April 30, 2006

Poem On Your Blog Weekend - Sunday

Today's poem comes from Poet Extraodinaire Emanuel Xavier (and it's quite appropriate given the anti-Immigrant and anti-Latino political landscape of our times):


I look at myself in the mirror
trying to figure out what makes me an American
I see Ecuador and Puerto Rico

I see brujo spirits moving across the backs of Santeros
splattered with the red blood of sacrificed chickens
on their virgin white clothes and blue beads for Yemaya
practicing religions without a roof

I see my own blood
reddening the white sheets of a stranger
proud American blue jean labels on the side of the bed

I see Don Rosario in his guayabera
sitting outside the bodega
with his Puerto Rican flag
reading time in the eyes of alley cats

I see my mother trying to be more like Marilyn Monroe than Julia De Burgos
I see myself trying to be more like James Dean than Federico Garcia Lorca

I see Carlos Santana, Gloria Estefan,
Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez
More than just sporadic Latin explosions
More like fireworks on el Cuatro de Julio
as American as Bruce Springsteen, Janis Joplin,
Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin

I see Taco Bell's and chicken fajita's at McDonald's
I see purple, blue, green, yellow and orange
I see Chita Rivera on Broadway

I am as American as lemon merengue pie
as American as Wonder Woman's panties
as American as Madonna's bra
as American as the Quinteņero's, the Abdul's, the Lee's,
the Jackson's, the Kennedy's
all immigrants to this soil since none sound American Indian to me
as American as television snow after the anthem is played
and I am not ashamed

Jose, can you see . . .
I pledge allegiance
to this country 'tis of me
land of dreams and opportunity
land of proud detergent names and commercialism
land of corporations

If I can win gold medals at the Olympics
sign my life away to die for the United States
No Small-town hick is gonna tell me I ain't an American
because I can spic in two languages
coņo carajo y fuck you

This is my country too
where those who do not believe in freedom and diversity
are the ones who need to get the hell out

. .

Posted by ronn at April 30, 2006 10:52 AM