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

Octavio Romano

Monday, July 05, 2010

Lunes con Lalo: From Us Chicano Kids, My Insecurity Is, Extra Copies, Anthony Vigil



there was, so they tell me, a group of chicanos
bring bused to an all anglo school, integration, hermanos,
and it happened that a few wound up
in one of those classes and being surrounded
by their quite affluent lighter skinned friendship
felt quite uneasy, naturally,
it happened that their teacher announced, expectantly,
that soon she would have a birthday,
opportunity which the gueros took
to buy her a nice present and
cake with the initial “t o t”
(to our teacher) on top
with nice tasty sugerty letters.
the few chicanos in the class felt bad since
they hadn't had the fifty cents to
contribute to the occasion and the
blonds made sure the teacher knew this.....
the chicanos not wanting to be outdone
by the freckled counterparts worked two weekends in a row
and saved enough money to buy the teacher
a nicer present and a bigger cake
with a now set of bigger and plentier initials on top
which when viewed by the teacher
set her off on such an outrage
that she ran out of the room without opening the door
and came back with the principal, the counselor and custodian
and in a very anglo stern voiced asked,
what is the meaning of this insult,
the perplexed red faced brown students meekly answered,
from Us Chicano Kids To Our Teacher...
                             - Abelardo "Lalo" B. Delgado



favority food. Enters in my life another of those periods in which I really do not know what is giong to happen to me. I am between jobs. I have to go through the process of looking for work. I am no spring chicken. I will have a hard time finding work. I have lots of skills. In America, the kind of skills I have are not the marketable kind. I use my head. I am good with words, but I make those words make sense.

Many Chicanos like myself began working at the age of 12 or even at an earlier age. For them, retirement should come early but it doesn't.

What all of this has to do with the introduction for this booklet (25 Abelardos) is that I try to share with you the mood in which the booklet was assembled. In it you may also find some of my recent writings that perhaps reflect the state of fatigue. This is not to be mistaken for desperation. Desperate I am not. I am, however, in need of rest, a break, if you will, from years and years up uphill battles with government ghosts.

Running federal programs is not my cup of tea but someone must do it. I would like very much the luxury of devoting myself entirely to writing. It would be nice to even work on the many items I have written for over 35 years. You do not suppose there is a fairy godmother who protects old and frustrated poets? Maybe she can appear by way of an endowment.

At any rate there is a clear distinction with my life as a man, as a breadwinner and my life as an artist. As an artist I still have the desire to share with all my work. I do it in pedacitos, like now, sharing with you twenty five pieces or prose or poetry, randomly selected and overlapping a lifetime. Handle it with care.

                              --- by Abelardo "Lalo" B. Delgado


There are people
whose inner lanterns
radiate confidence,
Hope and love
Unlike the love described
In books and movies.
We need extra copies
Of these people
Because most os us
Have inner candles
With dim lights.
We need extra copies
Of people
Who insist
On seeking truth
And Justice
In the age
When seeking gold and power
Is a widespread disease.

            ---     --- by Abelardo "Lalo" B. Delgado

Anthony's palabra
is abracadabra
bringing a brown magic to his poem.

Anthony Vigil is vigila bien
so the musa won't escape
from him.

His poetic word
is a vigil de vigilia
guiding his versos upwardbound.

His word is a fire alarm,
a tlamatinime's charm
a call to arms,
an arrullo,
un estrujon
at once a curse and a bendicion.

His word
is dulce when he praises
his madrina
and his word is angry
when it speaks
of jura floodlights,
blues eyes in the darness
of a callejon
where a cholo
bleeds to death.

On hot days his word
has the ochata taste
and when it's ten below zero
his word is chocolate caliente
hecho a la mexicana.

He is able
to preserve in his poems
the ideals
of abuelo poets
of the Xicano movement
and yet they are true prophesies
for today's youth.

His word is
--- de a peaceful lullaby
or as he himself puts it,
---- de pinches colores a rainbow---
or, de muchos colores, ʢQue no?

        --- by Abelardo "Lalo" B. Delgado

 "From Us Chicano Kids" (c) Abelardo B. Delgado
"My Insecurity Is" and "Extra" copies from 25 Abelardos (c) 1985 Abelardo B. Delgado
"Anthony Vigil" from a copy of 7 Abelardos written on occasion of a signing party at the Mercury Cafe in Denver for Denver poet/activist Anthony Vigil c. July 18, 1999
Ray Rojas' Note on 7 Abelardos: Lalo would staple 7 poems together and distribute them at readings or send them to friends. The manuscript had glue pasted images from magazines, a cover with some art work Lalo fancied, and on the last page he gave some commentary called "La Onda Fria De Aztlan" in which he would give 7 que ondas as well as "The address I share with you this one time for your files is that of" which would follow the some address he shares. All this was photocopied and sent or distributed. Those of us who have copies of the various Seven Abelardos throughout the years are truly blessed.
Published with permission of Dolores Delgado and the Delgado family.

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