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

Octavio Romano

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Lalo Delgado; Metacomet's Head, Massasoit children, and the El Paso Writer Update

Abelardo B. Delgado

(Nov. 27, 1930 - July 23, 2004)
Happy birthday to our Poet Laureate of Aztlan en el mas alla. I was able to sit down with Carlos Morton (see our interview with Morton) and Miguel Juarez among others last night and several friends of Carlos from the reading scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s El Paso joined us. Many of them knew Lalo. They shared memories of reading at the Back Door Lounge. 

One told me a story of when he was working with Lalo in the Juvenile Delinquency Project in South El Paso, that some of the boys decided to play a trick on Lalo and they locked Lalo in the bathroom. 

Unfortunately for the tricksters, they did not get hear Lalo banging on the door, and after an hour of waiting and hearing nothing, they opened the door and found Lalo writing poems on bathroom paper waiting for them to open the door.



What moves you, Chicano,
to stop being polite?

Nice Chicano,
could be petted on the head
and wouldn’t bite,
how dare you till your boss,
---Go fly a kite?---

Es la cuasa,
h e r m a n o.
which had made me a new man.

What is this
c a u s a
which disturbs your steady hand,
could it be an inherited
love of land
or the Indian impudence
called pride that I can’t understand?

This causa, hermano,
is charcoaled abuse
ready to burn.

What nonsense this brown power
that you claim,
what stupid demands
erupt form will untamed,
what of your poetic submissivesness
that brought you fame?

Es la causa, hermando,
which leaves no one untouched.

Deleno awaits the verdict of the nation,
Del Rio and justice
dance in wile anticipation,
El Paso and la causa
will be good for the duration.

by Abelardo Delgado (c) 1969
Buenos, un pie jesu (Faure) for our poet laureate.

Pie Jesu Domine,
dona eis requiem. (repeat 2x)
Kind Lord Jesus,
grant them rest.
Pie Jesu Domine,
dona eis requiem sempiternam.   
Kind Lord Jesus,
grant them everlasting rest.

Metacomet's Head, Metacomet's Children
Killing of King Phillip

As Thanksgiving finally passes, I'm always able to reflect. One of my yearly reflections is media's portrayal of Massasoit

Massasoit was the chief of the Wampanoag Confederacy who befriended the initial "pilgrims.' 

What we don't know is that Massasoit was the father of Metacomet, also known as "King Phillip," (of "King Phillip's War"). All of Massasoit children would not live as long as Massasoit did. 

Massasoit's eldest son Wamsutta (c. 1634–1662), also Alexander Pokanoket, died shortly after being imprisoned in Plymouth colony. Metacomet led the King Phillip's War against the English, in which Metacomet was killed. He corpse was decapitated and his head was on display on a pole in Plymouth for 20 years. His body was quartered and hung in trees. 

Metacomet's wife and children were sold into slavery in Bermuda. The only child  of Massasoit to survive the King Phillip's War was his daughter. 

So when Lalo Alcaraz cartoon of La Cucaracha with the pilgrims sitting with the Native Americans at the Thanksgiving table, the the pilgrim says "Anybody for a little genocide?" is not far from the truth. I remember I gave a copy of that comic to a graduate student in English at UT El Paso and she posted it on her door. The chair of the English Department at the time, Tony Stafford, called her and asked her to remove after a staff member complained, or so he said...Anyway, check out Hellsongs cover of Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills":

El Paso Writer Update
The 60s with John Rechy

John Rechy is mentioned in an essay titled "Memorial Day" on CNNnews.com. A new book called The Sixties by Christopher Isherwood has some recollections of John Rechy and many other notables. "There is the gay novelist and rent boy John Rechy who, in 1960, dressed ‘exactly like a Pershing Square hustler, shirt open to the navel with sleeves rolled to the armpits, skintight jeans, a Christopher medal. He is rather charming.’" Check out this review. Also, check out Rechy's letter to the editor concerning David Leavitt's review of About My Life and the Kept Woman by Rechy.

Mouthfeel Press Panel

Some photos of a Mouthfeel Press panel posted on Katie Blog. Check it out. Mouthfeel is a local (El Paso) small press.

Carlos Munoz joins line up of Superstars of Race


Carlos Munoz, Jr., professor emeritus at UC Berkeley and author of Identity, Youth, and Power, will take part in the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education Conference in San Francisco, CA,June 2, 2011. I will be among an A-list of participants including Cherri Moraga, Noam Chomsky, Amiri Baraka, Michael Benitez, Jr.,Father Roy Bourgeois , Winona LaDuke , Roberto Lovato , Peggy McIntosh Camilo Mejía , Jesus "Chuy" Negrete , María Ochoa , Michael Reyes , Alice Walker, among many others.

Ortego on curaderismo

Stage version of Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima
 Felipe Ortego participated in a symposium on curanderismo in Silver City, NM. The symposium was designed as a preview to the themes of curanderismo in Rudolfo Anaya's book Bless Me Ultima, which was staged in Silver City on Nov. 19. Ortego spoke about curanderismo's role in Bless Me, Ultima.

