Monday, January 23, 2017

Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience – Monica Rico

Close up image of a microphone on a stage. The audience that is facing the microphone is blurred, appearing as a myriad of colors (red, white, green, yellow, etc.)
As the incoming administration builds its agenda of attack on marginalized people, on freedom of speech, on the earth itself, poetry will continue to be an essential voice of resistance. Poets will speak out in solidarity, united against hatred, systemic oppression, and violence and for justice, beauty, and community.
In this spirit, Split This Rock is offering its blog as a Virtual Open Mic. For the rest of this frightening month, January of 2017, we invite you to send us poems of resistance, power, and resilience.

We will post every poem we receive unless it is offensive (containing language that is derogatory toward marginalized groups, that belittles, uses hurtful stereotypes, explicitly condones or implies a call for violence, etc.). After the Virtual Open Mic closes, we hope to print out and mail all of the poems to the White House.

For guidelines on how to submit poems for this call, visit the Call for Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience blog post


Incantation on the Eve of 2017
by Monica Rico

I turn bread into tortillas.
I leave dried guajillo chiles in my wake.
My hair is wild cilantro.
My footprints are poinsettias.
My tongue is an eagle whose wings will shout.
The fringe of my rebozo is made of infinite braids.
I dare you to touch.
I am a field.
My hands are dirt, my fingernails roots.
Diego Rivera has painted them.
My bones are made of corn and chiles.
My stomach is arroz con frijoles.
My lungs are comino y canela.
My blood is lemon and salt.
In my fingerprints are the spines of nopal.
Each one of my feet has six strings.
My steps are canciones, ground down cigars and ash.
La llorana leads my Mariachi band.
¡Toca la guitarra!
I paint streets the color of mangoes.
My face is all skull and a halo of carnations.
My elbows are molcajetes ready to grind and smash any fool
who tries to build a wall around me.
Watch it crack like a tostada.
My shoulders are black doves.
My eyes are Ultima's owl, bless us.
It is my comal that will save.
Say my name!
Say La Raza!
We will sing until we raise hell.
¡Otra más!
As Emiliano Zapata chose to stand, we stand.
The statue of Liberty has stepped aside
for nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.
From Her robe fall no tears, only roses.
The crescent moon offers enough light for us to be on our feet
Among the stars,
Among the holy,
Among the mole.
We are America.
Our guitars, our tongues are aimed at you.
Loaded and heavy as fruit, ready to explode.

Previously published in Cleaver Magazine’s Life as Activism! Series.

No comments: