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The Clash of Civilizations
Espanol Is Still Verboten Ici Dans Les Etats-Unis
by Jose Torres Tama

This is for the Honduran born USA punker mama baby chick
half woman and half child
who attracts men with her scorpion look
and the passport of her Canadian lawyer father
he loved Pakistani women and found ecstasy
underneath the mango tree in Tegucigalpa
This is for the Chicano guerito guapo, whose father is German
mother born an Aztec from Cuernavaca
and who arrived with the name Julio Chichimeca Ehrenberger
raised on Guadalupe Street in San Antonio
This is for the Appalachian West Virginia mountain mama blonde
with high cheekbones from her little bit of Cherokee
still pronounced after many generations
who fell in love with a New Jersey-New York bred
Ecuadorian brujo poet she met in New Orleans
where he lives in a metaphoric exile close to the Equator
This is for hybrid America without boundaries
fluid in between her open legs
which has passed many births of rainbow colors
but Espanol is still verboten ici dans les Stats Unis
and I woke up feeling like a grand insect
como una cucaracha de Kafkaesque proportions
sick with George Samsa's fear of being left behind
avec mon derrier up in the air
alles kunst is verboten here
how can that be--not in a democracy?
for even the lowest forms are guaranteed
la liberte que debe ser la premiere raison d'être
yet alles kunst is still verboten here
so if you do drugs, do them now
and talk to me, mes amis, tete a tete
for if you can't speak another language, get a tutor
because I'm turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese
I really think so
and I can't get no, no I can’t get no
affirmative action, but I try and I try
y mas de todo, Je regrette mon amigasos
que no se parla Sprench aqui tampoco
porque we believe in one language, one god, one dollar we trust
monolinguistic, monotheistic, monetary control
asi que son unos monos todos, ay que cojones
y que'ce que tu cherchez si vous plait?
in a dangerous liaison between democracy and capital gains
que'ce que vous voulez?
le mac cheese croissant whopper?
or melted fromage in between your Mac baby honey buns?
ay caramba, donde esta la dolce vita mama Leone
baby please, baby please, baby, baby, baby
please remind Antonio that it's Prince Spaghetti day
and Della Ventura he's no friend of mine
just another Au Bon Pain in the ass TV cop beating colored folk
and have you noticed
that bread in French is spelled allot like pain in English?
ay que rico, senor masochista!
asta la prochaine con estos hibridos verbales
tell me more, tell me more
Espanol is verboten here ici dans les Etats-Unis
because you're a Pepper. I'm a Pepper.
don't you want to be a Dr. Pepper too?
this is a hybrid nation pendejos
not a homogenized Brady bunch affair
where the only black making a cameo on that show
was Greg Brady himself with a heavy tan
looking like Al Jolson in Seventies blue leisure suit attire
hiding a little afro underneath the apple pie
because maybe he was a white mulato
a brother trapped in suburban denial and cottony comfort
ce pas possible, you say
well, white America is obsessed, I mean obsessed with tanning
and salsa sauce outsells Heinz Ketchup as the leading condiment--every
and guacamole junkies are learning how to Tango by the millions
and La Macarena follows the national anthem at Yankee Stadium
asi que alfilen los oidos
despierten la subconsciencia
y ajusten sus sinturones filosoficos
do not be afraid amigos y amigas
porque se habla Espanol aqui
do not be afraid of the Spanish language
because Tostitos are here to stay
in fact, we are new and improved
fat free and good for the economy
so if you are bilingually challenged
sharpen your ears, awake your subconscious
and adjust your philosophical seatbelts
because it's early in the dawn of the new millennium
y America, por tu otro nombre con huevos rancheros
do you know where your country is?
alles kunst is verboten here
and you can call me Bond… Juan Bond
from her Majesty’s Secret Salsa Service
with a license to transport subversive performance art
across state lines, pues wake up and smell the platanos
and on next election Tuesday
vote Republican fear out to graze in a Medieval pasture
{Wolf Howl!}


All Poetry & Nothing ButClash of CivilizationsEC ChairFeatured PoetsForeign DeskGalleryStage
Hedonism: Theory & PracticeLetters & GlossolaliaArt of MarriageMoney TalkPets & BeastsZounds

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