Metis’: Bred in a barrio

Choctaw, Cherokee, and Welsh: a fair-skinned metis’ raised in the bowels of a Southern California barrio in the culture of Ramirez, Romo, and Reyes: friend and foe.

Inca, Mayan, Aztec, and a cut of Spanish with Apache, Tex-Mex, and Mestizo sexed-in for good measure; a hot-blooded community communicating in Spanglish, fiestas, murals, music, faith, and blood.

The sixties generation got lost in the translation; no middle-class LSD and grass; no peace, free love, and have a flower… just poverty and shotgun blasts, and street love by rape, position, or hour.

No one was feelin’ groovy, there was no purple haze – except pollution – though some existed hollow and numb, and stumbled through their days with tequila shots, cactus juice, and cheap-ass wine that rotted their insides.

No hippies ever found our hood, but hipsters walked the block in flared-out fashion that cost all their cash… so they always tried to hustle a buck.

I saw flower-power VW bugs only on TV between Lone Ranger and Tonto and the Cisco Kid, or Speedy Gonzales at three.

I tried to like Bonanza because of Little Joe, and Johnny Madrid in Lancer really stole the show; but while they placated my fair-skin side my indigenous side felt a twinge.

The color-code in the Hollywood West, in fact, every period and place, told half of me to live with pride and the other half in disgrace – but only if I chose to buy what they were selling.

I shunned the used car tact – sell the sizzle not the bacon – I’d rather see truth, common sense, hope, and a genuine connection.

I favor a new direction in a life I choose to lead.

 

[Another contribution from JW: words and art.]

Metis’

I am of two peoples
I am mixed-blood
One people call me Metis’
One people call me Half-Breed
But all my blood is red
I am told I’m Welsh
I have never lived in Wales
I have never even seen Wales
except those in the sea
I am told I’m Indian
I have reservations regarding many things
I have visited many reservations
I have even made reservations
But I have never lived on one
Am I Welsh without seeing Wales?
Am I Indian without residing on a reservation?
Heritage is inherited
so I am told
My father’s blood
My mother’s blood
They have intercourse within me

 

[Another contribution from JW.]