CHICANA ON FIRE
My life as an artist makes me a better poet. My family’s Mexican customs, stories, the Catholic liturgy, my dad’s devotion to the rosary and to the Blessed Mother, and my mother’s indigenous herbal medicines, plants, and Yaqui songs and stories, all give me an abundance of visuals and metaphors to make my poetry come to life.
The nopal is a perfect symbol for my life as a mestiza Chicana. I use its image and its various botanical parts to introduce each of my book chapters. Its surprisingly heart-shaped pencas are surrounded with thorns. Chicanas are tough. Like the nopal, we are survivors. It turns lavender red at its edges just like a heart on fire. My heart is full of fervor. Like the flaming penca, I am a Chicana On Fire.
I invite you to enter my world of poetry, with its
joys, struggles, and passion.
Copyright © 2022
MEXICAN OF AMERICA
Mestizo come, America, you call.
Amniotic oceans Pacific join,
break through the virgin hymen, wailing wall
from the fluids of her earthen loins.
Tender eyes burn with the new day’s fire.
Bullets shatter your bones, your flesh torn on
border fences electrified barbed wire.
Knives slash and puncture the sight of the dawn.
You are spewed out, volcanic bloodied birth.
Darkest rupture imploded then screamed out
erupted from moist entrails of madre earth.
Wails of the heart
burst purple veined brow.
Desire from the depths, takes new day’s flight.
America with stars of shattered light.
Copyright poem not to be duplicated and used without the author’s permission. ©
I am reading my award winning poem, MEXICAN OF AMERICA
at The Southwest Museum for the 10th Annual Lummis Day, 2015.
The day, hosted by the Arroyo Arts Collective and Linda Kaye, featured six awardee poets and six guests. My poem was printed on an original Richard Duardo art postcard and poster.
The Conga Poet group livened up our readings with AfroCuban jazz