I am not an American
But I understand English.
– Joaquin Murietta

Still in the middle of Herencia: The Anthology of Hispanic Literature of the United States. Before I get sidetracked, a lil message to all my Latino poet friends—Buy this book. For everyone else—Buy this book.

It is far from a complete and perfect anthology but I don’t think such a thing may actually exist. For a while I thought that Aloud might be it but some ole skool Nuyoricans are not included in the collection. Why exactly they are excluded has been the source of much discourse and gossip (showing how closely related these two terms are) but the truth will probably not come put for quite a bit of time. And here I am, getting sidetracked.

I’m only halfway through so I don’t know if I can give it a proper review but I am digging the extended bios that the publisher has compiled for the authors as opposed to the normal we-are-going-to-make-believe-these-are-3rd-person-when-y’all-all-know-better versions. Just finished the Native Literature section of the volume which revolved a lot around the issues of Mexican-Americans bringing issues of racism to light with the key difference being that much of this comes from the late 19th century. Nothing new under the sun, indeed.

Nuth of dat. I leave you with a poem from Alurista and a smile. Latahz, y’all.

mis ojos hinchados

mis ojos hinchados
  flooded with lagrimas
de bronze
melting on the cheek bones
of my concern
  razgos indigenas
the scars of history on my face
  and the veins of my body
that aches
  vomita sangre
y lloro libertad
  i do not ask for freedom
i am freedom
  no one
not even yahweh
  and his thunder
can pronounce
  and on a stone
la ley del hombre esculpuir
  no puede
mi libertad
and the round tables
  of ice cream
  hot dog
  meat ball lovers meet
to rap
  and rap
and i hunger
  y mi boca está seca
el agua cristilina
  y la verdad
in a jarro
  is never poured
dust gathers on the shoulders
  of dignitaries
y de dignidad
  no saben nada
muertos en el polvo
  they bite the earth
and return
  to dust

© Alurista

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.