After Aztlan: Latino Poets of the Nineties

By Ray González | Go to book overview

Ernesto Trejo

The Cloud Unfolding

It starts with the picture of my grandfather,
machine gunned in his car, Packard De Luxe, 1923.
A snapshot with poor composition, slightly
out of focus, it holds the forty-three
bullets that pushed for light or air
& which now find their black spaces and obey
our eyes. His last curse will never leave
this picture, his body will never
leave that car, his blood will forever
cake on the red upholstery
(someone pulled you out of the car, someone else
unfolded a blanket over your face not knowing
that you wanted to see that cloud unfold
over the whole sky
or gather into rain & flood your eyes.
Your last curse gave way to visions of battle,
of other men, never yourself,
dying in the heat & the dust).
In El Paso my grandfather once stayed up
all night & when the sun rose he shaved the goatee,
tapped over his heart & felt the fake passport.
Later he emerged from the hotel a businessman,
like Lenis, & walked six blocks to the train station,
a black mushroom in the fog,
a piece of shit under the sky of El Paso
or Geneva, a sky that ate his shirts & sucked
his head into a chisel of anger.

-220-

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After Aztlan: Latino Poets of the Nineties
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction xv
  • Francisco Alarcón 3
  • Jimmy Santiago Baca 11
  • Cordelia Candelaria 15
  • Ana Castillo 18
  • Rosemary Catacalos 25
  • Lorna Dee Cervantes 33
  • Lucha Corpi 42
  • Carlos Cumpián 48
  • Angela De Hoyos 53
  • Martín Espada 55
  • Alicia Gaspar De Alba 64
  • Rebecca Gonzales 75
  • Ray González 80
  • Víctor Hernández Cruz 90
  • Juan Felipe Herrera 101
  • Rita Magdaleno 111
  • Demetria Martínez 119
  • Víctor Martínez 124
  • Pat Mora 130
  • Judith Ortiz Cofer 135
  • Leroy Quintana 143
  • Antonia Quintana Pigño 146
  • Naomi Quiñónez 155
  • Alberto Ríos 162
  • Luis J. Rodríguez 170
  • Leo Romero 179
  • Benjamin Sáenz 188
  • Luis Omar Salinas 194
  • Gary Soto 206
  • Carmen Tafolla 213
  • Ernesto Trejo 220
  • Robert Vasquez 226
  • Alma Luz Villanueva 234
  • Tino Villanueva 241
  • Biographical Notes 247
  • Acknowledgments 255
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