In Homage to My Ancestors and Their Dirt by Jose Padua

In Homage to My Ancestors and Their Dirt


by Jose Padua



In Homage to My Ancestors and Their Dirt

Because everyone else writes like
the past was one long fucking fairy
tale let me say that my ancestors
passed a lot of gas. If we saw them
at our door today we would stand up
for their rights but we would not let
them in the front door. Sorry, but that
ever present fart smell precludes their
entry. I love them and I respect them,
but I have enough difficulty breathing
as it is. They also don’t know when to
look away from you. For some reason
continuous eye contact was the norm
for them: what we now find unnerving
was for them a sign of respect, a sign
that they realized the influence of the
past upon the present and future is like
a trail of dust that bends through wind
and sky to meet us around the corner by
the cupcake shop. And daylight back
then wasn’t always shrouded in fog
or mist, and we didn’t all live near
the water, and if they could talk the
way we talk now they would, and they
would ask, as they look at the world
and what we’ve done with it, “What
the hell is all this shit, motherfucker?”
And, “You realize that while you’re
busy staring at that little black box
I could easily bash your head in.
Then I could eat your brains, and
thus gain possession of your power,
your knowledge, and your soul. Not
to mention that ugly blue box you call
a mini-van.” Ah, but if they don’t kill us
how we will drink, how we will feast,
how we will honor the past together
with each swallow of roasted pig,
pave the road to the future as we wet
our lips with room temperature whiskey.
Ah, how the days will go by, and how
the clouds will fly like white birds, and
turn to rain and turn to snow to cover us.

-Jose Padua


José PaduaJosé Padua’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Bomb,, Exquisite Corpse, Another Chicago Magazine, Unbearables, Crimes of the Beats, Up is Up, but So Is Down: New York’s Downtown Literary Scene, 1974-1992, and many other journals and anthologies. He has also written features and reviews for NYPress, Washington City Paper, the Brooklyn Rail and the New York Times. He has read his work at the Lollapalooza Festival, CBGBs, the Knitting Factory, the Black Cat Club, the Public Theater, the Washington Project for the Arts, and many other venues. José also blogs at Shenandoah Breakdown with his life partner, poet Heather Davis, and at the blog, Kings of the Road, and for José Padua’s most recent collection of poetry is a chapbook, The Complete Failure of Everything (2008: The Apathy Press Poets, Baltimore).

Photograph by Jose Padua. Jose Padua is co-author of the blog Shenandoah Breakdown.

Posted on by josepadua Posted in Daily, Jose Padua, Photography, Poetry, Writing

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