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.
MÁRGENES SIN CENTRO
Por ser un margínado
ando muy enojado
buscando el centro.
Por ser el centro
ignoro que existen márgenes.
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.
la historia del hombre
en un historial condensado
que tan solo dice,
--- Un culo más
un culo menos.-----
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