ISSN 1551-8086
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  February 2006
volume 4 number 1
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  contributing poets
  Elizabeth Addis
  Jack G. Bowman
  Bob Browning
  Dana Campbell
  Michael Ceraolo
  Peggy Dobreer
  Francisco Dominguez
  Lisa Helene Donovan
  Dale Duke
  Michael Estabrook
  Daniel Gallik
  Daniel garcia-Black
  Kenneth Gurney
  Roger Humes
  Amber Jacob
  Marianne LaValle-Vincent
  Marie Lecrivain
  Gary Lehmann
  Dave Nordling
  Aire Celeste Norell
  Gina MarySol Ruiz
  David W. Rushing
  Dahn Shaulis
  Durlabh Singh
  Kari Thune
  Amy Upham
  Tyler Joseph Wiseman
  mailing list
Gina MarySol Ruiz
February 2006



photo by jerry garcia

    Gina has worked in the entertainment industry for 10 years with stints at Disney Corporate Management Audit/ABC Broadcasting. She is now general manager of a online publication group specializing in the animation and visual effects industry worldwide.
    Gina is active in Aztec dancing and culture, Chicano rights activism, and collecting modern first editions. She resides in El Sereno and has four children, plus six - shortly to be eight - grandchildren.
    Gina's life is a telenovela.
Gina MarySol's website



Cien A?os

Cien años”
You would say
In that
Raspy, gruff
Yet curiously gentle Voice
Voy a vivir cien años

Naci en el 1900
You’d tell me
As together we sat
In the patio filled with my
Grandmother’s plants
Canicas, marbles that
Lived in the bright
Green MJB
Coffee can

Cien años
Square, determined jaw
Resolute cara de nopal
Face of un indio
Beloved grandfather
Affectionately called

Deje Mexico durante el revolucion
Sadness and shadows
Flittering through your warm
Brown eyes
That must have seen
So much
Loss and pain
Brave, brown man
Strong and honest
A working man

Cien años
As we hoed the neat
Rows of
Corn, chiles, cilantro, tomate
Bright red strawberries
Freckled like me

Conoci al Al Capone en Cheecago
Proud, smiling lightly
As we picked the lemons, membrillo and laurel
Destined for Grandma’s kitchen
To become intoxicating smells
Of a distant land.

I learned of
The stockyards, the stench
Backbreaking work
Racism and hatred
He never once spoke of

Cien años
Rolling massive flour tortillas
In three quick thumps
Of the
Rolling pin
Sas! Sas! Sas!
And hands a perfectly round
White moon
To Grandma standing
At the comal

Somos Aztecas, indios
Crinkly eyes flashing
Big dimple showing
In your left cheek
Same as mine
Only deeper, much deeper
The “X” marks the spot
In a treasure map of a smile
As we watch
Los Voladores perform

Cien años
As you sat at the table
With the ever present
Playing cards
Shuffling with all the
Finesse of a Vegas dealer
And told me
Of the first time you worked
With your father
At age 3
And earned
Tres centavos
One you bought an olla with
Gave it and the remaining
To your mother

No cobramos por ayuda
Every time someone tried to pay
For the sobadas
By the healing hands
Of a sobador, a huesero
Those same hands
That carved a cherry stone
or a porous rock
into the face of a monkey

Cien años
Body racked with nausea
Losing your thick black hair
That asbestos-caused evil
From working in that place
That manufactured dishes
Gave you a turkey a year, Franciscanware
The apple pattern
Desert Rose
And the “Big C”

Dios te lo pague, hija
Each time I did something
For you
Or my Grandma
Out of love
For no other reason
But to lighten your load
Do something for those
That gave me so much

Cien años” As you kissed the
Forehead of your bride
Still in love
After decades of marriage
Dancing with her
To a bolero reminiscent of
Times past

Tengo que trabajar
After seven major surgeries
The month after
My grandmother’s death
As we tried to get
You to stop
The hard muscle
Of your indio labor
Tucked under the wrinkled
Mask of frailty

Cien años
When the hospital
Sent you home to die
A thin man hiding his
Looking like
A woodcut
By Guadalupe Posada

No tengo hambre
As I parade your favorite foods
Chicharones en chile verde
Frijoles del olla
Burnt blackened tortillas
I never understood
Why you liked them that way
Almost 86
On that April Fools
Sunny day
I called to see how you were
And found you had gone
To Mictlan just a half hour before my call
"Fitting," I said
As I held my children and cried
Fitting for the practical joker
You were

A great, great grandson
Came backwards into this world
Bearing your name – Salvador
In the Aztec veintena of
The Offering of the Flowers

In his name
Aidan Cesar Salvador Ehecatlpochtli
I gift to you this
Flower, this poem
This bittersweet tear
May you live on
In our memories, our stories
Our hearts and dreams
Por much mas que
Cien años

copyright 2005 Gina MarySol Ruiz