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In our continuing commitment to feature #LatinoLit talent on Twitter, we are proud to feature the poetry of Obsidian Eagle.

 

Obsidian Eagle

About Obsidian Eagle (ItzQuauhtli)

ItzQuauhtli is a Nahuatl (Aztec) name that translates into Obsidian Eagle — this in turn has become the pseudonym for a deliberately anonymous AntiPoet operating solely online.  Nicanor Parra, the Chilean originator of AntiPoetry once wrote:

For personal reasons, the AntiPoet is a sniper.  He fights for the same cause but with a totally different technique.  He doesn’t disclaim the poet-soldier, he works with him from a distance, although his method may seem ambiguous.

Obsidian Eagle has taken said ambiguity a step further by introducing a technique dubbed poésie sans poète, which divorces verse from first-person pronouns (I, Me, My and Mine).  His blog ObsidianEagle.com has been publishing such AntiPoetry weekly for over a year now.  For submission guidelines visit this Submission Page.

Likewise, on Twitter @ItzQuauhtli is responsible for the longest-running series of rolling rhymes via a thread known as #TheTumbler—derived from Hispanic style couplets called La Bomba in the author’s natal El Salvador.  Although writing mostly in English, ItzQuauhtli does produce Spanish and bilingual poems as well. Here is a poem in Spanish, along with its English version:

Seres alzados

~ I ~

No temo a nada ni a nadie
Sea que ande paseando
Por las avenidas de San Salvador
O sobre los muros en Machu Picchu
Ahí voy, con pasos pesados
Aventado a toda cabeza
Deletreando frases vivientes
En tres idiomas (Francés, Inglés, y este)
Porque el más allá no se queda quieto
Ni tan siquiera un solo instante
Menos para los quienes se inquietan
Y aquellos que se desesperan
Bueno, esos salen aún peor

~ II ~

La Muerte es transcendente
Nuestras almas; ilusión
En esta vida no hay constante
Excepto, vuestra fe y devoción
Tal como Castaneda os dijo
Que Don Juan había dicho:
“El único camino que debes seguir
Es uno que sobresale rebalsando
Desde tu propio sentir.”
Así que nos toca elegir
Rechazar el misterio con ciencia
Sacrificando lo ideal – o –
Bautisarse con agua pura de consciencia
Cual es la misma energía
Del espacio abierto, universal!

And here is the English version:

Elevated Beings

~ I ~

I fear nothing and no one
Whether I’m treading
Through the avenues of San Salvador
Or over the ruins of Machu Picchu
There I go, with heavy footsteps
Headlong
Spelling out living phrases
In three languages (French, English and Spanish)
Because the great beyond does not stay still
Less so for those who grow restless
And those who despair
Well, they’re worse off yet

~ II ~

Death is transcendent
Our souls; an illusion
In life there are no constants
Except, one’s faith and devotion
Like Castaneda told us
That Don Juan had said:
“The only path worth following
Is one that overflows
From within your own heart”
Thus, it is up to us to decide
Reject all mystery with science
Sacrificing the ideal -or-
Baptizing ourselves with
Pure water of consciousness
Which is the same energy
As universal space, ethereal!

Copyright ©Obsidian Eagle

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For the last few weeks, we have received several comments from our readers about the ongoing social media saga of Latina author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez. One of the major issues some of our readers kept mentioning was that the story would never gain traction with the national press. Tonight, however, The New York Daily News, one of  Top 200 websites in the United States and one of the world’s top 700 sites, published a piece by Latina playwright Dolores Prida entitled “Hollywood goes bananas for stereotypes.”

 

 

In the piece, Prida recounts the many times movie and TV producers approached her to see if they could option her works. As she says: “[I] even received money for rights, but nothing ever came of it because I was unwilling to change characters and plot to fit a pre-determined idea of what Latinas are supposed to be.”

Prida then goes on to specifically use Valdes-Rodriguez’s recent battle with Ann Lopez’s Encanto Productions about the TV script adaptation of The Dirty Girls Social Club. It is pretty clear from Prida’s comments that she fully supports Valdes-Rodriguez. Here is how she closes the piece:

 

The blogosphere and social media has been abuzz in the last few days with another case of the disappearing real Latina character.

