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POTD - Traficante by Abel Salas

POTD - Traficante by Abel Salas

part of Poesia Para La Gente's Poetry Goes Underground September 7

part of Poesia Para La Gente's Poetry Goes Underground September 7

TRAFICANTE 

por Abel Salas

 for my brother Tony. from Chi-town

 
Because I am a smuggler
soy traficante, I deal in
illicit phraseology, I speak
in illegal tongues
I trade in mad metaphors
recently released from
straightjacket stifling.
I revel in forgotten
memory colored with
ancient glyphs and told
to me by candle-light
under cover of night
by sage poets and
truthtellers too many
are too blind or too vain
to recognize or uncover
Good morning boys and
girls, can you say Burciaga
or Anaya or Anzaldua?
If they're banning me in
Arizona it's because we're
banned from the beginning
Even baby Brown Berets
in East LA are bereft and
have been denied a
birthright writ in the blood
of prison poets like Salinas,
Sanchez and Jimmy Baca
We are born smugglers
of la palabra, predisposed
to papyrus and now grown
numb in front of television
fiction. Malverde smiles on
us nonetheless. Porque
somos traficantes y mi vicio
siempre sera la letra de la
libertad, la metáfora
desencadenada de un
pueblo equipado, armed
with untold  history and the
books they try to take, we
are the inevitable song and
lyric they will try to silence,
unable to put aside their fear
and hate, dressing it in a
need to enforce the nation's
laws and protect the borders
imposed at the barrel of a gun.
But bullets will never stop the
stampede of lyrical truth or the
blessing of a barrio bard who
took me under wing to show me
words were sacred like the sweat,
that true traficantes know routes
from underground presses to
university halls like the backs of
their tattooed hands, and we
will slang prose and poetry,
newsprint and blog until they
finally and truly reveal themselves
for the fascist, book burners they
are and will always be, knowing
deep down in their true souls that
despite Manifest Destiny, this land
is not theirs and never was.
Soy traficante orgulloso en idiomas
y sonetos, en el olor del la canción
y el canto de las flores, soy voz
y luna como baile entre mi madre
y el futuro de la tierra maya quiche
I traffic in banned books and
felonious turns of phrase, because
this is all I know.

Catch Abel in Poesia Para La Gente September 7
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25 Years of Streetfighter - A Documentary

25 Years of Streetfighter - A Documentary

Time Quilted Photos from Fong Qi Wei

Time Quilted Photos from Fong Qi Wei