Rinconcito is a special little corner in Somos en escrito for short writings: a single poem, a short story, a memoir, flash fiction, and the like.
Two poems by Vincent Cooper
Before the election
Chicano veterans holding up
Vote for Trump
Signs outside of schools
Don’t know they’re Chicano,
They want that towering wall
Dividing America and Mexico
To smite gay pride and the rainbow flag.
Trump-sates the blood-thirsty hate from within
The void of my father
Was filled by a Veterano,
Who in 1967
(Dropping out of Brackenridge High School)
Heard the war song of
A westside Marine Corps Recruiter.
“Go defend our country son make Uncle Sam proud.
Don’t worry about a High School Diploma,
You’ve got the Viet Cong to think about.
You’ll be physically fit, cock strong, in your dress blues
All these westside chicks are gonna want to fuck you
You’ll have medals pinned on your chest, a career as a cook or custodian
Benefits with a steady paycheck, a cheap little house with an iron fence
C’mon be a real man with a rifle in your hands
And tell them all, later on, about the young heroes of war
Jungle sounds, Khe San and how things were in’ Nam.
Chasing like rabid dogs
So large you couldn’t swallow
To be a Little League coach
For your kids-
Wearing a red and gold cover
1967-1969 Reconnaissance USMC
Raising a Devil Dog flag in the front yard
Next to an American flag.
Everyone driving by knows where you stand.
Who you are
What you did
For this country
That is not yours
A dream you’re not in.
A Real Marine
You’re a marine? Thank you for your service
is physically fit,
says OORAH when they see another marine,
has American pride,
honors the eagle, globe and anchor,
has a bulldog named Chesty,
tells war stories,
while polishing his medals,
banks with USAA,
ready to kill,
knows martial arts like Chuck Norris,
is an alcoholic with a side chick,
a racist in denial,
attends air shows with the silent drill platoon.
A real marine says
this country has gone to shit,
doesn’t want to die,
because their grandson is gay,
on the flip,
he wants gays in the military to serve as bullet-catchers.
A real marine gets shafted by the corps,
wearing a red cover,
won’t stop until the job is done,
haircut high n’ tight,
originally from Parris Island,
is sometimes a tio taco,
not that amphibious,
a cock boy in dress uniform,
marching at grocery stores.
A real marine trains people of color to kill people of color.
A United States fucking Marine,
trained to kill anyone,
I didn’t go to war.
Vincent Cooper is the author of Zarzamora – Poetry of Survival and Where the Reckless Ones Come to Die. His poems can be found in Huizache 6 and Huizache 8, Riversedge Journal, and Latino Literatures. Cooper was selected to the Macondo Writer’s Workshop in 2015. He currently resides in the southside of San Antonio, Texas.
María Lysandra Hernández is a BA Writing, Literature and Publishing student with a minor in Global and Post-colonial Studies at Emerson College. She is currently the Head of Writing at Raíz Magazine, Emerson College’s bilingual and Latinx publication. For more poetry, you can find her on instagram at @marialysandrahern.
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