Alisa Valdés-Rodríguez, author of the 2003 best-selling novel “The Dirty Girls Social Club,” translated into some 10 languages, fulminated in her blog about the changes made to her characters and story for a television series pilot script.

Valdés-Rodríguez says she dislikes the script “because it is woven through with stereotypes and because it erased every single one of my African-diaspora characters, erased my Cuban-Jewish character, erased my only Dominican character, erased my main Puerto Rican character and erased my only lesbian character for no justifiable reason, changing them all into stereotypical characters more in keeping with persistent Hollywood cliches.”

The twist here is that the draft Valdés-Rodríguez read was written by three Latinas. Through their production company, they presented it to a major television network which shall remain unnamed, since this small-screen gran escándalo is now in the hands of lawyers and getting more convoluted by the day.

The unfathomable aspect of all this is that production companies or studios buy the rights to a property because of the success it has achieved as is, and then proceed to change the plot and characters into something unrecognizable.

Why not just commission scripts from scratch to fit their marketing vision? We writers would love to make some real money, and since the only other Hollywood Latina character is the ever-present Mexican nanny or undocumented maid, we should seriously consider channeling Carmen Miranda under the cover of pseudonyms.

After all, she was a lot more fun and had more talent, maturity and integrity than the bunch of tight-assed, sex-crazed, twentysomething generic Latina characters producers seem to prefer.

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Our next submission was posted on our Facebook site from David Peck García. Now that is how you submit works in the age of social media. We are proud to present a sample of David’s works. David has a fascinating biography and is currently living in our favorite city, Madrid! You can visit David here: David’s Video Page from Madrid.

 

About David Peck García

 

David Peck García was born on the Great Falls of the Missouri river in Montana; the child of James Peck and Teresa García. He was raised in Bakersfield, California. His first job was breaking a strike at Digorgio Farms of the United Farm Workers (UFW). He then worked on Tom Hayden’s U.S. Senate Campaign in 1976; later that year, he joined the UFW as a full-time volunteer in the legal department of César Chávez in Salinas. David worked the next 15 years on electoral political campaigns before moving to Madrid, Spain to finish his novel: The Lost Decade. David teaches scientific writing to Spanish MDs and scientists in Madrid, Spain.

Here is David’s contributions to #LatinoLit. This is a bilingual work:

 

La anatomía de primavera

 

Antes de abrir mis ojos, la imagen de sus labios ha tomado mi alma.

Labios rojos, sonriendo, labios que he estudiado anoche.

Labios contando,

Labios bailando.

Labios abriendo el camino hacia las puertas de primavera.

La Primavera. La Madrileña.

Ojos verdes, azul en la madrugada.

Quiero ver, despierto, bajo el sol de verano, sus ojos contando los

besos de la primavera, en silencio.

 

© David Peck García

 

Dos Veranos

 

Dos Veranos.

Ha sido dos enteros.

It was spring that fractured: the first, the beginning; the late

winter late: pregnant; aborting that spring; but this spring, the end.

An end that came too soon: an end with out explanation. She wouldn’t

say what she felt except the bits and pieces that lacked a narrative,

a narrator. The narrator quit, not to save the story, but to prevent

your unhappiness. She pays a woman to listen to her unhappiness that

she can’t tell you at any cost.

 

It was too clean, to easy, too American this broken dialog – turning

one inward to a tortured monologue. The void filled in with questions;

the night emptied of sleep. Awake at 3:00AM, again. Immovable. The

sadness, jealousy, rejection filling an endless night: who, why, when:

what does she feel and when did she feel it – but with whom? Who

replaced you comforting her when she was sad? Who is laughing with her

when she is happy? Who makes her laugh? Really, what’s the cat she

left with you got to do with it.

 

If you love her, let her go. It is the last bit, the only piece out of

place; that and the taking care of her cat.

 

Are you happy, he asked. Un poco, she said last night, coyly.

 

Let her go. Let her be happy. Let her feel joy. She gave you two

joyful summers of her life. She doesn’t need your memory. She needs to

start anew. Be strong and give her this last piece; to end her

suffering; to begin her new narrative – because you love her still.

Let her go to this new joyful springtime dialog. It’s a good ending.

 

© David Peck García

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