Monday, October 30, 2006

El Diá de los Muertos Week 2006

A month ago we invited readers to submit their works to our first La Bloga Día de los Muertos Amoxcalli-Descansos Contest. You responded. We read. The judging is now over. Starting tomorrow we begin posting the three contest winners, in ascending order, with first prizewinner posted on Thursday.

We want to encourage everyone who submitted to keep writing, even if yours didn't receive one of the awards. There's no accounting for taste, as we at La Bloga found out in the last week of slewing Emails at each other back and forth across Aztlán. Of course, you, our readers, are the final judges of how well we did in our selections.

So, this week is our first attempt at stringing a few amoxcalli-descansos along your way to El Día de los Muertos. As we said at the start, these are provided "for consultation by the nobles and priests that make up our audience." (I should add that peones, brujas, curanderas and sorcerers were meant to be included.)

Dan Olivas who we decided needed a deserved break will return next Mon. for his regular post. Though my posts don't aspire to his standards, below I'm adding my contribution to the week's amoxcalli-descansos theme.

Traditionally, another practice in our history concerning El Día, is the publication of obituaries of living, prominent members of society. It's the one-day that it's relatively safe to jab, roast or satirize even local politicians, for instance, without worrying about recrimination or arrest, especially in Mexico. When this tradition wasn't adhered to, as in the case of my grandfather Juan Sauceda, it sometimes added to the migrant stream, which is how I wound up Chicano, not mexicano.

In any event, few years ago I took the liberty of composing una calavera to the great Chicano poet Lalo Delgado (when we could still see him walking alongside us)--a comic attempt to keep the tradition alive. Lalo, his wife and descendants saw it, though I have no idea what they ever thought of it. I offer it as an amoxcalli-descanso, for your consideration, Raza. -- Rudy Ch. Garcia

[For those of you straining your eyes, here's the text.]

Calavera al Poeta de Aztlán

We knew him quite well -- sí, un poco,
Este poeta Lalo -- ay qué loco.
So well-named, y tan delgado
So soft-spoken, el desgraciado.

How thin he split los pelos
Con palabra atracarsada,
His kindly verses -- un buen ejemplo
De como nació -- con boca cerrada.

Y no les dan caso
A Ramos ni Castillo.
El Poeta que ya no baile
No tiró dedo, y nada de pedo.

Pobre San Pedro al aduana celestial,
For not asking Lorca y El Zapata
Si quierían tener una visita
From another guerrero, macho, artista.

Y le hacemos un altar mayor
If they send him back below,
En que cabe, si no todo su cuerpo,
A lo menos, his big brown soul.

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