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José Hernández Díaz

July 20, 2013

Moroleón, Guanajuato; Summer 2010


I remember waking up to rooster cries

at my Abuelo’s house, d.e.p., my Abuela’s

house. I drank a lot the night before;


I ate a lot, traditional. The cobblestoned

streets were greyish-blue; The salmon clouds

had veered with dawn. On a white-plaster balcony,


I smoked a filter-less cigarette; $2.00 a pack in México.

Behind the cathedral’s bell tower, mesquite trees,

My father’s ranch. I took a drag, then two, exhale. 


Writer’s Workshop; Summer 2012


He said it was cliché for a Mexican-

American to have a tattoo of La Virgen

De Guadalupe on his forearm. He said


He had seen it before, and he was tired

Of it, frankly. None of the other students

Had any further comments. Twirling his


Pencil with the clock’s seconds hand,

The professor asserted we move on

To more important observations.


I sat in silence, workshop rules,

Struggling to mask the Chicano grin

On my face. Try telling that to a


Vato on the other side of town,

I thought. Go ahead and try it, esé.


José Hernández Díaz is currently working on his MFA in poetry at Antioch University Los Angeles. He earned his BA in English Literature from UC Berkeley. His work has appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading Series, Bombay Gin, The Progressive, Kuikatl, Poetry Flash, 3:AM Magazine (UK), Tan lejos de dios (MEX), The Delinquent (UK), El norte que viene (ESP), ditch poetry (CAN), Keroauc’s Dog (UK), Blood Lotus, Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Huizache, Generations, Counterexample Poetics, Revista Contratiempo, La Gente, BlazeVOX12, Emerge Literary Journal, among others. He has edited five novels for Floricanto Press. 

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