Last Prince an Epic

Jenn's Bookshelf ran a review on C.M. Mayo's Last Prince of the Mexican Empire. "The cast of characters is long and complex, permitting the reader to get viewpoints from all sides of the story.It was incredibly interesting to me to get a glimpse of this bit of Mexican history." READ MORE. Jenn's Bookshelf also posts an interview with C.M. Mayo. Furthermore, the author has posted several images of woodcuts by Henry R. Magruder's "Last Year of Mexican Empire." Also see My Recollections of Maximilian by Marie de la Fère:  A handwritten manuscript circa 1910, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

See another review of C.M. Mayo's Last Prince of the Mexican Empire at Book Drunkard. "The first word that comes to mind as  I sit down to review this book is ‘epic’." READ MORE.

Mario Garcia Blogs on Social Justice

Check out Mario Garcia's blog on the National Catholic Reporter. His recent posts include New Congress means we have to work harder for social justice and Passing the DREAM act is is an act of compassion.

Lalo Delgado's poem "Dia de Los Muertos" analyzed by kids in Massachusetts

I caught on the web recently that the Glen Urquhart School in Massachusetts used Lalo Delgado's poem "Dia de los Muertos" for its classes. "Eighth grade Spanish students read Delgado’s poem in class and discussed the cultural differences between an American and Mexican outlook on death."  READ MORE.

Luna's Muses on Chihuahuita and Segundo in Poem on Poetry Foundation

Villalva's Grocery in Chihuahuita (El Paso, TX)

Sheryl Luna's poem "River Ghost" was featured on the Poetry Foundation's website:

"Little Chihuahita shadowed beside Segundo barrio.
A dead German sheperd with a broken neck lies
on the side of the street for days. The stench
of El Paso’s sewage in the air, a Mexican flag hugely
flaps itself above the chain-linked fence"

Mucho on Mora

Pat Mora posted some tips for organizers of Dia de Los Ninos activities. See them on her blog at: 15 Día Nuggets: #2 Funders and Partner. Mora's Love to Mama was listed in the 50 Best Poetry Books for Children by bachlorsdegree.org. The Poetry for Children Blog posted a Q&A with Pat Mora, mostly based on children's book in libraries and the classroom. Check it out.

Ricado Sanchez' "Canto"

Ricardo Sanchez (left) (Mark Christal http://www.flickr.com/photos/markchristal/2476753859/in/photostream/)

Denver's Hektor Munoz gives a reading of Ricardo Sanchez' poem "Canto." SEE THE VIDEO.

Paredes on Educational Funding in Texas: Is your job at stake?

There are a host of articles recently on Raymund Paredes and Texas' educational funding. Check out Paredes Proposal to Increase Higher Ed Accountability in the Dallas Morning News. As Paredes pushes for these changes, one Texas legislature is pushing a bill that would kill the Texas Higher Education Board. See Brown Bill Would Kill Higher Ed Coordinating Board.

Paredes will visit Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas on Dec. 8 visit to Beaumont that will include meetings with higher education and K-12 leaders in Southeast Texas. READ MOREAlso see Deeper higher education cuts in store in the DentonRC.com.

Ruben Salazar: Documentary, Accident or Assassination?

A nice article on Ruben Salazar is published in UT El Paso's Borderzine. Check out Journalist Rubén Salazar’s Death — Accident or Assassination? by Frank Sotomayor. The article has some good photos and an interesting comment on the article stating "back them there was conflict between the races."

I caught this documentary called "Ruben Salazar: The Man in the Middle" at Latino Public Broadcasting: "Ruben Salazar, one of the 20th century’s most prominent Mexican-American journalists, was killed in 1970 by an L.A. County Sheriff. At the heart of the film is Salazar’s transformation from a mainstream, middle-of-the-road reporter to a supporter and primary chronicler of the radical Chicano movement. 

The film will also embark on an in-depth investigation of his mysterious death at the hands of law enforcement – still a painful and unresolved chapter in American history."

Romo on Mexican Revolution Anniversary

David D. Romo is quoted in a KVIA news story about the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution. See/read it now.

Tabuenca on Femicides and Cd. Juarez Violence

Check out Femicide and Violence in Cd. Juarez...A Never-ending Story by Socorro Tabuenca Cordoba in Cornell Universitiy's Latino Studies Program newsletter.

Santana's book nominated

A short blurb about the LBGT Rainbow Award. They have been posting short blurbs of books nominated. See a blurb on Miguel Santana's The Marien Revelation.

Dagoberto Gilb and Centro Victoria

Centro Victoria in Victoria, Texas, where Dagoberto Gilb is currently director, is featured in a story in the Victoria Advocate. See Centro Victoria Seeks to Incorporate More Mexican-American Literature into Texas Classrooms. Reginald Gibbons posted a piece on Northwestern's Center for the Writing Arts about "writing and work" and among those recommend is Dagoberto Gilb's "Romero's Shirt." READ MORE.

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