Thursday, May 29, 2008

Luis Omar Salinas: Casting a Giant Shadow

in the greenrooom with Alurista is Luis Omar Salinas

I received an email this morning from Juan Felipe Herrera: "Yesterday, in Sanger, Califas, we lost another great carnal, hermano and singer of the heart. He was ill for some time....."

The body of the living word is now diminished by the passing of Luis Omar Salinas...

Going North
(for my grandfather)

Those streets in my youth
hilarious and angry,
cobblestoned by Mestizos,
fresh fruit
and dancing beggars.
Gone are the soldiers
and the nuns.
My Portuguese friends
have gone North.
The school girls
have ripened
I hum Spanish tunes
waiting for the bus
in Fresno.
These avenues
I watch
young, open collared
like my grandfather
who died in a dream
going North.

Gracias, Luis....

A postscript....This ran in today's Fresno Bee


msedano said...

Salinas brought us art and anthology. I enjoyed his crazy gypsy work, found Robstown haunting. His anthology with Lilian Faderman, "From the Barrio" should be in every collector's library. Ave atque vale, QEPD.


norma landa flores said...

Luis Omar Salinas wrote that his,"grandfather died in a dream going North." I would like to add, "But lives in our history, through the words of Luis, Singer of La Raza's Hearts.


Gregg Barrios said...

In the nascent days of Chicano lit, I co-edited an early anthology Los Poetas Chicanos.

Among the poets represented was Luis Omar Salinas. He gave us permission to print his classic "Aztec Angel" poem and "In a Farmhouse" and "Pedro Infante."

I share with La Bloga readers what he wrote about himself in the contributor's page - back in 1975.

"LUIS OMAR SALINAS - born in Robstown, Texas. Taught creative writing at Fresno to develop young writers. Wrote "Crazy Gypsy" a book of poems. He is a serious poet, loves to write, Mexican to the core, once a copy boy and while not working, teaches and writes, lives in Sanger, California, thinks highly of Women's Lib, would like to travel to Cuba, France, and Spain, and doesn't think much of immortality and rarely goes to church!"

I long to see his work back in print so that we can all once again partake in the work of this gran pionero de la poesía de nuestra gente.

Small indie presses take note.

¡Gracias a la vida y que viva Luis Omar Salinas!


Victoria said...

An inscription to me dated 4/13/82from my friend Omar in Prelude To Darkness: "To a pretty woman who's going to Spain. Suerte. Omar" He is greatly missed & much mourned.