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I Salute the Dead

June 3, 2008

Poet Salinas dies at 70
Fresnan pioneer in Mexican-American literary scene.

By Jim Steinberg

“Luis Omar Salinas, an influential poet associated with Philip Levine and other Fresno poets, managed a successful literary career and enjoyed the support of family in Sanger.
Mr. Salinas, 70, died Sunday of chronic pulmonary disease.
Levine taught Mr. Salinas as a young student at Fresno State College in the 1960s, and realized he was watching an incipient poet..
.” read the rest here

I Salute the Dead

In this drunken town
bitten by the whores
of Texas, I pause with
a beer to salute the dead.
Someone’s in my house
— the dead child of Texas
haunts the woodwork
and the child is everywhere
tonight waiting for the dawn,
tomorrow maybe playing
in the mud.
My nephew asks if the black
children he sees on TV
are the poor, and I reply,
“We are the poor.”
He cannot understand,
and I know this house
is as poor as this drunken
town
and I drink my beer and
hiccup into song.

Luis Omar Salinas

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