Friday, September 27, 2013

Troubador Soul

José Montoya, reading in 2008 at Luna's Cafe
at the release of La Luna: Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe
—Photo by Alan Satow, Stockton

—Tom Goff, Carmichael

           for José Montoya

I never knew enough Spanish
to feel I could hang altogether with you,
José Montoya: my Mexico stint, hell,
my liaison with a sweet Mexican woman
totalmente insufficient to let me call you
cuate, compadre, amigo en la poesia.
Los días supersónicos del Royal Chicano
Airforce may have seemed lost in el pasado,
yet there you were painting, teaching,
crafting the wily poems you delivered
in that laconic speech rhythm of yours,
flirting with the false imagen of just
un tipo Mexicano: sly-dogging subversion!
Desert submariner, sand-skimming
Disco Volante needing no Bond to make
mayhem of the stereotype. You read
for your grand poetic festival Flor y Canto,
read for our infinitely small—quizás select?—
assembly of PoemSpirits at UUSS, bestowing
forever your troubador soul. To hear you
once more recite your poem on the poor
diablo truckramming el Capitolio, with that
fine detail of your in your car, and the rookie
cop telling you to “flip a bitch.” Poet
Laureate, Poet LowRider, tell me you’re
coming back somehow to read, at SPC,
at Luna’s, en cualquiera fountain
of lattés tibios you care to name, and I
will flip a bitch right there in my tracks,
make instant U-turn so’s not to miss your turn.



For more about José Montoya and his passing, see