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Home / Issue 35 / Ode to Texas, if Odes were Written the way Mexican Moms give Compliments

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

                eyes anyway.

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.

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