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

Octavio Romano

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lunes con Lalo Delgado - The Poetic Wisdom of Abelardo Delgado for your Week (This is (Mi Compa) - El Chisme - Margenes Sin Centro)

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It is harder to introduce a compadre than one of the best exponents of the chicano word. A couple of months ago, at the Guardian Angel Church in East El Paso, Lola, my wife, and I had the honor to make a Christian soldier out of Libertad-Yvonne Gurulé Silva y Sánchez. Let me approach it this way. Most of us upon seeing an automobile accident, a fist fight, or if we are males the "puerta" shown as a woman or young girl sits coquettishly showing her curvy wares, our natural instinct is to get a closer look, either by situating ourselves closer, wiping our glasses or simply getting closer. So with the chicano movement and with the chicano himself, our whole lives merit a closer look. It is in the writings of Sánchez that one can afford a front seat, nay, a microscopic view of the alma chicana.

Sánchez is no exception to great writers having their yo-yo moods, and if one is lucky and close enough to him, one may catch an inspired original Sánchez poem written on a napkin as one sips draught beer. It is at times as if the muse was his very shadow, and he could reach out any time or place and grab the shadowy inspiration and convert it into neat explosive verses.

Watching Ricardo walk and talk and just be himself is poetry in itself for the man can, as he puts it, go through changes from the innocent perplexity of a boy growing up in a gringo dominated society, to the pachuco "conectando" in the alley, the young man exploring Juárez congales, the young man eating wise words of wise writers in wise books, the moody prisoner blending in the gris of prison and now the husband, father, fighter of lost migrant causes and a variety of other moods passing like neon colors through a neon sign.

These moods can only be captured into words by the possessor and such are his writings containing an inner fidelity which facilitates expression. Many men are paradoxes in that they possess noble, holy brilliant thoughts, but are unable to express them either in spoken or written word. Others, through some discipline, capture in entirety the art of expression both in oratory and journalistic endeavors, but have little to say of themselves and rely on reproducing someone else's great ideas; such is not the case with Sánchez. He has something to say-and the ability to say it.

It must be a very sad existence to live in a constant state of pregnancy with ideas of how our world should be, pictures of how beautiful it is to be chicano, quejas of how it is to survive the tonelada of social pressures strange and foreign and coarse ... it must be sad, uh, compa?

Abelardo B. Delgado



with more accuracy than an ol' time pistolero

and with the advantage of arriving there primero

el chisme soaps suds clean, the chicano's noticiero

can penetrate solid steel con mas ganas reach an ear.

la vecina's zippered lip can, gentle, non offensive, appear

but even chet and david lack the details that she has

if she didn't see it happen se imagina lo que es,

she' s not happy with the facts till she turns them al revez.

the network is so well organized that it now predicts

with much precision where the gallup poll will not come near

what the chispe gets going not the devil contradicts

and church cannons look puny against the chisme's edicts.

what baffles even the most of modern computations

is how one chisme ruins a million reputations

and another broadcasting from the same mouth make you dear

just proof that many tongues need immediate amputations.

Por ser un margínado

ando muy enojado

buscando el centro.

Por ser el centro

ignoro que existen márgenes.

Por ser

la vida tan corta

busco la historia del mundo

en un vaso de agua bien profundo.

Me tomo el agua

para aprender la historia

y despues orinarme.

Busco también

la historia del hombre

en un historial condensado

que tan solo dice,

--- Un culo más

un culo menos.-----

Me pierdo

en lo sabio

de esas cortas lineas

Concluyo que poetas hagen leyes

con rima y que sean cortas

y que los políticos hagan poemas

en siete volumnes de estrategemas.

"This is Mi Compa" from the introduction to Canto y Grito Mi Liberacion by Ricardo Sanchez (Mictla, 1971).
"EL CHISME" from Chicano: 25 Pieces of a Chicano Mind (Barrio Publications, 1969), (c) Abelardo Delgado 1969.
"MÁRGENES SIN CENTRO" from a Seven Abelardos photocopies compilation, (c) Abelardo Delgado 1999.
Published with permission of Lola Delgado and the Delgado Family.

Tuesday: Interview with J. Michael Martinez
The link we share with you today is: Jane Austen Society of North America
Your juarense calo lesson for today is: la vereda tropical - Nalgas - Buttocks

                              ---- from Glosario Del Calo de Cd. Juarez, Ricardo Aguilar Melantzon

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