Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Headline Poem 5/20/14 -- Your Own Stories

Cuento Cup (Photo credit Joseph Rios, found on Michele Serros's Facebook page)
Chipotle has a new literary promotion going on called 'Cultivating Thought.' The problem is, being a Mexican Grill, they failed to include any latino/a voices in this initial campaign. Michele Serros, author of Chicana Falsa, is not happy, and she is not alone. Here is the LA Times headline that inspired tonight's poem. To show that we really all have a story to tell, Berkeley based restaurant Flacos, is handing out blank cups and pens to customers so that they can write and share their own. Cheers to Michele and Flacos and all of those who contribute and cultivate in this crazy world of ours.

Your Own Stories

My grandfather rolled rice
of his own
mixed with zucchini
and lemon and allspice
and memories of home
     slapped in the face for what
     he might have done wrong,
it took time to crack the code
and produce seeds and vines
and long, hungry lines

But, like baklava
and sweetened honey,
and rocks
and borrowed money,
his stories fell from bigger
places where they
migrated
and cultivated
and congregated
together --
stretching and reaching
toward an illusive sun

you can't admire the beauty
and ignore your own
son,
or daughter
hello, I know you're there!
One by one,
they denied the bribe with false
condolences...

we had full intentions
of including you

     next time,

once things took off, and became a
little more
real
we were going to let you in
to the viewing room
to spy and stare
and
echo and share
your own stories

but first we had to get
the people to stick
like stolen, rotten syrup,
     dwelling
blank, on the plate,
damn you are too late
why did you wait?!

that's what happens
when you're hungry,
for the cash
and the flash
and the unlucky dine and dash

you don't mind
that you forgot
and left behind
your own kind

Are you sorry yet?