elena minor



elena minor is the author of TITULADA, a book of bilingual poetry. Her work has been published in more than two dozen literary journals and anthologized in Puro Chicanx Writers of the 21st Century, Angels of the Americlypse: New Latino Writing, Best American Experimental Writing (BAX), Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts in Los Angeles and Resist Much Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance. Most recently her work has appeared in Midway Journal, Two Degrees Celsius, Inlandia and Uproot. She is the founding editor of PALABRA (2006-2012) and teaches community-based creative writing to high school students.

(Excavations 16-21)


And shall we talk about it again?
Sit around a hoary scarred table and recount
Old Actions and Lost Beginnings?
And is the Language any Different?
And if we spit out New Words
Do they get caught in the wind
Blown back
in our faces
As if they had been
roundly anticipated, shouted out once too often
then twisted inside out? 

Who are these rampage children—wooden people
with their large thunderous bodies
grubby overripe hands and stunted heads?
Mosca lumpen who feed rapaciously on their own
detritus, slurp the gutter waters of [m]oral venom. 

Shall we make them
Run hard
Cry aloud
Rain brutal their bloodied fists
on a falser god? 

Or shall we come to know—
Grasp with scarred burnt hands
the What that must be Won 
Over and Over Again  

Again, Never
to settle in homey comfort,
Put up its blistered feet
Sleep soundly in its own house? 

Shall we?
Shall we?





It’s not that we’ve ever said that overdrawn word
It’s not that we’ve never wanted to 

How many times did we jump
into a California dream
machine and floor it
--head north by south 


|… ¡úpala! me voy pa’l norte …|


only to let up & turn back our
misery a bitter
root claw in our boiling belly  
We clung / ¡clang! /
clung to you as
a natural landing
you were a phantom place
planed smooth like 
sand in its sudden
                       shift to desert — days & gulped
the decades numbered back-to-back-to- 
weak-willed hollow digits carved all
or none and blown toxic-o-logically
\worldwide\ as reign disaster 
distilled slow-drip acid from an amp’d up thirst 
to wail at recolored sunsets curved wrong
& burned raw by each new dawn
& while we crooned the long gone count you howled
at the moon and couldn’t see
it hang 
fire from its dark side
|… how now does it speak …|
|… what now do we hear …|
|…      …|
Descent is indifferent drawn     motion
blows    it/s/low
selfs out    circles
right cornered
to angled arms
thin … thinner … thinner
man by mother
father as son
sired by time & sound
in carved space
Where we carry word
call and cry
My country ’tis of thee …
My country ’tis of these …





(the sum has no equal)



Were never a part from it.

They know you and no

one wanted to fake the deep accounting.

Blue & red strains still jumble with white for purple

waves of rotting grain and miscegenated corn

born in the lab — U  S.A.  ||

||  México limits    a

line   long as the snake

slithers into shade   the eagle

flies   feasting on putrid meat.

© The Acentos Review 2021