Jose Olivarez


World’s Fair 2008

  You go into the hood

    fresh from suburbia

       want some ethnic food

         real authentic genuine ethnic

            no forks

               get the grease

                  all on your fingertips

(and though you might not

admit it)         hope to hear gunshots

                          at least police sirens

                             or an ambulance

                                listen to the jazz

                                   of real life urban slang.

                                       When you're done

                                           tip like humanitarian.

Go back home

and tell your friends

you went to the


and shocked--

nobody got shot.

Maybe progress is possible.

Jose Olivarez is a poet originally from Calumet City, IL and is also a student at Harvard University. He has been previously published by Say What Magazine and Chicago 6 Corners.  He is currently working on his first manuscript. He would like to shout out Acentos and everyone from the Midwest.