Green Chile Poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Green Chile

Rating: 3.4

I prefer red chile over my eggs
and potatoes for breakfast.
Red chile ristras decorate my door,
dry on my roof, and hang from eaves.
They lend open-air vegetable stands
historical grandeur, and gently swing
with an air of festive welcome.
I can hear them talking in the wind,
haggard, yellowing, crisp, rasping
tongues of old men, licking the breeze.

But grandmother loves green chile.
When I visit her,
she holds the green chile pepper
in her wrinkled hands.
Ah, voluptuous, masculine,
an air of authority and youth simmers
from its swan-neck stem, tapering to a flowery collar,
fermenting resinous spice.
A well-dressed gentleman at the door
my grandmother takes sensuously in her hand,
rubbing its firm glossed sides,
caressing the oily rubbery serpent,
with mouth -watering fulfillment,
fondling its curves with gentle fingers.
Its bearing magnificent and taut
as flanks of a tiger in mid-leap,
she thrusts her blade into
and cuts it open, with lust
on her hot mouth, sweating over the stove,
bandanna round her forehead,
mysterious passion on her face
as she serves me green chile con carne
between soft warm leaves of corn tortillas,
with beans and rice–her sacrifice
to here little prince.
I slurp form my plate
with last bit of tortilla, my mouth burns
and I hiss and drink a tall glass of cold water.

All over New Mexico, sunburned men and women
drive rickety trucks stuffed with gunny sacks
of green chile, from Belen, Beguita, Wllard, Estancia,
San Antonio y Socorro, from fields
to roadside stands, you see them roasting green chile
in screen-sided homemade barrels, and for a dollar a bag,
we relive this old, beautiful ritual again and again.

Jose Murguia 22 January 2009

this is the dumbest poem ever a 0! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1

13 31 Reply
naruto 14 September 2021

i would have to agree with this poem, green chiles are a little weird. I'd hit tho, especially over my eggs and possibly with some pink icecream. just one uncertainty, why did nana do the nae nae like that? do you know why nana did the nae nae?

0 1 Reply
naruto 14 September 2021

ayyy true . green chiles for the breakfast fo today, it's no big deal. I relate wit it. I just don't understand why Nana be doing the nae nap? do you know why nana was doing the nae nae?

0 1 Reply
LeBron 14 September 2021

This poem is definitely existing. I won't lie, it's readable. Green chiles for the taco tuesday it's like that sometimes, it's historical.

1 0 Reply
Quelso 31 May 2018

This poem makes me uncomfortable... Nana was/is obviously a freak.

6 4 Reply
Frank Avon 25 August 2014

This is not one of Baca's best poems, but it is delightful! (Someone needs to proofread it.) Looking at his work as a whole, he is one poet I would put of my list of future candidates for the Poet Laureatship.

6 2 Reply
Jimmy Santiago Baca

Jimmy Santiago Baca

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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