Natalie Scenters-Zapico: Poems about La Migra and more (video, text)

Profe and poet Natalie Scenters-Zapico, with violinist Ernesto Villalobos (of the Villalobos Brothers), served up some powerful music and poignant poemas at a recent perfomance in CDMX. [Video by Di/Verso Encuentro de Poemas en la Ciudad de México, a program from the city government.]

Here are the palabras:

Mas…Natalie Scenters-Zapico: Poems about La Migra and more (video, text)

Bob Dylan 2010,1964: The Times They Are A-Changin’ (videos,lyrics)

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature Bob Dylan is a poet and a prophet, and he sang his 1964 prophecy for the Obamas and America at the White House: The Times They Are A-Changin’. [Scroll to bottom of the page for a live in 1964 version.]

These lyrics contain a hopeful vision and a warning. Some changes are STILL overdue, and some folks need to step back, and get out of the way.

Mas…Bob Dylan 2010,1964: The Times They Are A-Changin’ (videos,lyrics)

Three poems from Mexington, KY by Profe. Steven Alvarez (audio)

alvarezfacebookSteven Alvarez, POCHO amigo and Assistant Professor (Writing Rhetoric and Digital Media, Latin America Studies, English) at the University of Kentucky, teaches a course called Mexington, about the growing community of Mexican Americans in UKY’s hometown, Lexington. He’s a poet, too.


0:03to my left is Appalachicano see & down the canyon just six miles in
0:07a thousand people oh it’s citizenship—
0:09one senses the isolation of citizenship in Appalachicano seen the twin mining
0:13communities nestled in the corner mountains—
0:15the history this area has been a history of struggle—
0:18labor struggle—
0:28since the turn of the century—when the club dinner in A district was the first
0:31major coal producer in Kentucky—

Mas…Three poems from Mexington, KY by Profe. Steven Alvarez (audio)

Marilynn Montaño is embedded in her migrant father’s rough hands

Orange County poet and activist Marilynn Montaño’s poem His Machucada Hands is a “testament to the ways that being undocumented has taken a physical toll on her father’s body. The title, she said, came from noticing his hands on the steering wheel every morning as he drove her to middle and high school,” according to the PBS News Hour.

Mas…Marilynn Montaño is embedded in her migrant father’s rough hands

POCHO Poetry Corner: Chicano Love and Barrio Streets

A rose grows among the cracked sidewalks, of
the tear stained barrio streets, where happiness
is a luxury and can easily be lost forever. While
deep in their thoughts a young Chicano couple
are falling in love.

A painting of the Virgin looks down upon streets
which are so far from heaven, yet not so far away,
from hell. Young men strut like roosters, each
wanting to rule for the day, while their women
willingly look to sell their soul for the poison
which temporarily takes the pain away.

Mas…POCHO Poetry Corner: Chicano Love and Barrio Streets

Robin Williams reads Pablo Neruda’s ‘Sonnet XVII’ (video)

In the film Patch Adams, Hunter “Patch” Adams — played by the late Robin Williams — “commits himself into a mental institution. Once there, he finds that using humor to help his fellow inmates gives him a purpose in life….”

Sonnet XVII
By Pablo Neruda

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

Mas…Robin Williams reads Pablo Neruda’s ‘Sonnet XVII’ (video)

Taco Bell plans poetry-grilled ‘Verso-Quesarito-Burrito’

elpoetryburrito(PNS reporting from CHICAGO) Cheesy burrito fans and hashtag activists, your prayers have been answered! Taco Bell will debut a new menu item Monday – the Verso-Quesarito-Burrito, a burrito wrapped in a quesadilla with Mexican poetry written on the tortilla.

The VQB is a ground “beef” burrito with rice, chipotle sauce and reduced-fat sour cream in a grilled quesadilla full of melted American cheese.

You can also order the quesadilla-burrito hybrid with shredded chicken or steak. As an added bonus, the Verso-Quesarito-Burrito will feature poems written on the tortilla by Mexican day laborers. They’ll be versifying using only gluten-free ink, of course (photo.)

Mas…Taco Bell plans poetry-grilled ‘Verso-Quesarito-Burrito’

National Poetry Month: ‘Obama Shoulda Seen This’ (NSFW video, photos)

National Poetry Month means — to us — poems by and for the people, like Jesús Iñiguez with his poem about immigration. Spoiler alert — Iñiguez is not exactly happy with Administration policies and questions President Obama’s legacy. [NSFW “F-bomb.”]


More from the Obama Legacy blog:

Mas…National Poetry Month: ‘Obama Shoulda Seen This’ (NSFW video, photos)

Latina discovers talent for poetry by saying random words slowly

(PNS reporting from SAN FRANCISCO)  Marce “More-Say” Figueroa discovered her talent for poetry this time last year when her roommate told her she was talking in her sleep.

After that conversation, Figueroa started writing down the random words that popped into her head when she woke up. Soon, she realized what she was really writing was poetry — and April is National Poetry Month!

“Angie my roommate was all, like, ‘Wow Marce, that’s great,’” she told PNS. “She was so inspired that I started writing more poems, and after a reading in the City College of San Francisco cafeteria, I changed my name to More-Say, instead of Marce, because it’s like poetry, you know?”

Mas…Latina discovers talent for poetry by saying random words slowly

California’s new official poetry man is Juan Felipe Herrera (video)

Gov. Jerry Brown has sworn in UC Riverside professor Juan Felipe Herrera as California’s Poet Laureate — the first Chicano to get the honor. In this video, Herrera reads his poem 187 reasons Mexicanos can’t cross the border. The poem illustrates the difference between Jerry Brown’s California and Jan Brewer’s Hate State of Arizona, where Mexican-American Studies are outlawed. Cali isn’t perfect, but at least we know where we came from.

Amerikkkan Stories hardcore poetry excerpt: ‘Soy Ilegal’

Since the beginning we, la raza odiada
the hated race
have been caught in the middle
just as we are now
between the fall of Tenochtitlan
and the migrant farms that feed a nation
in this modern day version of divide and conquer
what’s the fucking difference?
we are all just a bunch of savages
pachucos y wetbacks
soy ilegal

Mas…Amerikkkan Stories hardcore poetry excerpt: ‘Soy Ilegal’