I am Joaquin… Para todos los mexicanos en EU

by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales
Yo soy Joaquín,
perdido en un mundo de confusión:
I am Joaquín, lost in a world of confusion,
caught up in the whirl of a gringo society,
confused by the rules, scorned by attitudes,
suppressed by manipulation, and destroyed by modern society.
My fathers have lost the economic battle
and won the struggle of cultural survival.
And now! I must choose between the paradox of
victory of the spirit, despite physical hunger,
or to exist in the grasp of American social neurosis,
sterilization of the soul and a full stomach.
Yes, I have come a long way to nowhere,
unwillingly dragged by that monstrous, technical,
industrial giant called Progress and Anglo success….
I look at myself.
I watch my brothers.
I shed tears of sorrow. I sow seeds of hate.
I withdraw to the safety within the circle of life —
I am Cuauhtémoc, proud and noble,
leader of men, king of an empire civilized
beyond the dreams of the gachupín Cortés,
who also is the blood, the image of myself.
I am the Maya prince.
I am Nezahualcóyotl, great leader of the Chichimecas.
I am the sword and flame of Cortes the despot
And I am the eagle and serpent of the Aztec civilization.
I owned the land as far as the eye
could see under the Crown of Spain,
and I toiled on my Earth and gave my Indian sweat and blood
for the Spanish master who ruled with tyranny over man and
beast and all that he could trample
I was both tyrant and slave.
As the Christian church took its place in God’s name,
to take and use my virgin strength and trusting faith,
the priests, both good and bad, took–
but gave a lasting truth that Spaniard Indian Mestizo
were all God’s children.
And from these words grew men who prayed and fought
for their own worth as human beings, for that
I was part in blood and spirit of that courageous village priest
Hidalgo who in the year eighteen hundred and ten
rang the bell of independence and gave out that lasting cry–
El Grito de Dolores
“Que mueran los gachupines y que viva la Virgen de Guadalupe….”
I sentenced him who was me I excommunicated him, my blood.
I drove him from the pulpit to lead a bloody revolution for him and me….
I killed him.
His head, which is mine and of all those
who have come this way,
I placed on that fortress wall
to wait for independence. Morelos! Matamoros! Guerrero!
all companeros in the act, STOOD AGAINST THAT WALL OF INFAMY
to feel the hot gouge of lead which my hands made.
I died with them … I lived with them …. I lived to see our country free.
Free from Spanish rule in eighteen-hundred-twenty-one.
Mexico was free??
The crown was gone but all its parasites remained,
and ruled, and taught, with gun and flame and mystic power.
I worked, I sweated, I bled, I prayed,
and waited silently for life to begin again.
I fought and died for Don Benito Juarez, guardian of the Constitution.
I was he on dusty roads on barren land as he protected his archives
as Moses did his sacraments.
He held his Mexico in his hand on
the most desolate and remote ground which was his country.
And this giant little Zapotec gave not one palm’s breadth
of his country’s land to kings or monarchs or presidents of foriegn powers.
I am Joaquin.
I rode with Pancho Villa,
crude and warm, a tornado at full strength,
nourished and inspired by the passion and the fire of all his earthy people.
I am Emiliano Zapata.
“This land, this earth is OURS.”
The villages, the mountains, the streams
belong to Zapatistas.
Our life or yours is the only trade for soft brown earth and maize.
All of which is our reward,
a creed that formed a constitution
for all who dare live free!
“This land is ours . . .
Father, I give it back to you.
Mexico must be free. . . .”
I ride with revolutionists
against myself.
I am the Rurales,
coarse and brutal,
I am the mountian Indian,
superior over all.
The thundering hoof beats are my horses. The chattering machine guns
are death to all of me:
I have been the bloody revolution,
The victor,
The vanquished.
I have killed
And been killed.
I am the despots Díaz
And Huerta
And the apostle of democracy,
Francisco Madero.
I am
The black-shawled
Who die with me
Or live
Depending on the time and place.
I am faithful, humble Juan Diego,
The Virgin of Guadalupe,
Tonantzín, Aztec goddess, too.
I rode the mountains of San Joaquín.
I rode east and north
As far as the Rocky Mountains,
All men feared the guns of
Joaquín Murrieta.
I killed those men who dared
To steal my mine,
Who raped and killed my love
My wife.
Then I killed to stay alive.
I was Elfego Baca,
living my nine lives fully.
I was the Espinoza brothers
of the Valle de San Luis.
All were added to the number of heads that in the name of civilization
were placed on the wall of independence, heads of brave men
who died for cause or principle, good or bad.
Hidalgo! Zapata!
Murrieta! Espinozas!
Are but a few.
They dared to face
The force of tyranny
Of men who rule by deception and hypocrisy.
I stand here looking back,
And now I see the present,
And still I am a campesino,
I am the fat political coyote–
Of the same name,
In a country that has wiped out
All my history,
Stifled all my pride,
In a country that has placed a
Different weight of indignity upon my age-old burdened back.
Inferiority is the new load . . . .
The Indian has endured and still
Emerged the winner,
The Mestizo must yet overcome,
And the gachupín will just ignore.
I look at myself
And see part of me
Who rejects my father and my mother
And dissolves into the melting pot
To disappear in shame.
I sometimes
Sell my brother out
And reclaim him
For my own when society gives me
Token leadership
In society’s own name.
I am Joaquín,
Who bleeds in many ways.
The altars of Moctezuma
I stained a bloody red.
My back of Indian slavery
Was stripped crimson
From the whips of masters
Who would lose their blood so pure
When revolution made them pay,
Standing against the walls of retribution.
Blood has flowed from me on every battlefield between
campesino, hacendado,
slave and master and revolution.
I jumped from the tower of Chapultepec
into the sea of fame–
my country’s flag
my burial shroud–
with Los Niños,
whose pride and courage
could not surrender
with indignity
their country’s flag
to strangers . . . in their land.
Now I bleed in some smelly cell from club or gun or tyranny.
I bleed as the vicious gloves of hunger
Cut my face and eyes,
As I fight my way from stinking barrios
To the glamour of the ring
And lights of fame
Or mutilated sorrow.
My blood runs pure on the ice-caked
Hills of the Alaskan isles,
On the corpse-strewn beach of Normandy,
The foreign land of Korea
And now Vietnam.
Here I stand
Before the court of justice,
For all the glory of my Raza
To be sentenced to despair.
Here I stand,
Poor in money,
Arrogant with pride,
Bold with machismo,
Rich in courage
Wealthy in spirit and faith.
My knees are caked with mud.
My hands calloused from the hoe. I have made the Anglo rich,
Equality is but a word–
The Treaty of Hidalgo has been broken
And is but another threacherous promise.
My land is lost
And stolen,
My culture has been raped.
I lengthen the line at the welfare door
And fill the jails with crime.
These then are the rewards
This society has
For sons of chiefs
And kings
And bloody revolutionists,
Who gave a foreign people
All their skills and ingenuity
To pave the way with brains and blood
For those hordes of gold-starved strangers,
Changed our language
And plagiarized our deeds
As feats of valor
Of their own.
They frowned upon our way of life
and took what they could use.
Our art, our literature, our music, they ignored–
so they left the real things of value
and grabbed at their own destruction
by their greed and avarice.
They overlooked that cleansing fountain of
nature and brotherhood
which is Joaquín.
The art of our great señores,
Diego Rivera,
Orozco, is but another act of revolution for
the salvation of mankind.
Mariachi music, the heart and soul
of the people of the earth,
the life of the child,
and the happiness of love.
The corridos tell the tales
of life and death,
of tradition,
legends old and new, of joy
of passion and sorrow
of the people–who I am.
I am in the eyes of woman,
sheltered beneath
her shawl of black,
deep and sorrowful eyes
that bear the pain of sons long buried or dying,
dead on the battlefield or on the barbed wire of social strife.
Her rosary she prays and fingers endlessly
like the family working down a row of beets
to turn around and work and work.
There is no end.
Her eyes a mirror of all the warmth
and all the love for me,
and I am her
and she is me.
We face life together in sorrow,
anger, joy, faith and wishful
I shed the tears of anguish
as I see my children disappear
behind the shroud of mediocrity,
never to look back to remember me.
I am Joaquín.
I must fight
and win this struggle
for my sons, and they
must know from me
who I am.
Part of the blood that runs deep in me
could not be vanquished by the Moors.
I defeated them after five hundred years,
and I have endured.
Part of the blood that is mine
has labored endlessly four hundred
years under the heel of lustful
I am still here!

