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Amor de Cantina: Poesía de Amar en La Frontera

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Poema: Ciudad Juarez 1996

Copyright © 1997, 2017 Diana Washington Valdez
Ciudad Juárez, 1996

Es apenas la madrugada
En la Central Camionera
He llegado cargando
Todas mis esperanzas
En un veliz hecho jirones
Ciudad Juárez en frente,
El futuro por adelante.

A esta hora la vida cotidiana arranca,
Cuando el taxista y yo comenzamos
Nuestra gira por la ciudad fronteriza
De gran fama internacional
Sus fábricas inmensas,
Las maquiladoras dispersadas,
De donde algunas jovencitas desaparecen
Para acabar en un gran desierto vacío;

Dicen que hace falta la mano de obra,
Las obreras de antigüedad surgen después
Ancianas, cansadas, acabadas;
Sus compañeros varones
Mas audaces tiran hacia El Paso,
Desafiando la corriente del Rio Bravo
Se lanzan hacia a una vida incierta
Nada los desanima, ni la migra ni la muerte.

Esta ciudad fue forjada en revolución
Que contaba entre sus soldados
Para derrocar al Porfiriato
A los indios Tarahumaras,
Que con sus flechitas y descalzos
Apoyaron a Francisco Villa;
¿Pero hoy quien hay que los recuerde?
Los monumentos y avenida…

Poem: "Retrospect"

Copyright © 1997, 2017 By Diana Washington Valdez

Retrospect
At the transit station People huddle While a drizzle Chills the soul The heart yearns; Through a window A face peers back Past the gray fog, A smile breaks; Doors burst open wide Rushed masses disembark; I stand back frozen, Held back by a thought.

Poem "When Cesar Chavez Died"

Copyright © 1997, 2017 By Diana Washington Valdez

When Cesar Chávez died


Dusty sandaled feet,
Darkened faces seared by sun,
Hands scarred by thorns,
Wounds and overuse;
The arrow of death flung
Stilled Cesar’s soul today,
Stunned farm workers
Arrayed in stony disbelief,
Leave fields with stout hearts crushed,
Gathered, stare at each other,
In unbearable quiet silence;
Their hot tears and mine combine,
A river of grief begins to flow
Watering the soil across the land,
From the grape yards of California,
To the apple groves of Pennsylvania.


[Cesar Chavez died April 23, 1993.
He was a longtime farm worker
advocate and hero to the downtrodden.
He co-founded United Farm Workers 
with Dolores Huerta.This poem
is dedicated to Ms. Huerta.]

International fashion and style over time

My fashion sense over the years ...

Diana Washington Valdez/DZN

If someone asked me if I have a sense of fashion, then I would have to say probably not. If it's a matter of style, which is personal and subjective, then yes, I have that and so does everyone else.

Recently, I read that we ought to determine and let everyone know what our "uniform" consists of, especially in case of becoming accident victim or dying unexpectedly. What could we be known for wearing that would help others to identify us quickly and positively?

After giving it some thought, I decided that blue denim shirts are my favorite thing to wear. My next favorite, for dressier occasions, are Asian-style jackets, like the one in the photo at left. I own two other such jackets that I will be glad to show off in later photos.

Dolce and Gabbana?

I never was the most informed person when it comes to fashion. This was more than evident when friends in Los Angeles told me that Dolce and Gabbana was a major sponsor o…

Border Ghetto 3: J.T. goes on a real date and it's a bust

Border Ghetto, Episode 3: Copyright © 2017
J.T. goes on a real date


J.T. and Way-Pac are friends in El Paso, Texas, a border city opposite Juarez, Mexico. African-Americans make up only about 3 percent of El Paso's population; nevertheless, these two young men who are oblivious to the socio-demographics of the border are leaving their own indelible marks on the community.
[J.T. is waiting to meet Way-Pac to get some tips on where to take his new date, a bank executive he met while conducting an inspection of her home for his fake Acme Security Services business. The two friends rendezvous at the parking lot of a local shopping center. They start off with a greeting and latest elaborate handshake.]
J.T.: About time you showed up, fool. I've got three hours before this hot date with Rhonda. Way-Pac: Who's Rhonda? I've never seen you worry about a date. J.T.: She's this fancy bank official. She agreed to go on a date with me, almost didn't. She kept wondering what kind …

The Border Ghetto and Langston Hughes

About the 2017 Border Ghetto series
Presented by the Digie Zone Network
Dedicated to the late Langston Hughes

Border Ghetto 1

Border Ghetto 2

Check out the adventures of J.T. and his pal Way-Pac, two young black men who live in El Paso, Texas, a community across the border from Juarez, Mexico.

"Border Ghetto" is inspired by true events and real people who live in this border region. It gives voice to a segment of the African-American population, a community you rarely hear about in the daily discourse about the border. Even online discussions about their insights and contributions are practically absent.

Most initial reactions to the use of humor in illustrating a slice of life on the border have been positive. As expected, one of the criticisms is that it plays to negative stereotypes about young black men in America today. Following this logic, the same could be said about the stereotypes of young Hispanic men who live out their daily lives as "cholos." These young men,…

Border Ghetto: J.T. and Way-Pac hit the streets again

Border Ghetto, Episode 2: Copyright © 2017
Art of the Handshake Learn handshakes video
J.T. and Way-Pac hit the streets again
[It’s been four days since the Border Patrol released J.T. and Way-Pac from the detention center after they were able to prove that they were U.S. citizens. J.T. was warned not to climb the border fence again. Today, the two friends are getting together at Way-Pac’s house in East El Paso.] J.T. greets Way-Pac’s teenage brother Zol-Kool
J.T.: Hey my man Zol, is Way-Pac home?
Zol-Kool: Yeah, he’s in the livin room chillin.
[J.T. and Zol-Kool do a fly handshake before J.T. enters the house.]
Zol-Kool: You need practice, J.T., you missed a step. It's not the Macarena or some Sh*t like that, man.
J.T.: You're the man, you're the man, Zol.
Way-Pac: J.T., why didn’t you say you was coming over, you fool?
J.T.: I didn’t plan on it man. Don’t get up. I’ll get me a soda from the frige.
Way-Pac: Always keep some Dr. Peppers here for you, man. You’re the only one that dri…