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stupid america

June 20, 2008

stupid america, see that
with a big knife
on his steady hand
he doesn’t want to knife you
he wants to sit on a bench
and carve christfigures
but you won’t let him.
stupid america, hear that
shouting curses on the street
he is a poet
without paper and pencil
and since he cannot write
he will explode.
stupid america, remember
that chicano
flunking math and english
he is the picasso
of your western states
but he will die
with one thousand
hanging only from his mind.

Abelardo “Lalo” Delgado

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From Chicano, 25 Pieces of a Chicano Mind (1969)
Delgado was born in Mexico in 1930, and moved to El Paso with his mother in 1943. His life was spent working as an artist, activist and teacher, including
working with Cesar Chavez in the farmworker movement in the ’60s. He helped develop many Chicano Studies programs in universities throughout the Western United States, including the University of Colorado, and taught Chicano Studies for 17 years at Metropolitan State College of Denver. Lalo Delgado died July 23, 2004. Delgado was appointed Denver’s first Poet Laureate posthumously in 2004.

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