The following appeared in ¿WHAT’S IN A NOMBRE? Writing Latin@ Identity in America. This 310-page issue, which was guest edited by Nancy Mercado, features a cavalcade of over 117 Latino poets, writers and artists from across the U.S.  Here’s my poem:




When I was 15 I was a pachuco

which is a Mexican zoot-suiter

& very dark

& very curly-haired

& tough

& can whip sailors & Okies by himself

or with his gang


But I was small for my age

& Spanish

& so white for my Mexican buddies

they nicknamed me Wedo

which means white

& didn’t have curly hair

& would never be 6 feet tall

& wasn’t very tough


But I was brave

& had a Hollywood haircut

that was wavy on top

& fell onto my forehead

like Frank Sinatra’s

& combed into such a smooth duck’s ass in back

that everybody admired it

in fact

it had so much pomade on it

to keep it stiff & in tight place

as a helmet

that I could dive into a forest stream

from a high rock in Mendocino County

& go way down

& coast way up

& get out

all dripping & wet

without even putting a dent in it



Here’s the link to the magazine: