Jimmy Santiago Baca
A Daily Joy To Be Alive by Jimmy Santiago Baca

A Daily Joy To Be Alive by Jimmy Santiago Baca

No matter how serene thingsmay be in my life,how well things are going,my body and soulare two cliff peaksfrom which a dream of who I can befalls, and I must learn to fly again ...

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Who Understands Me But Me by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Who Understands Me But Me by Jimmy Santiago Baca

They turn the water off, so I live without water,they build walls higher, so I live without treetops,they paint the windows black, so I live without sunshine,they lock my cage, so ...

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Yesterday by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Yesterday by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Yesterday, the sunshine made the air glowpushing me like a sixteen-year-oldto toss my shirt off, and run along the river shore,splashing in the water, wading out to the reeds,my ...

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I Am Offering This Poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca

I Am Offering This Poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca

I am offering this poem to you,since I have nothing else to give.Keep it like a warm coat,when winter comes to cover you,or like a pair of thick socksthe cold cannot bite ...

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Like An Animal by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Like An Animal by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Behind the smooth textureOf my eyes, way inside me, A part of me has died:I move my bloody fingernailsAcross it, hard as a blackboard,Run my fingers along it, The chalk white ...

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Llano Vaqueros by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Llano Vaqueros by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Padilla unloads mangy herd of Mexicancattle in the field. Meaner, horns long and sharpfor bloody battle, lean from a dietof prairie weed, looking morelike cattle did years agoon ...

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Old Woman by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Old Woman by Jimmy Santiago Baca

I see Senora Sanchezalong the river.Black catfishpop the silverwater surface,waves unrollas the gnarledbronze face andblack eyes remember cool sea shellsand warm turquoise,the ...

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Cloudy Day by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Cloudy Day by Jimmy Santiago Baca

It is windy today. A wall of wind crashes against,windows clunk against, iron framesas wind swings past broken glassand seethes, like a frightened catin empty spaces of the ...

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Choices by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Choices by Jimmy Santiago Baca

An acquaintance at Los Alamos Labswho engineers weaponsblack x’d a mark where I liveon his office map.Star-wars humor….He exchanged muddy bootsand patched jeansfor a white ...

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Green Chile by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Green Chile by Jimmy Santiago Baca

I prefer red chile over my eggsand potatoes for breakfast.Red chile ristras decorate my door, dry on my roof, and hang from eaves.They lend open-air vegetable standshistorical ...

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Count-Time by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Count-Time by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Everybody to sleep the guard symbolizeson his late night tour of the tombs.When he leaves, after counting still bodieswrapped in white sheets, when he goes,the bodies slowly move, ...

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As Children Know by Jimmy Santiago Baca

As Children Know by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Elm branches radiate green heat,blackbirds stiffly strut across fields.Beneath bedroom wood floor, I feel earth—bread in an oven that slowly swells,simmering my Navajo blanket ...

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Into Death Bravely by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Into Death Bravely by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Winterthrows his great white shieldon the ground,breaking thin arms of twisting branches,and then howlson the north side of the Black Mesaa deep, throaty laughter.Because of himwe ...

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When Life by Jimmy Santiago Baca

When Life by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Is cut close, blades and bones,And the stench of sewers is everywhere,Blood-sloshed floors,And guards count the deadWith the blink of an eyelid, then hurry homeTo supper and love, ...

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As Life Was Five by Jimmy Santiago Baca

As Life Was Five by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Portate bien,behave yourself you always said to me.I behaved myselfwhen others were warm in winterand I stood out in the cold.I behaved myself when others had full platesand I ...

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Oppression by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Oppression by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Is a question of strength,of unshed tears,of being trampled under, and always, always,remembering you are human.Look deep to find the grains of hope and strength,and sing, my ...

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The Blackbird by Jimmy Santiago Baca

The Blackbird by Jimmy Santiago Baca

The blackbird sits On a bronchial limb Ready to Squeal his guts Where?

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Who Understands Me But Me by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Who Understands Me But Me by Jimmy Santiago Baca

They turn the water off, so I live without water,they build walls higher, so I live without treetops,they paint the windows black, so I live without sunshine,they lock my cage, so ...

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Ancestor by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Ancestor by Jimmy Santiago Baca

It was a time when they were afraid of him.My father, a bare man, a gypsy, a horsewith broken knees no one would shoot.Then again, he was like the orange tree,and young women ...

