Posts Tagged ‘mexico’

Tequila / Pulque

August 4, 2017

 

Agave worm in my bottle,
you’re la crema de los gusanos.
Ebony knob on a divinity stick.
Who could swallow a prettier fellow?

But tell me, farm-raised worm,
what have you to do with Tequila?
With wild agave drained to death
by sweaty men in a desert, its juice

distilled for bandits to heat themselves
before stopping the bus from the border?
Hey, perfect worm, you look
gringo clean tonight!

Give me a sour glass of pulque,
where a real worm might be,
mottled and smashed, cut to bits –
a worm of the people.

Pass him round in a bottle
born of broken bottles.
¡Salud! to the approaching lights –
el autobús de los turistas.

 

First published in Cottonwood (formerly Cottonwood Review).

 

"Panificadora Sambo," Nogales, Mexico, circa 1959 - photo probably by Bernie Smetzer

“Panificadora Sambo,” Nogales, Mexico, circa 1959 – photo probably by Bernie Smetzer

A Patriotic Proposal to Help Fund Donald Trump’s Wall Along the Mexican Border

January 29, 2017

It is a simple question of what really is valuable for us and what is not. President Trump says we need a 2000-mile wall to secure our southern border against Mexicans. Security is valuable for us. But such a wall will cost many billions of dollars. Where does the money come from? The means of acquiring enough money to at least start the project is right at our front door.

Solution: Sell the Statue of Liberty.

Yes, the Statue of Liberty has some value for the tourist industry. But tourists will still come to New York City without it. New York has plenty of tourist sites to offer. Other than that, the statue is just a nostalgic memorial to a time long past.

A copper statue of such giant size, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel, with all its historical provenance, is worth a fortune. If sold at a well-advertised auction at Christie’s in London, I think it would easily fetch over a billion dollars. Enough for a good start on our southern wall. A few of the richest collectors could bid that much, and foreign governments like China could bid much more. Perhaps Germany would buy the statue to place on its eastern border. It would certainly be more appropriate there than it is here.

And what do we lose? The symbolism and sentiments of the distant past. Emma Lazarus’s sonnet written for the statue includes the words “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free./The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” These sentiments have no place in U.S. foreign policy today. We already have all the poor and tired people we need in this country. And huddled masses spread crime and disease!

Maybe such people were useful when we needed sod busters to settle the wilderness and laborers to build the railroads. Poor immigrants have nothing to offer us today. They cost a fortune in social services, and you have to train them to, maybe, speak English and use a toilet. Native-born Americans do not want to see the refuse of other countries when we look in the mirror. For our own self-respect alone, we would be better off selling the Statue of Liberty. It simply no longer represents our government’s policies or our national values.

Further, please consider that the Statue of Liberty is occupying an extraordinary piece of real estate. Liberty Island is the most exclusive 15 acres of real estate in New York Bay. We should privatize the site with the stipulation that a bold and magnificent structure will be built there. I’m thinking of a tower. An extraordinary tower of luxury apartments for the very rich. I know a New York firm that can do the job. And at the top of the tower, where Liberty’s torch was once raised high above the waters, I see a huge neon sign with the single bold word: Trump.