"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lunes con Lalo Delgado - Poetic Wisdom to Last You the Week


Above, the Poet Laureate of Aztlan, Lalo Delgado


this poem tries to reproduce an episode,
a night, a trip, a very lonely, lonely road
cause it so faithfully was like a honeymoon
of marriage in february, march or june,
for romantic purposes we'll let it go at that,
filmed by clear skies and quarter moon with us on set.

enemies of honeymooners, people, hours and miles
had to be coped with till alone no more denials
to a love that overflowing spilled along the way
...hungry looks and touches, no more love words to say,
...thought but poets had guts to drive in the nude
into the night, i was wrong, improperly cued.

all was, of course, according to prewritten script
to the point we gave passion life along the trip,
few sleep much on such nights, it so happens we did
for true movies are better filmed under eye lid,
mind retakes like flashes of underground movies,
a nipple erect, a moan, warm milks, nudis.

and so the finish or the morning after
had the stars of this picture rolling in laughter
playing on the bed or rug like happy children,
breakfast, those looks cameras fail to apprehend
and yes --- there was a quarrel too, and serious talk
and a promise to again laugh, cry, smile, yearn, sulk.


How do you introduce a book of tears and anger mixed
into poetry? At first you mentally refuse and wish
to postpone the introduction until the writer forgets
he asked you to write him one. Then you realize that
the real reason for not getting into it full speed
and heart is that poems cannot really be introduced
by anyone; they are a spirit to spirit communication
without a need for a medium.

                        --- Abelardo B. Delgado, 
                             from the introduction to Free, Free at Last by Raymundo “Tigre” Perez


tiger, tiger, burning brown
your car broke down in some texas northern town,
child spirit trapped in the frame
of a chicano bear
from the selvas of durango,
i have had my cagey eye on you
to capture you, poet gorilla, guerrilla,
in my number nine cage
of beautiful people,
wild winging spirit free
through the trees of modern living,
remember they day you got mad
with condition for la lagrima-filled raza
of laredo
and got one of your many rifles
and went looking for the mayor
in city hall, the symbol of oppression,
but in your anger and sorrow...?
remember digging out your carnal
with your bare hands
from the pauper's grave
and smuggling his corpse back
into good ol' u.s. Soil....?
he had been killed near the river
and neither mexico or estados unidos
wanted to be responsible for his body,
but you did...and so your alma roams free
in spite of vietnam, poverty and race
as you earn one more chicano verbal embrace


I wonder if the atmosphere

of our world

or even the universe
bends a little
or feels the desperation
of thousands of lives
dying horribly in pain at once.

Cries might echo for decades,
even generations.

Will animals cling to their masters
in some kind of unknown fear.

Inanimate thoughts travel miles
and through major cities,
it seems to be a plague.

I have my own kind of window

to the world,
I see what seems to me
                                    to be almost total insanity.



i've found the nicest kit
to help out when you commit a mortal sin,
take the sin of adultery,
double adultery
when you and she are both married...
you buy a pint
of vanilla ice cream,
two ripe chiquita bananas
and a cold can of shasta root beer,
you buy sunday's paper
(sunday's paper cost
thirty-five cents here)
you eat your ice cream
and bananas, drink
your can of pop
and on your way back
to your motel to read
the paper
you walk into this church and go to confession
also a shower helps,
watch t.v. For a while and
you try to go to sleep,
a couple of hours later
someone will wake you up to sin some more.



(or comment made
after meeting
my former lover’s
new love)

It is a pleasure
to meet the new enjoyer
of my old pleasure.



hace un año que ante ustedes promtí
con los primeros versos que aquí mismo ley
escribir, decir, gritar y recitar
el dolor ardiente de la raza,
la sal social que le echan
a nuestras heridas
como flores siempre vivas
y cumplo, cuates, mi promesa
y vuelvo ante ustedes.
Ustedes son el verdadero tribunal
que yo conosco,
y vengo ate ustedes a revivir y compartir
un rato con ustedes
no a traerles nada mas
que palabras y versos,
saludos y abrazos
de un hombre triste
y preso tambien en mi tristeza...
pero eso si que mas es
lo que you les robo al marcharme
porque el espiritu
oprimido suyo es la perla que se formations
compresada en prisiones como esta
y yo curioso y deseoso de mirarla
traigo vacia mi alma pa' robarla.

"THIS POEM IS LONGER THAN THE HONEYMOON," "VUELTA A LA CUIDAD DE CAÑON," and "MORTAL SIN KIT" from Mortal Sin Kit (Barrio Publications, 1971), (c) Abelardo B. Delgado, 1971

Introduction and "Raymundo Perez" from Raymundo "Tigre" Perez' Free, Free at Last (Barrio Publications, 1970)
"ON WAR" and "XIKU #1" given personally to R. Rojas. (c) Abelardo Delgado
Published with the permission of Lola Delgado and the Delgado Family.



The link we share with you today is: How The Terminator Should have Ended

Your juarense calo lesson for today is: jale chicano - Trabajo mal hecho; improvisado - Badly done work; improvised.
                                      ---- from Glosario Del Calo de Cd. Juarez, Ricardo Aguilar Melantzon

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