April 9, 2004

La Esquina
arte de la comunidad


I imitate.
I do not create.
I am not Frida Kahlo, Van Gogh.
Do I make you want to say so…?
I do not inspire...
Young minds to take it higher.
I am not proud
To be an American
I have no sympathetic feelings towards your overwhelmed Lifestyles
I am controversial but you are too, that is when you meet me.
I cannot make you feel regret
And I can’t seem to make you innocent.
I do think a lot and I am afraid
I have many, too many questions.

Where are my critics tonight?
Is this a sin?
Do you believe me when I say “U.S. citizen”?
If yes, is it because of my beautiful green eyes?
If no, is it because of who I am?
Do you understand me?
Do you feel me?
Do you want to feel up on me?
Are you intimidated?
Am I making any sense?
Do you think I went too far?

I told you it was
too many questions.

Do you give a f—?
Will you listen to me please?

I am sorry
That you do not agree
with my stomach.

I am sorry
That you caused me indigestion.
Don’t worry
I will end this poem
I am continuing it just to annoy you.
I am
Native American


What else am I?

I am you.
Are you me?

Are you getting tired yet?

I am riding the bus next to you.
I am standing in front of you reading this.
I am in concert halls singing.
I am in bed sleeping.
I am in prisons taking your identity.
I am in your dreams making them nightmares.
I am walking out,
standing up,
being me.
I do not create.
I just imitate.

-Sara Rebeca Durán Garibay

As a former member of San Diego’s Teatro Con Safos, a youth based guerilla theater group, Sara Rebeca Durán Garibay developed a political and social consciousness which carries through in her writings. Those that have influenced her poetry include Nicaraguan revolutionary poet Ernesto Cardenal, East L.A. writer Olga Angelina Garcia Echeverría, and the spoken word poetry collective, the Taco Shop Poets.

*This poem was chosen, with the permission of the poeta, out of a collection from her latest chapbook Machetes y Mariposas: Poems to My Chicana Sisters, published by the Red CalacArts Collective Publications. Copyright 2003 by Sara Rebeca Durán Garibay. Photo courtesy of Calaca Press.

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