Friday, March 13, 2009

Poetry for the masses

I have never once gotten through Pat Mora’s poem “Elena” without crying, so heartfelt and beautiful—a mother’s worst fear. It’s the last line that chokes me. Conversely, I can’t read Angela Vigil-Piñón’s “por la calle Zarzamora” without laughing at the coquettish women that saunter into the bar. I have been one of those women, Aqua Net y todo. I have seen these women and they ARE beautiful. I’ve been thinking and thinking about the truth in Angela de Hoyos “Go Ahead, Ask Her”
……is it
not true
that when
a woman
all the gentlemen

but when
a wife
she cries

So sad, so right, so thoughtful.

Is this chicana poetry? Is this poetry for masses? Who are the masses? Can they be one and the same? Wish everyone could see what I see…

Friday, January 23, 2009

Every picture tells a story….

I’ve been reading the newspaper, not just scanning it online like I used to, which tells me I was starved to see a person of color in a position of power. I never really cared what happened in the newspaper because what was in it never reflected me, or anyone I knew in the Mexican American community. It was a running joke in our family, how terrible our community newspaper was at representing the majority Mexican American population in our city. Where I grew up people were brown and what I saw in the printed word contrasted with what I knew. I went to university because I wanted to learn about the printed word. What I found were people in power who did not reflect my heritage, where I came from, and therefore, my beliefs. The idea of just how malnourished I was didn’t hit me until I saw the 44 U.S. presidents video. The images of each one of our presidents’ portraits morphing into one another played to Bolero by Ravel made me hungry in anticipation of the final one—the forty-fourth. The tears that welled in my eyes when I saw that light brown face sated me, validated my existence, thrilled me, comforted me like seeing the faces of my own family does. And I finally realized and actually believe that I am a part of this country too, part of the process, and will be included in the discussion.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009