rusts from disuse under the dilapidated carport piled high and heavy with decomposing sycamore leaves.  My cousin, Lois Lee, takes her to her doctors’ visits in Bryan.  (Now, there’s one reason I’m grateful for my mother’s self-propelled rise from pobre to WASPhood:  how would you like to have a name like “Lois Lee?”)

Jewett is always the last stop on the tour, for it is where Grandmother has proudly bought and paid for her own headstone waiting for her in the Tatum family plot beside Hubert, livestock auction barn worker and her first husband. I believe Hubert was employed as a pooper scooper, but no one has ever been willing to verify that information for me.  Papa Joe is buried a ways off in the two-seater Brown family plot where Peggy (divorced) will one day join him.  Peggy had his gravestone engraved “Uncle Bo.”  Go figure.

 

Peggy tells me privately, under my sworn oath of secrecy, that Hubert Tatum is the father of Betty Sue Tatum Ferguson, my mother’s sister, who rests in the village of Franklin. But Hubert is not the father of Myrtle Nell Tatum Oliver, my mother, who rests in the village of Groesbeck beside Lawrence, my warrior-king father.

 

Myrtle Nell (Myrtle??), herself, legally changed her middle name to “Nelle-with-an-e” during nursing school because it looked more French. She effectively ignored the name “Myrtle” until it just went away, thank god.  And “Oliver” sounds much courtlier than “Tatum.”  Look!  She succeeded in making her name WASPish!

 

Peggy runs the gossip rag in present-day Jewett, population: 801, so it is her bread and butter to keep up with—and fabricate—all the goin’s on because, believe yew me, thar’s not much that do go on.

 

See how Ah’ve even started tawkin’ cuntry? Been spendin’ too much tahm with Grandmother, Ah reckon. Nelle would roll over in her grave if she heard me talkin’ lak thishere.  Ah better stop steppin’ on cracks.

 

But surely Peggy’s lying a bit when she claims that the oldest living person in Jewett (Mrs. Crenshaw—age 101) told her that Grandmother’s mother set her two girls up as prostitutes? I mean really, how does that work in a small town like Jewett—present day population:  801, and they say the population has tripled over the century?  Houston or Dallas, I might believe, but we’re talking about a few tired sinless Baptist Farmers living in Jewett, Texas, in 1928.  Nope.  Mrs. Crenshaw’s either crazy or really bored.

However, there’s another story Peggy tells.

Grandmother fell in love with a handsome, very handsome (Peggy insists) young man who, by the time he was 23, had the reputation of being an alcoholic. Before Grandmother can tell him he is the unwed father of my mother, he takes a drunken fall into the woodland drink that is tangled with water lilies.  Peggy says it was a beautiful Fall morning when they found his empty john boat rocking on the pond, fishing pole dangling a dried up worm, and a half empty bottle of moonshine still on the bench   They poked around a little for his body, but the waterlilies, you see .  .  . He is a legend now.  His ghost haunts those woods, Peggy says.

Now there’s a story I can hang my hat on. And that’s the story that would be good enough to explain why I can’t be a WASP, for in my book, birthright illegitimacy puts the squelch on any claim to social elitism.

 

But the fact of the matter is I can go one step further than my illegitimate mother: I’m adopted.  The records of my birth burned up as the hospital of my birth burned down, so says the doctor who delivered me and gave my birth certificate to his friends, the adopting parents Nelle and Lawrence Oliver.  My birth certificate says ‘Born to ___blank___.’

 

I don’t tell you about my adoption looking for your sympathy. I know in the Hispanic culture, family is so important.  No, on the contrary, I say it to explain that it is the perfect reality for citizenship in Camelot—or a slum across the railroad tracks.  But, Unfortunately, the only thing I know for sure I inherited is Nelle’s W.A.S.P.-wannabe neurosis.  I guess you could call me a reluctant WASP, trying to redeem herself in her mother’s dead eyes.  To live in WASPhood is painfully hard work for me.  But it is redeeming, for suffering cleanses the soul, and makes penance effective.

And for sure WASPhood comes in handy when I want to carry the banner of justice for the Mexican immigrants, el pobres.

Tell ‘em I said that, please?

