Celebrating Alejandro Murguía ! ! !

In anticipation for tonight’s book release party with Alejandro Murguía, the sixth San Francisco Poet Laureate and the first Latino poet to hold the position (!), here’s a peek into his new collection, Stray Poems, out now from City Lights!

Mission Vision

I’m from the Mission

And I’m on a mission

like you’re on a mission

and we are on a mission

and the mission is

to be in the Mission

Me entiendez, Mendez?

La Misión, La Mission,The Mission

wherever I stand

here, there, everywhere

I’m in the Mission

and the Mission is in me

like the Mission is in you

because the mission is to be in the Mission

Spectators, operators, speculators

all roaming the Mission

but there’s some people missing from La Misión, qué no?

Watch your watch when you’re in the Mission

Check the descarga beat on Mission Street

because the heat is on the Mission

so the mission now has to be

to free the Mission

Yes, hear me straight everyone

that’s the vision

and what a vision

Free the Mission

That’s the mission

Free the Mission


87286100187520LThe sixth volume of the San Francisco Poet Laureate Series, Stray Poems opens with Alejandro Murguía’s inaugural address, where he stipulates that as the city’s first Latino poet laureate he is accepting his post on behalf of his community. He goes on to provide a brilliant and impassioned poetic account of San Francisco’s Native and Latino literary history, stating, “So Latin America fused to the history of San Francisco, and vice versa—San Francisco fused to the memory of Latin America.”

What follows is a selection of Murguía’s recent work composed over the past twelve years.

These are poems of the 21st century, written in a combination of English and Spanish—the patois of contemporary America. Angry, rebellious, subversive, sentimental, hip, urban, local, global—these poems stray from academia, the status quo, patriotism—and even God—as all poetry must.

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