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Green Chile - Poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca

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.


Comments about Green Chile by Jimmy Santiago Baca

  • Gold Star - 12,085 Points Frank Avon (8/25/2014 1:56:00 AM)

    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. (Report) Reply

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Rookie Jose Murguia (1/22/2009 1:30:00 AM)

    this is the dumbest poem ever a 0! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1 (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Poems About Green

  1. 1. Green Chile , Jimmy Santiago Baca
  2. 2. The Echoing Green , William Blake
  3. 3. The Force That Through The Green Fuse Dr.. , Dylan Thomas
  4. 4. Being Young And Green , Edna St. Vincent Millay
  5. 5. Green Mountain , Li Po
  6. 6. Green Grow The Rashes , Robert Burns
  7. 7. Now Spring Has Clad The Grove In Green , Robert Burns
  8. 8. There Is A Green Hill , Cecil Frances Alexander
  9. 9. Miss Lloyd Has Now Went To Miss Green , Jane Austen
  10. 10. A Green Crab's Shell , Mark Doty
  11. 11. Camps Of Green , Walt Whitman
  12. 12. Green Groweth The Holly , Henry VIII, King of England
  13. 13. Green, Green And Green , Sylvia Chidi
  14. 14. Green , David Herbert Lawrence
  15. 15. The Green Linnet , William Wordsworth
  16. 16. Meet Me In The Green Glen , John Clare
  17. 17. The Color Of The Grave Is Green , Emily Dickinson
  18. 18. The Village Green , Jane Taylor
  19. 19. 'Green Bananas' , Linda Winchell
  20. 20. Who Goes Amid The Green Wood , James Joyce
  21. 21. Green: The Color... [green Things] , Bri Edwards
  22. 22. Green Thumb , Philip Levine
  23. 23. The Green Bowl , Amy Lowell
  24. 24. Form The Green Helmet And Other Poems , William Butler Yeats
  25. 25. Sad Green Eyes , Linda Ori
  26. 26. How Many Shades Of Green , Shalom Freedman
  27. 27. Across The Green Fields , Marilyn Lott
  28. 28. Green Fields , William Stanley Merwin
  29. 29. In The Green And Gallant Spring , Robert Louis Stevenson
  30. 30. Small Is The Trust When Love Is Green , Robert Louis Stevenson
  31. 31. Green Grass And Blue Sky , Aldo Kraas
  32. 32. The Green Eye Of The Little Yellow God , John Milton Hayes
  33. 33. The Gardener Lxxxiv: Over The Green , Rabindranath Tagore
  34. 34. The Green River , Lord Alfred Douglas
  35. 35. Oh! Green, Stay Green! , Valsa George
  36. 36. A Lush Green Garden , David Harris
  37. 37. Lines Written At Thorp Green , Anne Brontë
  38. 38. As Through The Wild Green Hills Of Wyre , Alfred Edward Housman
  39. 39. Men In Green , David Campbell
  40. 40. In The Shade Of The Green Wood , ANDREW BLAKEMORE
  41. 41. Green. , Charles M Moore
  42. 42. Blue Wall / Green Wall , Risha Ahmed (12 yrs)
  43. 43. Ireland's Meadows Green , Joyce Hemsley
  44. 44. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! * Green Of Wild*! ! .. , Dr subhendu kar
  45. 45. Ode To The Green Grass Of Summer , RIC S. BASTASA
  46. 46. Visit Malaysia Year Haiku - Cameron High.. , john tiong chunghoo
  47. 47. Sonnet For The Green Eyes , Aldo Kraas
  48. 48. Green , RIC S. BASTASA
  49. 49. Ami Green , Edgar Lee Masters
  50. 50. My Collard Green Romance , Lawrence S. Pertillar
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