 

 

The daydreamer  Don Quixote de la Mancha with his “prick at the ready”

By Daniel de Culla

Hand drawing with pen of black ink and colour pencils 29 x 21

 

 

 

The fighting bull wanting to pillage bullfighter. (Love to Bulls not Bullfighters)

By Daniel de Culla

Hand drawing with pen of black ink and colour pencils. 21 x 25

 

 

Hit Home

By Daniel de Culla

 

Going homeward, billowing home

At the home straight

Where all of us breathing mania

I thought:

“I’m privileged to see

The union of sky and earth

Because they lived

At the edge of silence

In front the tower”

But, ghost town, ghost company

Ghost of wo/man’ s presence/absence

Is what makes life so intolerable?

Exposure:

Prostitutes and uniformed bad men

Turned me to dust

Harness straps blades

Crusher’s bins and rations

All going back to earth.

Conversation and reclamation

Gives me wild stretching sand

Unmarked by wo/man

Sensing to be home

As aspiritual and honeyed homing pigeon

Did to me to recognize my nature

To clarify all my needs of a life

Constructed around our openness

And nakedness.

I wanted aloneness, space peace

And clarification of my needs

Just hearing the honk of gooses saying:

“We feel in Love

With these pieces of sky and earth”.

Do You Look:

 

They do the honor of the house

Putting the hoodoo on ideals and dreams

So we “emptied ourselves”.

There’s a Buddha in the garden

Where the honkytonk of hooligans

Dance around.

I began to root in home

Impatiently waiting

For Chochette’s entrance into the world

By hook or by crook

Where life and death fill all senses

All forms

All spaces.

Here’s your name

That contains me:

The Holy of Holies of Love

I say

Teaching us about our human hood.

 

The Exile Ballad of Josefa “Chipita” Rodríguez

By W. D. Reyes-Mainoux

 

History is by supremacy — History should not be

One-side narratives that exile Solidarity

Now it’s even more important to pass on

Exile Ballad of Josefa!

 

“A good old boy” is found dead on her property —

supremacy accuses her of murder and robbery —

$600 in gold is missing from supremacy —

the money is later found near the body

 

Supremacy convicts Josefa of robbery and murder

Josefa a landowner that wouldn’t sellout to supremacy

Keeping alive her family’s ranch her culture her dignity!

Woman of Color —landowner — Victim of supremacy!

 

Wild cruel night for San Patricio —

Over plains come bolts of flame and rangers —

Gallopin’ devils — race to her

Two men grab her — evil men drag her to town!

Trial and execution by public hanging —

It’s a Tall tale of shame for the Lone Star state

 

Don’t let her story die

Don’t let this be an exile ballad!

Only exile supremacy!

 

Fighting Xicanos of WWII

By W. D. Reyes-Mainoux

 

Xicanos can’t rebel — Xicanos can’t have good jobs —

Xicanos can’t vote — Xicanos can’t Pacheco!

 

“E” company of Texas was formed

In WWII and sent to Italy and fought for the U S

In 1944 they were ordered to attack a Nazi stronghold

Which was believed to be weak and not well equipped

A scout sees stronghold is a lot stronger than realized

Warns superiors but order to attack anyway

Entire company dies in combat. Army hushes

Up incident and company ‘E’ but that’s okay

 

Don’t need them in America’s history

And U.S. Army’s histories delete the battle record

Don’t need their story polluting history

Xicano Soldiers get lies

Their story is lost missing from conventional —

Historical narratives and the school textbooks

 

Xicanos can’t rebel — Xicanos can’t have good jobs —

Xicanos can’t vote — Xicanos can’t Pacheco!

 

Xicano history is American history

Without Xicanos, American history is incomplete

 

“If You Don’t Know, Then You Don’t Know”   (Dia De Los Muertos, Not For Sale)

By Sergio de Leon

 

But when the leaves of grass begin to fade

and the trees oh so tall begin to lean in skeletal shapes,

November, oh you mighty gluttonous November.

 

(It almost seems fitting to celebrate the dead in the beginning of a month when the slaughter of many, brought to you by the precious puritans, is celebrated at the end, HA! thanksgiving, but hey, I love pumpkin pie too!)

 

That’s when all that seemed normal senses it’s nearness to that which is not here.