I have endured in the rugged mountains
Of our country
I have survived the toils and slavery of the fields.
I have existed
In the barrios of the city
In the suburbs of bigotry
In the mines of social snobbery
In the prisons of dejection
In the muck of exploitation
In the fierce heat of racial hatred.
And now the trumpet sounds,
The music of the people stirs the
Like a sleeping giant it slowly
Rears its head
To the sound of
Tramping feet
Clamoring voices
Mariachi strains
Fiery tequila explosions
The smell of chile verde and
Soft brown eyes of expectation for a
Better life.
And in all the fertile farmlands,
the barren plains,
the mountain villages,
smoke-smeared cities,
we start to MOVE.
La raza!
Or whatever I call myself,
I look the same
I feel the same
I cry
Sing the same.
I am the masses of my people and
I refuse to be absorbed.
I am Joaquín.
The odds are great
But my spirit is strong,
My faith unbreakable,
My blood is pure.
I am Aztec prince and Christian Christ.


Palabras de la Fuente de muchos “ateos” al Dios desconocido

Ningun hombre escapa a la necesidad de Dios. Niezsche, la fuente para muchos jovenes y maestros que se hacen llamar ateos, tambien pronuncio palabras a esta Divinidad que  a toda costa se ha intentado negar. Por un lado, jamas he creido que  el objetivo de la filosofia de este aleman haya sido destruir la existencia de Dios, sino asesinar una “moral estrangulante”, sin embargo, tambien mal entendida por estos ateos, por mucha gente religiosa de aquel y este tiempo, y sobre todo por  el mismo Nietzsche.

“Mis lágrimas, a torrentes, discurren en cauce hacia Ti” El filósofo Friedrich Nietzsche, quien proclamó “Dios ha muerto” y ha influido en el pensamiento de tantos ateos, expresó así, cuando tenía 44 años, su búsqueda desesperada: Dame amor… ¿quién me ama todavía? ¿quién, aún, me da calor? Tiéndeme manos ardientes, dale un brasero a mi […]

a través de Las desgarradoras oraciones de Nietzsche al Dios desconocido. — Filosofía en la Pintana

El Norte: una vida, un sueño… no siempre elegido.

Tras la violencia y las extorsiones en Cd. Juárez muchos compañeros, amigos y familiares escaparon hacia los países del norte de América. La mayoría, como es costumbre, buscaron refugio en Estados Unidos, otros más intrépidos  dieron un salto no muy común a las tierras canadienses. Ahí, empezaron a echar raíz, una que hoy quisieran no tener que alimentar, que anhelan los llevara de nuevo al lugar que aprendieron a amar desde niños y que tristemente tienen que aprender a llamar “mi casa”.

Paisajes tapizados de estrellas  u hojas de arce, parecían ser tan mágicos desde la distancia que creaba un televisor. Era una vista segura y tranquila la cual  ayudaba a vislumbrar posibilidades.  Ahora, cotidianamente se encuentran pisando estos “coloridos” sueños, los cuales a causa de ciertas incapacidades políticas, culturales y económicas no podrán dejar o transformar. El triunfo y la farándula que aparecía en las películas y los programas televisivos se esfuman, y aparece ante ellos, por fin, la realidad de un migrante (en este caso latinoamericano ) en Norteamérica. Me refiero a la amiga, amante, compañera, seductora, muchas veces prostituta y esposa de cada trabajador de clase baja en cualquier parte del mundo: la joda.

Norteamérica, tus ciudades bien planeadas, lujosas y uniformes han seducido a los hombres del sur como las sirenas a los marineros en el alta mar, les cantan con un sonido que da comodidad y  con un beso sabor a billetes verdes, haces  sentir débiles a cada uno de los deseosos y pobres hombres que necesitan desesperadamente sentirse amados tras una sequedad agonizante, tras meses y meses de vivir en un sucio e incómodo barco, y al final si los logras distraer,  los tomas en este sueño erótico de lujos y los ahogas lentamente hasta terminar con sus vidas en el fondo de un mar de deudas causadas por cosas que anhelaron y jamás necesitaron.  Me recuerda a esta canción dedicada a las ciudades, titulada como “Corazón de Neón” y que una parte dice así:

“La ciudad donde vivo ha crecido

de espaldas al cielo.

La ciudad donde vivo es el mapa

de la soledad.

Al que llega le da un caramelo

con el veneno de la ansiedad.

La ciudad donde vivo es mi cárcel

y mi libertad

La ciudad donde vivo

Es un ogro con dientes de oro

Un amante de lujo

que siempre quise seducir

La ciudad junta al Dios y al Diablo

Al funcionario y al travestí

La ciudad donde vivo

es un niño limpiando un fusil. ”

Porque así no lo soñaron, porque así no lo pidieron. Pensaron que si alguna día estuvieran en esos lados lo harían como amigos. Sin embargo, no llegaron como amigos, ni como viajeros. Algunos, llegaron con el distintivo de ilegales. Marcados para batallar, para ser clase baja, para trabajar en lo que nadie quiere. En Grecia les llamaban esclavos, acá les llamamos de manera más fina: clase baja y trabajadora. Escapan de un lugar donde su derechos están siendo quebrantados y jamas respetados y llegan a otro donde pareciera que jamas se les prescribieron unos.

No es la mayoría quienes encuentran al mundo extranjero  como un amigo, solo la minoría podría decirse que son quienes realmente les gusta estar más en tierras extrañas a las de donde crecieron. Aun así, no quiero olvidarme de ninguno; de todos los que tienen un futuro prometedor y los que aun a veces se arrepienten de no haber arriesgado sus vidas en la ciudad de donde escaparon. Ayer eran noticia, luego ya no. Después se volverán de nuevo una revelación noticiosa, y luego volverán desaparecer del interés popular.

Recuerdo como nos entristecía saber que tenían que dejar las calles de la ciudad y los encuentros comunes con sus seres queridos. Sin embargo, para muchos,  el recuerdo cada vez fue doliendo menos. Hoy que estas personas ya no estén en lo cotidiano es algo sin mucha importancia. Para mí no,  yo sigo recordando a los que se han ido. Con algunos de ellos tengo contacto y con otros no, porque no tengo ni idea de cómo encontrarlos. Pero no los olvido, sé que se mueven,  que respiran, sueñan, lloran y se ríen en algún lugar del norte. Más se, que recordarlos no sirve de absolutamente nada, es por eso  que aún sigo creyendo que debe buscarse una mejor manera de vivir no solo para los que están en sus ciudades de origen, sino también para que los que están lejos y siguen soñando con  mejores condiciones esperando que el destino probablemente les permita volver.


Juan Luis Cabrera