Trending
MOST READ
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

Music: Like the bulk of Austin Mahone’s Instagram account, this one’s a selfie. In a white tank top, hair coifed up real big, Mahone arranges... By Matt Stieb 7/22/2014
7 Public Art Projects Worth Searching For

7 Public Art Projects Worth Searching For

Arts & Culture: You’re likely familiar with the high-profile works of public art on view around downtown San Antonio: the gigantic, red swoop of... By Sarah Fisch 7/23/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Arts & Culture

'American Copia' offers an all-access pass to our national entitlements

Photo: , License: N/A


"Today I am going to the grocery store," begins Javier O. Huerta's American Copia: an Immigrant Epic. This is the sentence the INS required him, as part of his naturalization process, to write in order to prove his English language proficiency. Huerta, now a graduate student at UC Berkeley, at the time of this momentous event, was an English major at the University of Houston and had been living in the U.S. for over 20 years. In his preface, he states, "I wanted to tell the INS agent that I could do things with the English language that she could never imagine. Instead I settled for showing her that the sentence scans as iambic pentameter."
Huerta apologizes for his arrogance, alluding to his Americanized sense of entitlement, and hones in on the task of dissecting that entitlement as well as accessibility — to healthy, low-cost foods, to education, to security in the places we call home.
In this collection of poems, Huerta blurs the line between genres and offers readers poetry, short fiction, even a play. When asked in an interview why it is called a volume of poetry, he replies simply, "because I am a poet."
Indeed, he is. And it is with a poet's heart and deep need to explore, specifically in this volume, all aspects of one going to the grocery store, what it means to have that ability, what it means that grocery stores are available, what we buy, what we buy into, what we claim, where we are welcome, and where we are not — and we are invited to explore along with him:

On day 253 of 1987 Alien # A090891109 and his little brother
Alien # A090891110 will go to
supermercado #3 with
their mother Alien # A090891108. And this is poetry.

American Copia: An Immigrant Epic

By Javier O. Huerta
Arte Público Press
$14.95, 96 pp

Recently in Arts & Culture
  • 7 Public Art Projects Worth Searching For You’re likely familiar with the high-profile works of public art on view around downtown San Antonio: the gigantic, red swoop of... | 7/23/2014
  • ‘The Other Side’ Tackles the Impossible: Writing about trauma I didn’t take any notes while reading The Other Side because by the time I paused to pick up a pencil, I was already three-quarters of the way through. And for... | 7/23/2014
  • Free Will Astrology ARIES (March 21-April 19): A report in the prestigious British medical journal BMJ says that almost one percent of young pregnant women in the U.S. claim to be... | 7/23/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus