aaron a. abeyta
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 108
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    In Colcha, Aaron Abeyta blends the contrasting rhythms of the English and Spanish languages, finding music in a simple yet memorable lyricism without losing the complexity and mystery of personal experience. His forty-two poems take the reader on a journey through a contemplative personal history that explores communal, political and societal issues as well as the individual experiences of family and friends. With his distinctive voice, Abeyta invites people of all cultures to enter his poems by exploring the essence of humanity as expressed by his particular Hispanic culture and heritage. Marked by intimacy and deep sentiment, Colcha not only acquaints us with the land of Abeyta's people, but also reveals the individuals from his life and family history in the most colorful and delicate detail. We meet his abuelitos (grandparents) in poems such as "colcha" and "3515 Wyandot," and hear of their connection to the tierra and its seasons, their labor and its bounty presented both viscerally and lovingly. We also meet the nameless people: the rancheros and the herders and the farmers, the locals in their pick-up trucks, and the women who make the tortillas. Abeyta's reflections on the plight, loves, joys, failures, and exploitation of the common person in such poems as "cuando se secan las acequias," "untitled (verde)," and "cinco de mayo" belong to the literary heritage of such poets as Pablo Neruda, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Walt Whitman. Colcha is not just for those who love poetry, but for all people who wish to be moved by the music of language and, while listening, perhaps to gain some personal insight into their own lives and cultural traditions.

    eISBN: 978-1-60732-082-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. introduction: tierra
    (pp. 1-2)

    we sit in the cab of an aging 3/4 ton ford pick-up. the road in front of us is what any country road should be, filled with ruts, washboards and dust. we make our way east toward the sangre de cristos. it is winter. my brother drives, me in the middle, and on the passenger side sits my abuelito; his name is Amos Serafin Abeyta. at this point in my life i am still afraid of him. he has eyes that see through people. abuelito knows only work. six a.m. and it is time to feed the animals. this is...

  5. story
    (pp. 3-4)

    my earliest memory of trying to be a poet hovers in time like a frozen lake, my first metaphor for love. subsequent memories are often like horses. wild horses which my abuelito chased as a young man, baby doll dying that winter, thirty years old and we would not sell her to the glue man because she had been the best cow horse we had ever had. yes, the memories are a little about love and a little about death, but mostly they are those things which i cannot sell. my brotherʹs blue hearts painted at the bottom of the...

  6. antonito
    (pp. 5-6)
  7. flight for life
    (pp. 7-8)
  8. a letter to Guillermo concerning why i must write
    (pp. 9-10)

    dear Guillermo,

    i feel that i must write. that there is something inside me which, like always, needs to be said, needs to be told. i look back now on the stories of my little town. the town which i cannot leave, my heart somehow held within its adobe walls. i think of the time i tripped running across the street and saw deep grooves cut into the asphalt from all those years of cruising back and forth, by all those people young and old, all of whom i know by name. it is muscles flexed for full effect, smooth...

  9. the ditches of southern colorado
    (pp. 11-11)
  10. el lugar de mi naciemiento
    (pp. 12-12)
  11. cuando se secan las acequias
    (pp. 13-14)
  12. tio Willie
    (pp. 15-16)
  13. zoot suit jesus
    (pp. 17-18)
  14. bones of my people
    (pp. 19-20)
  15. regard for the dead
    (pp. 21-22)
  16. tan poquito el amor luego perderlo
    (pp. 23-23)

    these words come forty years late. the church bells which signaled the end of the second world war have rested their tired hips. they are silent now except for days when the wind comes off the llano and makes them groan. the war ended in a rush of bells, and my mother, in front of her house, a child, began to dance. she has often told me that she never knew why the bells were ringing. she simply knew they were ringing and began to dance.

    forty years later she works tortillas in the kitchen. i imagine her, a child,...

  17. apishapa my heart shaped sister
    (pp. 24-25)
  18. johnny redshirt please call your mother
    (pp. 26-27)
  19. colcha
    (pp. 28-33)
  20. atlantic
    (pp. 34-35)
  21. thirteen ways of looking at a tortilla
    (pp. 36-38)
  22. castigando el santo ramon fernandez
    (pp. 39-40)
  23. pronoun poem
    (pp. 41-42)
  24. the title of the poem
    (pp. 43-44)
  25. untitled (verde)
    (pp. 45-45)
  26. trail to los cuates
    (pp. 46-47)
  27. a letter from my journal to juan
    (pp. 48-50)
  28. the mountains here are named after blood
    (pp. 51-52)
  29. a letter to an adopted son
    (pp. 53-53)

    dear Marcos,

    We have both made that trip into the valle, the long straight road from Pueblo to Walsenburg, where you think you will travel into the heart of the Spanish Peaks. They rise like two breasts left there to suckle the universe, their milk flowing in two directions. One goes back to our mother, through the desert of Sonora, through the railhead at Celaya, back in time to her womb of water on Tezcoco. She is standing knee deep. Her bare brown feet have gathered mud between the toes. She is from two worlds, like you.

    Marcos, you are...

  30. santa fe girl
    (pp. 54-54)
  31. the distance between us
    (pp. 55-55)
  32. instructions on how to write a pinche suicide note
    (pp. 56-57)
  33. untitled
    (pp. 58-59)
  34. discussions with a ghost of his own creation on why he cannot go north
    (pp. 60-61)
  35. cinco de mayo
    (pp. 62-63)
  36. coal train
    (pp. 64-65)
  37. december 20th
    (pp. 66-70)
  38. i like the way the singer of the song tells jesus
    (pp. 71-72)
  39. poem in c minor
    (pp. 73-75)
  40. a river poem for someone i never knew
    (pp. 76-77)
  41. for the intentions we hold within the silence of our hearts
    (pp. 78-80)
  42. 3515 wyandot
    (pp. 81-83)
  43. mixed metaphor (inspirational hymn)
    (pp. 84-85)
  44. salems
    (pp. 86-86)
  45. winter after itself
    (pp. 87-89)
  46. the gifts the mountain kept
    (pp. 90-92)
  47. independence day
    (pp. 93-98)