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What Is Broken Is What God Blesses by Jimmy Santiago Baca

What Is Broken Is What God Blesses by Jimmy Santiago Baca

The lover's footprint in the sand the ten-year-old kid's bare feetin the mud picking chili for rich growers,not those seeking cultural or ethnic roots,but those whose rootshave ...

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A Daily Joy To Be Alive by Jimmy Santiago Baca

A Daily Joy To Be Alive by Jimmy Santiago Baca

No matter how serene thingsmay be in my life,how well things are going,my body and soulare two cliff peaksfrom which a dream of who I can befalls, and I must learn to fly again ...

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Sanctuary by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Sanctuary by Jimmy Santiago Baca

for TonyI could not disengage my world from the rest of humanity. Wind chill factor 11° below. All nightwind thrashes ...

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To My Own Self by Jimmy Santiago Baca

To My Own Self by Jimmy Santiago Baca

My hands the Hook thunder hangs its hat on,My breast the Arroyo storms fill with water,My brow the Horizon sunrise fills,My heart the Dawn weaving blue threads of day,My soul the ...

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Matanza To Welcome Spring by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Matanza To Welcome Spring by Jimmy Santiago Baca

for Pat and VictorioSpread eagle sheep legs wide,wire hooves to shed beams,and sink blade in neck wool,’til the gray eyes drain of lifelike cold pure waterfrom a tin pail. ...

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Ten by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Ten by Jimmy Santiago Baca

If it does not feed the fireof your creativity, then leave it.If people and things do notinspire your heart to dream,then leave them.If you are not crazily in loveand making a ...

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El Gato by Jimmy Santiago Baca

El Gato by Jimmy Santiago Baca

At eightEl Gato's uncle lures them with grain in a pailand shoots the brown pig between the eyes,shoos the red-snouted white and black brothersfrom guzzling blood in the trough.At ...

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From Violence To Peace by Jimmy Santiago Baca

From Violence To Peace by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Twenty-eight shotgun pelletscrater my thighs, belly and groin.I gently thumb each burnt bead,fingering scabbed stubs with ointment.Could have neutered me, made extinctthe ...

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Listening To Jazz Now by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Listening To Jazz Now by Jimmy Santiago Baca

1. Listening to jazz now, I'm happy sun shining outside like it was my lifetime achievement award. I'm happy,with my friend and her dog up in Durango, her ...

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Main Character by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Main Character by Jimmy Santiago Baca

I went to seeHow the West Was Wonat the Sunshine Theater.Five years old,deep in a plush seat,light turned off,bright screen lit upwith MGM roaring lion-in front of mea drunk ...

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The County Jail by Jimmy Santiago Baca

The County Jail by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Men late at night cook coffee in rusty cans,just like in the hills, like in their childhoods,without rules or guidance or authority, their fathersdead or wild as gypsies,their ...

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This Day by Jimmy Santiago Baca

This Day by Jimmy Santiago Baca

I feel foolish, like those silly robins jumping on the ditch boughs when I run by them. Those robins do not have the grand style of the red tailed hawk, ...

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Yesterday by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Yesterday by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Yesterday, the sunshine made the air glowpushing me like a sixteen-year-oldto toss my shirt off, and run along the river shore,splashing in the water, wading out to the reeds,my ...

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Tire Shop by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Tire Shop by Jimmy Santiago Baca

I went down yesterdayto fix a leak in my tire. Off Bridge streetthere's a place 95 centsflats fixed,smeary black paint on warped wood plankbetween two bald tires.I go in, an old ...

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Ix. Part 6 by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Ix. Part 6 by Jimmy Santiago Baca

We bought a small housealong the river, in Southside barrio.A shack I pried boards from the front door to get in-half-acre of land in the backheaped with decades of scrap-rusted ...

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V by Jimmy Santiago Baca

V by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Years pass.Cattle cars in the downtown freightyardsqueal and groan, and sizzling grillssteam the Barelas Coffee House cafe windows,as the railroad workers with tin hard hats stop ...

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Too Much Of A Good Thing by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Too Much Of A Good Thing by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Snow’s been melting too soon—passing the Río Grande every day, I notewater level is high,all flowing down river.What happenswhen I need to irrigate pasturesin summerand there is ...

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There Are Black by Jimmy Santiago Baca

There Are Black by Jimmy Santiago Baca

There are black guards slamming cell gateson black men, And brown guards saying hello to brown menwith numbers on their backs, And ...

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