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October 18, 2009
      Ajua, mis cabrones cuatachones, con/sapos y cangrejos
            y notas hechizeras en momentos pendejos,
                 ca-ta-túm, ca-túm-ba, ca-túm!
               notes on the human condition
                 of Chicanos & pícaros,

               words & hopes
               within soulmind....


  © Copyright 1976 by Ricardo Sánchez

APRIL 11, 1974 ...
el chuco, tejas
Hechizos: Pieces of life

Hechizos, made or done on purpose or enchantments/ fascinations, are the
pieces of life-the hectic skits of action-that everyone must grapple with
in order to live and define the world, only to realize that the life process
is one of continual re-definition/reflection/action. Beyond the circuity of
pseudotheosophical/metaphysical circumlocutions, away from artifice and social
approval, and far from plotted out venues for aggrandizement-we live
in our inner spaces, splicing together hurt and realization, hope and
apprehensive aspiration, frustration and self-negation and love and human affirmation.

“Shakespeare,” so Mero Galicia is fond of saying, “asked merely about being or not being
. . . ” and as Mero’s eyes light up, “Cervantes, he stated that ‘to dream is to be!’ ”

So it is with people becoming aware of themselves as vital/living human beings. No
longer content to work humdrum hours/days/weeks/months/years/decades out of their
preciousand-time-limited lives away just for the sake of owning a
dizzy array of instruments/cars/plastic ornaments-people beginning to seek answers within
their own dialogical frame of reference. Dreaming people seeking an end to their human
diáspora, at long last beginning to end their fruitless escapes from their life process,
beginning to affirm that to be human is to act humanely, to think/ feel their
rootedness to earth, to other human beings.
In that spirit of roots/permanence does the searing/howling cry of human
indignation arise from the poetry of poets who have lived affirmatively. Poets like
Raúl Salinas, José Montoya, Abelardo Delgado, Meredith Anderson, Juan Contreras,
E. Antonio Mares, Omar Salinas, Charles Potts, Horacio “Chacho” Minjarez, Randall
Ukrainian Ackley, Simón Ortiz, Leslie Silko, Jesfis Papalote Meléndez, Sandra Esteves,
Juan Bruce-Novoa, Sylvia Gonzáles, Tigre, Len Avila, and numerous other souls struggling
against the anti-human beast (society) while charting out humanistic
horizons. Giants who create ever newer dimensions to life. Never lonely-ever alone.
Not only poets, but artists like Ernesto P. Martínez, Manuel G. Acosta,
Melicio “Mel” Casas, Carlos Rosas, Lydia Madrid, Matilde Zúniga, Zarco Guerrero, and
others also sting humanity with their adamant expression of human
liberation. The cascading music of Javier Pacheco and the fieriness of Alberto Baros-
such are the makings, the hechizos encantadores, of liberation.
The searing cry of Raúl Salinas in his “Trip Through the Mind jail,” as he remembers his
sense of barrio/tierra: “i needed you then . . . identity . . . a sense of belonging . . ,
” as he realizes that modern Amerika means to devour any sense of identity; his
plight, like that of other Chicanos/Blacks/Indios (& even whites like Potts,
Ackley, & Dale McCollough), was/is one of realizing that being in modern amerika
is having to survive within the vacuousness of Howard Johnson, Taco Bell, Dunkin’ Donut,
American Express-ways, & Sambo’s. A world lacking earthiness and differences,
where people are programmatically assembled out to create more human dysfunctions….

Even as this is being written, people are being violated by a callous political
machinery lusting for the vote and answerable only to the powerful. The barrios that
Salinas writes about-those now destroyed homes where love once
abounded in spite of poverty-are mostly gone now; in their stead are superfreeways
and neon monstrosities where more and more people lose their touch with human
reality as they further socialize their feelings to conform with security.

Still, Chicanos and other minority people seethe with anger/ frustration,
and the call for protest continues fomenting, seeking that spark that will make it
blaze from one end of the country to the other. The idea of liberation and revolutionary
transformation of the world cannot any longer be silenced. This is still a violent world,
and people are still enslaved; Lalo still protests a “stupid amerika” for
castigating those born differently and relagating talent and hope to a dust bin;
José Montoya still feels the fields and sweat of his past and the anguish
of his parents; Sylvia Gonzáles continues striving to create sense out of the
senseless officiousness of power bases to return that power to the people; Lydia Madrid
paints the processes our people must survive; Tomás Atencio and La Academia de la Nueva
Raza lurk, dodge/weave, lash out, and continue to write/think/express reason and means
to create change; Carlos Rosas and Ernesto P. Martínez and Mel Casas and Manuel Acosta,
through their artist-eyes, project feeling and linkage to the universe-for art is a
political statement that affirms humankind’s right to liberation and asserts one’s personal
& collective responsibility to free oneself and one’s people from any and/or all forms of
tyranny at whatever the cost; and our youth/older people are still feeling/thinking/dialoguing in
barrios/campos/colleges/armed services-wherever we exist-about the need for change, justice,
dignity, liberation, and peace. The wanton murder of Santos Rodríguez, eleven year old child
shot while handcuffed by a Dallas cop, the ruthless abuse of our people as they are
psychically violated by Amerika-the-hurt-in-full, and all the other sordid
actions/reactions of a nixonian world buttress our assertions that future generations must
and shall not feel the social lashings we have felt.

No longer content to believe that it is right to suffer, that it is god’s will that we
shoulder up to dispossession and accept oppression-strong questions are being asked and
righteous answers are being sought. Having realized that one is born to live that
institutions should serve (rather than be served!), and that one’s life is defined in terms
of how one has existed, again are people committing themselves to struggle for liberation.
Having tasted the heartiness of community involvement and protest, having declared our
right to being free-we can no longer accept a world of expediency, exploitation,
political manipulation, and moral cowardice.

     el vuelo de la mente
     is an affirmation
     that being human
     merely means
     for more than just
     the barest of social needs;
     it means not bowing
     nor feeling less
     than all I could be....

This book is a series of glimpses at a multifaceted world; seething with anger and discontent;
pulsing with love and hope; and inspired by the humanity of those who have shared
moments with me. The barrios of my past still live on, if only in the imagery coursing
through my mind. The jadedness of prison and the callousness of tormented
tourist-trapping streets in North Beach, Ciudad Juárez, Hollywood, Times Square, and the
French Quarter still shrill out dehumanization-lustfully and sordidly, just as the political
beast we call society still shreds up our humanity in order to exploit us. Each new
word/phrase/thought/idea/feeling further define(s) the enemy. Clarity and coherence
are further delineated with each experience, and society and its strictures become even
more fearful-for their incessant demands that I conform, that everyone become even more
linear and obedient to hierarchical dictates.

Thoughts/ideas/poetry/fiction/truth & fact, all these form the inner world(s) I inhabit.
These also are the structure of this book. Brief llantos and Iloridos and locuras and
looks at a process . . . un proceso vital that has matter-of-factly known the anomie of
prison/army, the desolation of poverty, the love of family, the
scorching/soothing/tenderness/strength/fulfillment of woman, the pungency of tierra-redolent
earth and brown earth and yellow earth and verdant earth-and the soulfulness of being
within the multidimensions of life.

     suero del haber podido vivir,
     each moment an affirmation,
     each moment either a caress
           or a hurting slap,
     realizing that to live
     is to feel, to share, to dream,
     to know life
     with pungency, whether it be
     your woman's aroma frothing
     out your body's warm enclaves
     or your voice creating new visions,
     or lush earth or dynamic ideas
     or un amigo sharing vino y queso
     or familia enrapturing the moment,
     or merely singing/shouting an adamant
     affirmation that to live
     is to have liberation....
  © Copyright 1976 by Ricardo Sánchez
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