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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Anzaldúa poem

To live in the borderlands means you
are neither hispana india negra española
ni gabacha
, eres mestiza, mulata, half-breed
caught in the crossfire between camps while carrying all five races on your back
not knowing which side to turn to, run from;

To live in the Borderlands means knowing
that the india in you, betrayed for 500 years,
is no longer speaking to you,
that mexicanas call you rajetas,
that denying the Anglo inside you
is as bad as having denied the Indian or Black;

Cuando vives en la frontera
people walk through you, wind steals your voice,
you're a burra, buey, scapegoat
forerunner of a new race,
half and half--both woman and man, neither--
a new gender;

To live in the Borderlands means to
put chile in the borscht
eat whole wheat tortillas,
speak Tex-Mex with a Brooklyn accent;
be stopped by la migra at the border check points;

Living in the Borderlands means you fight hard to
resist the gold elixer beckoning from the bottle,
the pull of the gun barrel,
the rope crushing the hollow of your throat;

In the Borderlands
you are the battleground
where enemies are kin to each other;
you are at home, a stranger,
the border disputes have been settled
the volley of shots have shattered the truce
you are wounded, lost in action
dead, fighting back;

To live in the Borderlands means
the mill with the razor white teeth wants to shred off
your olive-red skin, crush out the kernel, your heart
pound you pinch you roll you out
smelling like white bread but dead;

To survive in the Borderlands
you must live sin fronteras
be a crossroads.

Gloria Anzaldúa
from Borderlands/La Frontera

Click here to purchase Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldúa.


Alberto said...

A pivotal moment in my undergrad life was when I pulled this book off my roomie's shelf and found this poem.

que viva Gloria!

Josh said...

Fantastic, Alberto. Thanks for visiting the blog and commenting. I hope you'll be back.

Sara said...

This is my 2nd cousin, our grandfathers were brothers. I always love to hear when people are moved by her. I miss her voice!

Anonymous said...

malay_kairu quote:

"No matter you rejected each other..but still u are human and u step on the place called earth"

Anonymous said...


Human are stupid creature,
blaming each other,
pointing toward what is lack,
but they doesn't realize that actually.... three of their own finger pointing at them back,

Human are so racist,
compare skin colour,
blood aren't related,
but eventually no matter how they act..they are still human..and it is a concrete fact.

Human are so lost,
telling people they shouldn't be here,
because they aren't born here,
but who eventually lost?
people who don't realize...
the place called home,
earth where everyone belongs.