Gone by, gone, bye, good bye, song

the song of which we have all come to know so dear.

My dearest gone in the song of death, a separation of life. A life so dear!

The soul detaches itself like a snake sheds it’s extra skin, like, get off of me!

In desperation of leaving, leaving this catacomb of a body that were stuck in…

Bye, goodbye song.

The plates lay across the alter with foods of favor and colors brighter than what we tend to see. Sugar skulls painted as if canvases were scarce and you couldn’t build one? But therein lies the dichotomy, therein lies the problem, and there, there- in- lies we speak pretending that the dead can come and see and feast. Lies, Lies, lies sugar coated, brightly colored lies glazed with plaster in their eyes and blinding them from their sight.

 

Sugar cane fields massacred, a sweet sweet genocide! All for the case of prostituting the cane in the corner as the loved ones try and visit their long gone’s bones done, deteriorated skin, melted out, sealed within, a box that cost more than what most of us have lost.

 

Dear people of the deceased that are not in tune with this:

This is the day that the Lord has made and I will return to that dirty grave!

This is the day of the dead,

not the day to consume!

For consumerism is birth! And is that not the counterpoint? I point, I finger point, point my finger to you! You Ed Hardy, bag carrying, clothe wearing, dressing up in traditionalistic colors causing a glare when I stare, what a joke.

 

Counter cultures causing creators cleverly conducting colossal behaviors induced by massive misrepresentations of the sanctity, of the tradition placed in by the historical crafters

consider this my thesis.

 

Do you even “day of the dead” Che?

Do you even know “La Muerte”?

Because they did YOLO. You only live once right!? Yea, they’ll tell you that too son.

And you so freely push hashtags of 140 characters tweeting about it as if 72 inches of dirt on your coffin is something to tweet tweet tweet about?

And the 21 grams of soul that is lost is as simple as white powder snuffed up your nose.

But hey YOLO right? i’ll see you next year cuz, “cus” you also only die once.

 

And to repeat what I have underlined and may have even over analyzed and so concise-

-ly put it:

I’ll make it brief,

if you don’t know, then you don’t know.

the glamour of lovers,

the scent of the baking,

the splatter of color,

the shouting of mothers,

 

the screaming of babies,

the painting of places,

the fixing of tombs,

the shaving of grooms,

the washing of feet,

the yerba cultura,

the huevo

the cure,

the spitting of vinegar,

the screaming of sound,

the waving of fans, as if heated air conducted freezing winds,

the dresses that spin,

the multitudes barging the fences,

just to see the loved ones and their ashes,

the singing of corridos,

the scraping sound that clenches your teeth as the molcajete is prepping a massive of feast,

the crying of brothers and the kneeling of sisters,

the sweating of fathers and their feet riddled in blisters,

the past and the present the future of essence,

if you don’t know than you don’t know.

Their tradition is more than a sugar skull you’ve tatted on your body as to claim pride over a tradition that you have no clue about.

where did it come from and where will it go…this isn’t your cotton huh, joe?,

This is the feast of the dead…and it’s fake, yes…I know….it’s fake, it’s lies! As if the dead can rise for one day to feast on the pan dulce you have symmetrically placed….it’s lies, yes I know…

BUT…

it’s the hope…

that we won’t…

be letting go…

and therein lies the battle cry,

don’t let go.

And who’s to blame someone for wishing to see someone again?

don’t make a mockery, express wonderment when all you claim is a face full of paint. Read a book. Understand a little more of what it took. I’ll be happy to share some wealth though… There are greater Goliaths as I play a David. I’ve got stones but they’ve got monuments. So no, I don’t claim any cre-di-bi-li-ty.

And no, I’m not calling you out, I’m just reminding you that there is more to what you think you know.

For well crafted knowledge brings forth well executed wisdom, and wisdom applied is character, and character developed is strength and strength, knows… no… bounds!

For nothing hurts more than a man or woman in bondage…I beg, I plead, say your safe word and (breathe)!

I end with this.

surely seeking thin vision will make you blind.

Open your eyes

There are horizons as the roads are long,

there are skies as the mountains are high, and beyond

there are, there are, their they are. do you see them?

I do..Can I show you

Advertisements