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Misa en Fowler

May 25, 2008

Dona Teresa’s voice crackled
Like brittle capsules of saliva
and screeched old.

And sister Celeste missed the organ.

And he laughed aloud and before
He could stop Tony and Chon were

And the father’s urgent and severe gaze
Censured them out the door and they
Sat by the curb and drank three-dollar-Joe’s

And when they started mimicking in
High voices, Dona Teresa’s singing,

Ushers ashamed of them were sent to
Quiet them so the mass could continue.

José Montoya

Nation contributor Ray Gonzalez called it (Montoya’s In Formation: 20 Years of Joda published in 1992 by Chusma House Publications) “perhaps the definitive collection of calo writing to be found anywhere.” Gonzalez noted that Montoya’s voice remains as politically charged as it had been in the early years of the Movement. “Montoya writes a now-rare ‘in your face, vato!’ kind of poetry Chicano poets abandoned ages ago…” Read a short biography of Montoya here.

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