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   IN OUR OWN VOICES
      
          

Jimmy Santiago Baca
 quote button"I think language gives us courage.  Poetry gives us courage and faith to live with open wounds.  Poetry gives us the means to understand pain in a meaningless age.  Language gives us insight into the darkness that we all stumble into today.  So, I don't know
if it heals, but I do know that it provides us with what we lack.  Language provides us with something that we desperately need. "
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Poetry by Jimmy Santiago Baca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

El Gato's life is a Babe Ruth pop-up,
sailing beyond the rival gang's catch, hop scotching crime-chalked sidewalks, fleeing police over backyard fences
from guard dogs barking,
down scuffed alleys where clapping windows and shutting doors applaud him,
sliding under a stripped car homeplate, hearing the news Jo-Jo and Sparky got shot,
he x's their names off building scorecard-walls for dead.

At sixteen,
a brown fighting get down impromptu warrior,
lip-pursed ooohing fevered to defy,
clicking tap shoes on sidewalks,
chi chi chi cano, heel to toe, chin to chest,
chi chi chi cano,
T-shirt rolled to bare midriff, pomade hair back,
low-hugging hip khakis,
inked-cross on right hand,
bandanna'd, top button
tied on his Pendelton, lean and mean,
haunting us with his gangsta' signs.

Poetry by Jimmy Santiago Baca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This website was created and is maintained for use in classrooms dedicated to multicultural understanding. 
Material from and links to other sources have been chosen because of their relevance to this goal. 
For questions or comments, or to report problems with links, please contact:
Ann Ramsey ramseyakc@yahoo.com
 
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