Rainy Day Working Class Dictionary

Rainy Day Working Class Dictionary


earth planet being

breathing sullen space

viewed from afar


full moonlight night held tight

thick cosmic Heart of Sky

protects fragile luminosity


aged 6 years I was forced

to enter kinder garden without a trace

of single word in English perhaps

useful to describe the current situation


my father Jose was called Pepe by friends

in rudimentary school overnight I became Joe

                                                     even Joey

ain’t that a baby kangaroo?


at age ten captivated by magical dictionary

in my dreams another seamless youthful

summertime slipping away, a child’s kite

outside the window caught on telephone wires

dangle dancing sway in awe of wind self


reserved Xikano fish out of familiar waters

nightly return to locked bedroom shadows

under the covers by flashlight after lights out

one random page at a time turned I vowed

to learn entire contents by age fourteen



catechism summer school exile the nuns

could not find me Davey Crocket lost

on purpose in the tall overgrowth of weeds

I explored waited to see students going home



escritorio walnut stained  writing desk

compartments to contain reasonable dreams;

                                         ruled writing pad

                                         drawing pencils

                                         India ink & pens

                                         drawing paper

                                         12″ metal ruler

with which to map straight

bee line Yellow Brick Road

away from the housing projects

on sale my father bought the Salvation Army ribbed

                                         roll down lock down top

I slid down with silver sunshine glow Sabre jet

fighter wings to draw WWII aircraft death from 500 feet

I knew no better then I needed the practice of drawing


naive: n [fr.fr. of, inborn character] 1673

2: the quality or state of being naïve marked by

unaffected simplicity : artless ?? , in-geneous  ??

2 a : Deficient word-ly wisdom-less or informed

judgement ;  ESP : credulous


                         official lights out

the night has just begun under woolen blanket shameless

I continue my affair fingering each dictionary page

into long lewd summer star-lit dreaming late for school

not my fault miss Rizzo you understand no greater love

    bombastic    afro-desiac    manifesta

    tions roley poly chump be for real

    yellow bulldozers roll off the tongue

    guffaw    faux paux    arf !

    Acapulco    kiwi fruit    ahoy

    busca rido pachcona be my love


before Soupy Sales shuffle

White Fang     Black Tooth    Pookie

lunch time t.v. at home before Cisco Kid

Leo Carillo Poncho Villa replica before

Sid Cesar – Imogene Coca

Elvis shake hipster moves


I was devoted indentured servant 

a self explanatory dictionary saga

turmoil sea storm a deliberate teenaged rebel

reborn each page a game random selections

a juke box full of old Zenith radio # 1

rock & roll hits the new music

would send us all wailing into hell

ish ocean of fire instead I rode

a thunder cloud into the kingdom of nerd

onto the plain of Maladroit full steed


Indio-Xicano : n { f tierra sagrada mix

of huevos rancheros}  1910  2 : name place

Aztlan circa 1961 Indian southwest escape

2  :  notorious in e. L.A.  San Antonio

                           Pheonix  Chicago

                           Detroit Albuquerque

                           y Brownsville pues

and all at the same time . . .


one day of discovery of New World resident barrio

revolutionist Ramon ‘el chingon’ Hernandez, local

Keeper of the People as Makers of History, catron

he-dog he said, “words are fine carnal pero you

waste too much time alone and even hostiles

understand the real work waits in the day to day

fuego jale de nuestro barrio libre Mejicano-Xikano


you say you want to see some action, bueno vamonos!!


ju say tomato      yo digo tomate

           tomato             tomate

           Anglo              Xikano

let’s bring the whole circle home imagine


I am Coahuila-Xikano from the Sierra Madre Mountains

from the state of Detroit I have the scars to prove it


we must not surrender to fear

a newly freed spirit cannot return

to a former sheltered self the world

is much broader and we are more worthy


although we no longer remember our home or language

we retain in the blood the dictionary quietly harbored

in some future book shelf dimension lost pages

anguished peoples buried by slave wages

racism and the weight of oppression



back in the day Detroit harnessed youth

Chicano – Boricua Colectivo we took steps

to teach the barrio who is sincere

who is a vendido (sell-out) to the system

 we stated we are not his nor her – Spanics

the word is a product of colonization/

generalization / isolation from the rest

of colonialized “Latin” America realities


we are too dark skinned for our own good have

our own history our own particular Gente del Sol

we should not be eating Burger King hamburgers !!


we are Maiz



            Tlalok inspired Rain & Earth


induced by electronica life style

spectrum dul-ce-fied testosterone : manly norm

side effect of nightly neighborhood barbecues

dox xx’s rendezvous were-wolf lives truth

revealed the masked terms of humor : 

mex  spic  greaser  wet back  grease ball  taco bender



to celebrate Poppy Day 1956 i.e. Veteran’s Day

no mention of the wars against Indian People

nor the land stolen our progress arrested I recall


nostalgic patriotic essay poster contest

replete with familiar images of war

minute men drum roll fife parade

canon inspired cavalry charges

the death of men and horses

what does Thanksgiving Day mean

to a homeless Indian ?


conservatism con: ser : va : tis- mmy goodness

                              kan : ser  : va : ti – shazam!! /

  1. 1835 texican traitor revolt


                              civil air patrol view of the world

                              hidden between the lines

                              wide spread panic tendency

                              cold war dash under our desks

                              3  :  paranoia  4  :  war mongering





Little Mexico


we named the WWII projects erected

to house the incoming flux of workers

drawn by the hope of factory work

demanding a different slang

filled with action words


1  cap a  :  spicy caldo de res :

huge floating islands of potato

beefy bone colossus, donkey eared

cabbage, onion, celery & carrot

chubby enchilada tortillas de maiz

in real time homemade hot chile sauce

I am really cooking now


imaginary rich thick saucy words

stirred with our wooden spoon of culture


we are meq  1 : water we are

looking for fun on the run I choose

without hesitation to wear my hair long

someday longer than Grandmother Guadalupe’s

on windy days we fly our nationalist flags

my clothes are simple cotton, baggy chinos

seldom wrinkled the secret

lays in how to fold them


we are Xixemecaticano caught in the bowels

of capitalist domination hunting gathering

a dictionary for survival we are not

gangsters with druggie doggies

for protection we are a part of the pack

wild grey wolf & black Crow incantations


because we spik-a-the-english for self defense

we learn how to bop our way through this our lifetime

we do not negate the lessons learned from the fabric

of liberation our teacher is the tonal – the tone of the times


we go by many names many aliases

                                     bad dog

                                     mala hora




                                     Brown Beret



                                     Chicano !           Power !



a stoic pen stain exclamation !  a

thin maneuverable paint brush stroke

the mood is light near perfection

a smooth satin Latin sheen


                                         Aztatl X


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