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Home Stuff I Love “Ode To Los Librotraficantes,” by E.A. Mares

“Ode To Los Librotraficantes,” by E.A. Mares

Published on March 15, 2012 by in Stuff I Love

Ode To Los Librotraficantes
By E.A. “Tony” Mares
02/18/12

The poet E.A. "Tony" Mares

Tony Mares is an Albuquerque poet and historian, and was my professor of poetry at UNM.

You carry books as you roll along
in your caravan through Texas, New Mexico,
and on to Arizona.  You are
the most dangerous caravan in America.

Once your ancestors crossed the Río Grande,
their bodies wet from the swirling water,
the sweat running down their backs.
Now you carry wet books in your caravan,
books dripping with wisdom.  You are

the most dangerous caravan in America.
You scatter books in underground libraries
along the highways of the Southwest.  You are
lighting the fires of imagination in young minds
of all cultures along your route.  You are
the most dangerous caravan in America.

Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Las Cruces,
‘Burque, and on to Tucson where the San Patricios
await you!  Irishmen who fought for Mexicanos
in the Mexican American War now hover
like a ghost army over your caravan
to remind all people to learn, to share,
to love books like members of your own family.

Beware, Inquisitors of Arizona.  Beware.
You are not welcome anywhere.
A caravan of librotraficantes is rolling
intellectual thunder your way.  It is
the most dangerous caravan in America
on a mission to bring illegal wet books
to your students so they may see the world
through eyes clear, intelligent, and free.

Inquisitors of Arizona, you lock up books.
Inquisitors of Arizona, you invade the classroom.
Inquisitors of Arizona, you bully young students.
Inquisitors of Arizona, you missed the news:
Inquisitors went out of style centuries ago.

Books have been, are, always will be
illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, undocumented
ideas to light up the visions that make us human.

Inquisitors of Arizona and elsewhere:
First you ban cultures.  Then you ban books.
Then you stoke the ovens to burn the books.
Then you stoke the ovens to burn the people
who love those books.  But not this time.

Librotraficantes you are

the most dangerous caravan in America
the most dangerous caravan in America
the most dangerous caravan in America

 
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  1. [...] You can read “Ode to Los Librotraficantes” here. [...]

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