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Thursday, November 25, 2010

EAST L.A. GANGS CIRCA 1978






BATO LOCO!
By: Ramon Del Castillo


Bato Loco, con su cabeza
llena de mota,
lighting the paths into los barrios
dark with fear.
Can you hear as you sit
idly
in classrooms where
the silence of indoctrination
subtly
grabs you and makes
a believer of false notions
of inferiority
and passes judgement
about your ancestors' feathers.

Bato Loco! Your path
they tell you
is predetermined. Filled
with solemn images
where you stand behind bars
while your intestines,
filled with crack,
eat away
at your conscience
laying bare on the front streets
de sus propios barrios,
filled with homeboys, pop tarts,
gruesome realities,
nightmares caused by the ingestion
of filthy needles
shot into arms full of tattoos.

Bato Loco! Take off that handkerchief
from around your head,
and wipe away la sangre
of a thousand years of bloodshed
y miseria
draped in an idolatrous symbol
at a time when sus carnales
estaban cantando sweet melodies
into las ears
of las rucas
about dreams that have yet
to come true.

Bato Loco! Escape from
the fires of el infierno
scorching your alma
frying you like a crispy critter
so you can become
la avena for the breakfast
of the champions of una sociedad
who eventually takes everything
you are worth
and treats it like a commodity
for sale on the common market.

Bato Loco! Wake up.
Anachronism is not your dessert.
Pan dulce y chocolate
sounds better! No?
Levantate, bato loco, levantate
and begin to see the world around you.

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