José Montoya (1932-2013) QEPD

José Montoya (1932-2013)

José Montoya (1932-2013)

José Montoya, a founding member of the Royal Chicano Air Force, regrettably passed away yesterday (9/25/13) at the age of 81. José became one of the Chicano Movement’s great poets and artists. He is remembered for his melancholic poem “El Louie,” which became an anthem depicting the realities of the urban struggles facing Chicanas/os in the 1970s.

El Louie” represented the first significant attempt by Chicanos to reclaim the image of the Pachuca/o. According to Raúl Villa, many scholars faulted Montoya “for  glorifying what they considered to be a sordid aspect of community history, better left forgotten.”

José Montoya’s groundbreaking poem, however, eventually influenced a generation of Chicana/o artists and activists, such as Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino, who saw in the Pachuca/o a revolutionary figure who dared to challenge the status quo.

“El Louie” ruptured the conventional “rules” of traditional poetry through the use of Spanish, English, and Caló to give voice and humanity to his characters.  The structure of the poem resembles and flows like a hip-hop verse.

José Montoya will be remembered for his contributions to the Chicana/o art movement as well as for his activist work. His son Richard Montoya is a member of the Chicano comedy troupe Culture Clash.

José Montoya – Que en Paz Decanse

El Louie

Hoy enterraron al Louie
And San Pedro o sanpinche are in for it. And those times of the forties
and the early fifties
lost un vato de atolle.
Kind of slim and drawn, there toward the end, aging fast from too much booze y la vida dura. But
class to the end.
En Sanjo you’d see him sporting a dark topcoat playing in his fantasy
the role of Bogart, Cagney or Raft.
Era de Fowler el vato, carnal de Candi y el Ponchi – Los Rodríguez – the Westside knew ’em and
Selma, even Gilroy.
48 Fleetline, two-tone — buenas garras and always rucas
— como la Mary y la Helen… siempre con liras bien afinadas cantando La Palma, la que andaba en el florero.
Louie hit on the idea in those days for tailor-made drapes, unique idea — porque Fowler no era nada como Los, o’l E.P.T. Fresno’s westside was as close as
we ever got to the big time,
But we had Louie and the Palomar, el boogie, los
mambos y cuatro suspiros del alma — y nunca faltaba the gut-shrinking love – splitting, ass-hole-uptight-bad news —
Trucha, esos! Va ‘ber pedo!
Abusau, ese!
Get Louie
No llores, Carmen, we can handle ’em.
Ese, ‘on tal Jimmy? Hórale, Louie Where’s Primo?
Va ‘ber catos!
En el parking lot away from the jura.
Hórale!
Trais filer? Simón?
Nel!
Chale, ese! Oooooh, este vato!
And Louie would come through — melodramatic music, like in the mono – tan tan tarán! Cruz
Diablo, El Charro Negro! Bogard smile (his smile as deadly as his vaisas!) He dug roles, man, and names — like blackie, little Louie… Ese Louie…
Chale, call me “Diamonds”, man! Y en Korea fue soldado de
levita con huevos and all the paradoxes del soldado raso
— heroism and the stockade!
And on leave, jump boots shainadas and ribbons, cocky from the war, strutting to early mass on Sunday morning.
Wow, is that el Louie
Mire, comadre, ahí va el hijo de Lola!
Afterward he and fat Richard would hock their bronze stars for piste en el Jardín Canales y en el Trocadero
At barber college he came out with honors. Despúes  empeñaba su velardo de la peluca pa’ jugar pócar serrada and lo ball en Sanjo y Alvizo.
And “Legs Louie Diamond” hit on some lean times…
Hoy enterraron a Louie.
Y en Fowler at Nesei’s
pool parlor los baby chooks
se acuerdan de Louie, el carnal del Candi y el Ponchi – la vez que te fileriaron en el Casa Dome y
cuando se cateo con La Chiva.
Hoy enterraron al Louie.
His death was an insult porque no murió en acción – no lo mataron los vatos, ni los gooks en Korea.
He died alone in a rented room – perhaps like in a
Bogart movie.
The end was a cruel hoax. But his life had been remarkable!
Vato de atolle, el Louie Rodríguez.

— poem by José Montoya

LATINOPIA WORD JOSÉ MONTOYA “EL LOUIE” from Latinopia.com on Vimeo.

C/S

Cultural Sovereignty

This entry was posted in Chicana/o, Chicana/o Art, Chicana/o Identity, Chicana/o Literature, Chicana/o Poetry, Chicana/o Studies, Chicana/o Theatre, Chicano Movement, Chicano Park, Community, Cultura, Education, History, Knowledge, Mexican, Palabra, Quotes, Resistance. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to José Montoya (1932-2013) QEPD

  1. Jaime Gomez Montoya says:

    Al Rato Vato
    (Para Jose Montoya)

    Al Rato Vato, Aye Te Wacho, Aye Te Veo, en el campo, y en el barrio, en la pinta y en la escuela, sembrando tu poesía, todavía, de la lucha y alegría, de Pais pintado en lodo, tu que vistes asi al cielo, eso es y siempre ha sido, la canción de tu camino, es divino tu destino, siempre fue y siempre ha sido…. Aye Te Wacho.
    You, formed in between the furrows of your verse, they so sweet and raw and beautiful, they too live so true and real, on the paper of the mind, in the chapters of our hearts from where the truth starts and departs.
    Tu, who flew, with a black eagle against a red cyclorama, on a trapo, in the wind, with your Canto entre la Huelga, entre classrooms de estudiantes cual abristes su camino, con tus pasos caminados, enterados, rompiendo todo lo que tenían que desacer,
    abriendo surcos, para revivir otra vez, to live again. Aye Te Veo.

    Fijate, al Vato Loco, con-“Tando”-su-pañuelo, de Pachuco, esta- Liza la Camisa, planchados-Pantalones y sus Calcos bien shine-ados, encantados y organizados, vigilante poema de symbolos weaving words with wind, they’re flying, as far as the eye can see, as near as the ear can hear, as long, as the road is long. Al rato..

    From the yellow shores of Korea, to the brown pista of some pueblito, el Gran Sol illuminando la carreta de las vidas, revividas, de quien fue y siempre ha sido
    de tu ritmo y tu canción,
    que hiciste Maestro, gracias, con todita tu passion. Aye Te Wacho.

    Aye Te Veo, entre un Ghuamucil, o Angelino, es Norteno, o Sureno, NM, es de campo o cuidad, es igual como oímos, cuando te vimos….
    alli leyendo, escribiendo, drawing the strumming of the Lira, singing
    your gilded song in poetic meter, entre millas y millares, por kilometros pesados
    everyday, until forever, now and then, until forever, es decir, al fin del tiempo, hasta la Mistierosa
    Eternidad…
    Al rato Vato, Aye Te Wacho, Aye Te Veo, cruzando ese, Humoso, Viejo y Hermoso,
    Espejo……………….

    Jaime Gomez Montoya 10-5-13

  2. Mauric Luna Valerio says:

    Looking for El Louie the song
    Sung by Luis Valdez
    We had the record .but its beyond repair

    Maurice L Valerio
    1275 Woodruff Ave
    Los Angeles California 90024

    323-915-5933

  3. Maurice Valerio says:

    Hi ok i have a 33. 1:4 entiled El Louie
    Where can i get a nother copy this one is aprox 35 yrs old cracked etc
    Performed by Luis Valdez

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