The poem I share with you today appeared in: The Beatest State in the Union: An Anthology of Beat Texas Writers (Beaumont, Texas: Lamar University Press, 2016)
23 August 1970, the Salad Bowl Strike began in the US. Organized by the United Farm Workers, which was then led by Cesar Chavez, this would be the largest farmer worker strike in US history.
23 April 1993, I was at a conjunto music festival in Austin, Texas. Everybody was dancing.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone approach the stage. Without a doubt, another request.
But the music fell silent for the announcement: César Chávez had died.
Then - for hours and hours - improvised corridas were sung in his honor, retelling the struggles of the farm workers, the struggles of Tejanos and chicanos - telling the hidden, Anglo-washed history.
And that night, I penned this poem ....
Ah— D-Lady dē tejana-Madonna swirling & shuffling around through the rhythms of the conjunto
Ah— D-Lady dē tejana-Madonna her angelic face framed by loose curls brushing her shoulders & flowing bouncing on the rhythms of this conjunto
Ah— D-Lady dē tejana-Madonna her heavy-lidded eyes ojos de café & her smiling mouth su boca dulce the affection of many lovers’ poems
Ah— D-Lady dē tejana-Madonna so graceful & poised drifts twirls smiles around through the conjunto rhythms of this night her eyes bright
published in: The Beatest State In The Union: An Anthology of Beat Texas Writers (Beaumont, Texas: Lamar University Press, 2016)