Ode to Texas, if Odes were Written the way Mexican Moms give Compliments
after Allen Ginsberg’s, after francine j. harris
By Chibbi” Orduña
Texas, you stubborn roadkill. You can’t admit the obvious.
Texas, I know you are more than the stereotype you present to the world. You
could be a whole-ass delicacy if you didn’t so desperately wanna be más
como el pendejo de tu Tío Sam. Face facts,
Texas: your best cowboys are gay and riding each other ‘round back. Don’t even
try to pretend that cowboys were here before vaqueros.
Texas, your desperate attempt to flaunt Saran-wrapped cities in tourism
commercials to hide the crusty truth of conquest is a transparent trap for
gringos ricos that I can’t keep rubbernecking. I’ve got astigmatism in both
Texas, you’re the American story, a stolen land wiping the brown smudges off its
ass with white toilet paper.
Esplicame: why is your Legislature so pale when your land is so colorful? Texas,
your gerrymandering is showing.
Texas, you’re a land littered with Spanish names. You did it before it was cool–
ahí–y allá–pronounce them correctly, or I’m gonna give you a swift kick in
the Gregg Abbot the next time I hear someone call it Guada-loop.
Texas, I hate how big you are. Texas, I love how big you are. Texas, be bigger,
be better. Be like your BBQ, your carne asadas, your crawfish boils, your chili cookoffs, the
champion of all things hot and holy. Todo es major con
cebolla y ajo.
Texas, admit it: DFW has gotten out of control, and no one north of San Antonio
can claim to have good Mexican food. Texas, let Tex-Mex be its own
thing, and stop trying to put queso on everything.
I’m always a taco truck away from home. You should see how free I hang at
Hippie Hollow. Just don’t take pictures.
Texas, your pierced flesh is fracking dry. A gallon of oil won’t save you. Mira lo
que está pasando. Don’t you see the acres of unused potential?
Texas, fuck suburban sprawl - your small towns are not a footnote: not everyone
has to be from Houston. Texas, you haven’t been the same since you were
Texas, you pretentious son of a bitch. Stop trying to bully Dallas into being the
Chicago of the South, Austin into Los Angeles, and Houston into
Dallas. California wants to be you when she grows up; why do you think
they keep coming here? Estos gringos ricos que ponen aguacate en todo
para sobrecargarte por un pinche toast.
Texas, stop treating El Paso like a forgotten stepson, you can’t just pawn him off
on New Mexico because he’s a half day’s drive from everywhere else; text
him. Tell him you still care.
Texas, be the role model for the beautiful bold-ass cast iron melting pot America
wants to be. And stop pretending Marfa isn’t anything but a pathetic
attempt to be Greenwich Village. We don’t need an oasis for artists when
every city is already erupting with crafty survivors.
Texas, y’all – emphasis on the all.
Texas, I know why they hate on you, why they think you smug, why they roll
their eyes every time you puff and proud out your chest and sing that
mockingbird cry. Texas, the stars at night are big and bright.
Texas, you could be captivating if you started embracing everything you are.
Your people are as diverse as your weather in October, and I’ve been
pocketing their stories in the coffers of these pages. The brown, black, red,
white and gold faces you’ve never allowed to be the desert and the cactus
flower. The prickly pear, a night blooming cereus, let us come out of the
Texas, brillas, y brillas, y brillas, y brillas.
Texas, if you weren’t such a sucka you’d celebrate the 4th of July with
chicharrones and jambalaya.
Texas, you an abusive lover. You hate yourself for everything you’ve become,
but I’ll never leave you.