Arise my Xicana

Coming to terms with the mujer I have chosen to become has been a journey.  Constantly, I find that my identity builds upon the emotions and images I share in this poem.

Every time I realize that something within my physique has evolved, I think back to the moment I wrote this poema and reflect on how much it still reflects to my persona. I chose to include the image of the soldaderas to go with this poem because when I digest the qualities that make me a Chicana-Feminist, I think of Las Soldaderas Mexicanas.

From one day to another, these mujeres were caught in the tumult of La Revolución Mexicana and they had to find their place within the revolution without the help of anyone. They had to dig within their flesh to construct their identity based on the commotion of la revolución.

I believe it has also taken me time, tears, fears, and joys to find my identity. I had to embark on my own journey to discover my Chicana-Feminist identity. Las Soldaderas were and continue to be part of my inspiración of self-identity. Que vivan las mujeres! Whether you’re a Latina, Chicana, Chicana-Feminist, or a Xicana.

 

Disfigured 90 degree angle lime-dark in this pillar.

A plum mollifying my India lips–

Releases the tears of the grape pickers.

Stuck between the figure I expose

The mainstream of my superfluous angle begins weeping.

 

The words are harmonized,

Resucito, Aleluya, Resucito, Aleluya….

The twinge quenches in the shackles of my mainstream, más y más.

My corneas dissolve into the cavern of Soledad.

 

Thunderous roars

Corneas

Thunderous roars

Corneas

 

Awake!

 

“Silencio”, Whisper the voices.

“Do not Rise”,

“Caya your Fear”.

 

The redolence of Plum is all around me.

Coyolxauhqui is here.

My goddess de La Luna.

The wombyn of maíz vortex my body.

I’m the lost espíritu interpolated in Aztlan and America, the great.

They can’t sustain my engraved pain.

 

“No Cihualt”

“We Can’t”.

Arise mi Xicana

Find the strength in the chrome and callow wires jutting behind your pate.

 

There lies la ponderosa: Tu.

There lies la Xicana without barriers: you.

There is la hija de Malinalli: yo y Tú.

Film Review: A Better Life

BOTTOM LINE: An honest portrayal of the tough life of undocumented immigrants in East LA. Unfortunately, the brilliant performances of Damian Bichir and the great direction of Chris Weitz will do little to sway anti-immigrant loyalist.

“A Better Life” tells the story of a Mexican gardener in East LA who seeks to remove his son from the gang surrounded neighborhood. With a powerful performance from Mexican actor Demián Bichir, the drama spans 48 hours as his character travels through LA hoping to recover a stolen truck while connecting with his son.

Carlos, played by Demián Bichir, decides to buy a truck filled with gardening equipment hoping that it would increase his clientele and his income. While he is struggling to raise money, Luis, portrayed by José Julián, is tempted to join the violent East LA gangs. The same day Carlos buys the truck, it is stolen by a man he hires who is just as desperate as Carlos to improve his life.

Unable to go to the police for fear of deportation, father and son grapple with personal issues as they travel all over LA searching for the truck.

This role of Carlos could have been easily romanticized, which would have conflicted with the grounded tone of the film. Bichir doesn’t overact his gestures, maintaining his eyes and body language. He seems to make himself smaller. Carlos is both afraid of attracting attention while also trying to be a stable force for his son.

When he loses the truck, one can feel the hopelessness and despair Carlos feels at unable to change his future. Bichir’s performance is a beating heart in itself, and is the key to making the other characters sympathetic, rather than simply focusing on the political message.

This film also works due to the delicate direction of Chris Weitz. The movie feels raw, focusing on an area of Los Angeles not typically shown in Hollywood films. Weitz is not caught up in the clichés of the gang-filled East LA. He hints at everything from the bad economy to the lack of education, but he does veer away from Carlo’s journey.

The most thrilling and realistic quality that kept me invested in the father-son story was the use of the dialect found in East L.A. There are few films in which the majority of the cast is non-anglo, and even fewer that try to authentically present the community.

“A Better Life” adds a human face to the issue making its way to the head of political issues, but it falls short in changing the opinions of many who see the film. You feel for the characters and their unfortunate situation, but that leaves little room for reflection after the credits roll.

Exploring Guanajuato, Mexico

Over winter break, I traveled to Lo De Juarez, a small rancho outside of the city of Irapuato, Guanajuato, to visit family.  My sister, father and I traveled to the Irapuato  daily from the small rancho via a 20 minute bus drive.  Along with visiting Irapuato, we also took a bus to visit the city of Guanajuato.

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