Friday, December 02, 2011

About the following long poem...

The first publication was actually in an anthology of 1987, a collaboration between San Diego State & the University of Baja. [details in comment.]

I'd forgotten this because I am incorrigibly unilingual, and the poem has little to do with border matters. Anne & I responded to an invitation for US poets from the University of Baja, had a scary time (and were treated very well!) getting lost in Tijuana, enjoyed some extremely courteous and friendly meetings with Mexican poets from there-- and eventually that anthology emerged.

One of the things we learned was how the Mexican student movement had been suppressed by the massacre of October 2, 1968.

Our own version of this came a few years later, on a far smaller scale, first the shooting of several students at a Black university in the South, and then the better known Kent State incident:


I never did complete a satisfactory poem about either my father or my mother, only a flawed sonnet about her death. His death came some years later, in April 2000.

He was a far better man than his ideas should have made him, was starting to be disgusted with the Republicans he'd supported all his life, particularly their parodies of Christianity and their exploitation of US hostility to Mexican migrant workers. He would have loathed their repudiation of the Geneva Conventions.

One of his WW II duties was as a guard in a prisoner of war camp, where he befriended a Swiss Nazi, who came for a visit some time in the 60's. Both of them felt that the US, at the end of WW II, should have joined forces with the Nazis for an immediate attack on the USSR. [I don't know how they could have imagined anyone being willing to do this!]

Much of the turmoil between me and my parents... probably resulted from their own fear of freedom, conflicting with their unstated hopes that I might grow up free. So much of life has needed to be learned the hard way.

I hope, as Terry Hertzler did, that the following may make it easier for someone...

1 comment:

forrest said...


Literatura de Frontera
Mexico/Estados Unidos

Border Writing

[Memoria del Primer Encuentro
de Escritores de las Californias

Proceedings of the First Conference
of Writers from the Californias

assembled by:

Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias,
San Diego State University/
Direccion de Assuntos Culturales de la Secretartia de Educacion
y Biennestar Social del Gobierno del Estado de Baja California