Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Luis Rodas

Luis Rodas
Ode to the Movies

I want to be dipped
in grease

& added cheese. I want
to wander

the aisles, my heart’s
red carpet without space

as cancer. I want to die
wearing the latest fashion.

I want to live
forever in a cassette player,

with lots of people watching
me act. I want to write

a play at the theatre.
I want to edit

my movies for free

with all my
movie’s beginning-

that’ll put em to shame-
I want to see what lies behind

the director’s hidden scenes
before they’re cut. I want to be

the only Guatemalan director I know.

I want to give
it my best and never

complain about it.
I wanta fly

forever. Why walk-

I want to destroy
my creation myself

I want to jog
down to Sunset Blvd.

& make it my track

I want to walk
its beautiful streets

& take pictures as it models

I tried filming it
but found it vacant.

I’ll go home I guess
to my studio where the sky

is the limit of
my imagination.

Wendy Avila

Is where I am transformed, taken into and loved
Where enchiladas and posole
Is Spanish
For soul food

Means the way I live
Is not my attitude
But rituals mostly inappreciable,
To the non-Mexican eye

My skin color is not dark like theirs
But my freckles cover my face
Like the velo that covered my mother at church
My eyes are not brown like theirs
But they’re green with brown
Bright as the sun that woke them
Up to start on the field on a Monday morning

Means making plans
To leave their so loved country for a better life
And my grandparents crossing the mountains and
El Río Grande on a single broken branch
It meant starving for days, exhausted from the walk
Cold and soaked through many rainy nights

Meant shut your mouth
Eat what you have
Don’t talk back
And thank God you’re alive

It meant one generation later
There are three kids sprawled on the couch
Music up loud, TV flickers
While the neighbors screams

Meant living in California
East La, Whittier Blvd
Living nowhere near “the Gringos”
Because they were too good for us
With their fancy cars and their good money making jobs

Meant our fathers playing soccer with the children
While our mothers shared the gossip of the neighborhood
Doña Esperanza‘s tamales fragrance filling up the apartments
Every nose in the neighborhood stealing a whip of the smell

Was the sound of my Tia Lilia’s voice
Roaming the house
Like the cattle that roamed her house back
In the green tall grass in Mexico

Is the sound of my little cousins feet running around
The bare floor in the house that someday would belong to us
Coming home from school
Finding my mother at the stove making the tortillas
With this bewildered look on her face
It meant my dad coming home from work
Saying he was exhausted from el trabajo

Meant walking to the grocery store
The cashier behind the counter looking
At my mother with a dirty look as if my
Mother was less than her while she
Dug through her purse for her change

Meant our parents getting nicknames
Horrible names. Us kids we had no idea
What they were talking about

Meant getting made fun of
For my funny English
Being the 1st child of the first generation
Not knowing where to go to for help
Proving my friends and English teachers wrong.

But Mexican American
Meant speak up, don’t get pushed around,
Study hard and live your life
Don’t fit in, stand out, and make sure you’re loud

Mexican American
Means my behavior is not the way I live
My skin color may not be the same as theirs
But my freckles and Hazel eyes are bright as the sun
That wakes me up every morning.
The more I hold back, the more it comes back
To remind me of who I Am.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kimberly Rojas

“What am I?” Kimberly Rojas
By Kimberly Rojas Per.5
I am from thread going through a needles eye
I am from colors that you could find in a rainbow
I am from expensive brands, Hollister
Whose many styles I could make my own.

I am from young kids,
from preschool to senior
I’m from the hard work and the easy work,
From laziness and sometime boredom.
I’m from a good future life
with lots of money
and a good place to make your dreams come true.

I’m from fire and smoke,
burn wood and strong wood.
From the effort my father put
to the disaster fire
the time my father put to make his dream true.
Under the disaster their was a burn treasure
Spilling old memories
to go under my dreams.
I am from those moments
Plan before I build it
to make my dream survive.

Angel Navas

Where I’m from
By Angel Navas

I am from Guatemala
From quetzals and birds
I am the dust under the bed
I am from the guilt tree
The Bribe elm
Whose lies I still remember
As if they were my own

I am from gorditas and marbles
From city and country
I’m from the rich
And the poor
From pride and shame
I’m from she helped me
With a ball and jacks
And seven jacks I can play with

I’m from the farm and the city
Hard meat and soft bread
From the soul my grandfather lost
To the dead
The leg my father lost to keep his children safe
On the shelf were pictures
Showing great memories
A time of good and bad
I am from those thoughts
Crashed before I screamed
I woken from the dream

Cindy Primero

Ode to East Los Angeles

by Cindy Primero

I want to be doused
in tacos

& fried. I want
to wander

the aisles, my heart’s of El Super
supermarket stocked high

as diabetes. I want to die
with acrylic nails on-

I want to live forever in a
Garfield sweater,

a bulldog on the front.
I want to have

more than ten items in the
express line. I want to clean

my driveway clean

myself, late after everyone
is a asleep-

that’ll put em to shame -
I want to see what the sun

sees before it tells
the rain to go. I want to be

the only Hispanic person I know.

I want to go to
sleep late & not

Complain to get up early.
I want to walk

to Whittier blvd. Why drive -

I want love, and stuff -

I want to sew my broken heart

I want to run down the ocean

& make it my bed-

I want to walk
its muddy sand

& make me a withdrawal.

I tried going in,
found it cold-

I’ll go home, I guess,
to my house where the moon

changes & shines
like computer.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Parts of our identity develop out of our origins -- whether through the nurturing (or lack of) of our family or through the nature we inherit genetically from our ancestors is up for debate. Sometimes we define ourselves as a form of resistance to the things around us we want to reject. Other times, we take the best of the people and places we grew up to mature into a stronger person. Our poems came from explorations of these relationships.

We hope you enjoy our poems and would love to read your comments. Also, feel free to imitate our imitations and send us your own identity and origin poem.