Note: In no way is this writing meant to imply that ALL Chicano poetry is bad. By bad Chicano poetry I’m talking about Chicano poetry with exhausted cliches spoken in the most hoariest and obvious patterns masquerading as urban and contemporary speech.
Did you know that there are literally no search results if you search for “bad Chicano poetry” via Google? Yet countless Chicanos I know clown on our bad poetry. So why is it that we can talk a lot of shit in person but chicken out when it comes to committing our critiques to written form on the internet? Are we afraid of airing our dirty laundry to the outside world? Offending our elders? It is one of the greatest mysteries of our complex identities.
In my lifetime I’ve know some amazing Chicano poets. Yet suffering through utterly terrible and cliche poetry is one of the most common experiences for culturally engaged Chicanos. ‘Nuff said!
I’m going to leave you with this clip from a Chris Rock comedy album in which Rock is being interrogated and subjected to various torture techniques. Although it doesn’t specifically address bad Chicano poetry I’ll forever curse the day I heard the sketch because it meant that I couldn’t use the same idea to critique it. Warning: Contains salty language. Enjoy!