Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314

Richard Vargas
Guernica, revisited
Poems by Richard Vargas

Silver Concho Poetry Series

ISBN 978-1-941209-03-5
9 x 6 paperback
110 pages
Richard Vargas was born in Compton, California, and attended schools in Compton, Lynwood, and Paramount. He earned his BA at Cal State University, Long Beach, where he studied under Gerald Locklin and Richard Lee, and received his MFA from the University of New Mexico in 2010. He edited and published five issues of The Tequila Review from 1978 to 1980. His first book, McLife, was featured on The Writers Almanac with Garrison Keillor, and a second book, American Jesus, was published by Tia Chucha Press (2007). Vargas was recipient of the 2011 Taos Summer Writers’ Conference’s Hispanic Writer Award and was on faculty at the 10th National Latino Writers Conference in 2012. Today he resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he edits and publishes The Más Tequila Review.
Praise for Guernica, revisited
“It’s the small miracles that bear the most light, allow dignity. Each of these poems is like a friend you can kick back with and talk religion, politics, sex, anything you are not supposed to speak of in polite company, and it will be all right. Each of these poems is a light. Some are irreverent and rowdy, and others bear reverence to the earth and sky. They party together. Muchas gracias Richard Vargas, for the miracle of this collection.” 
— Joy Harjo, author of She Had Some Horses, 2013 American Book Award winner for Crazy Brave: A Memoir

“Richard Vargas is one of the best Chicano poets writing today, a voice for all as he explores the predicaments of the modern world with tenderness and fury. His is a voice we can rely on as we make our way forward to that place of mystery where, despite everything, survival seems possible as we join in the poet's song.”  
— Demetria Martinez, author of Breathing Between The LinesThe Devil’s Workshop, and 2013 American Book Award winner The Block Captain’s Daughter

 “Richard Vargas's newest poetry collection, Guernica, revisited, is a palimpsest of modern-day struggles and life's most intimate beauty. The poems hum and roar like a fluid symphony where each movement's high notes hit a perfect observation of vulgarity and greed, of fear where Superman faces charges of illegality and sits with other detainees, of sweetness and nature, where the innocence of feeding a wild bird and saving a lost child are tempered by sobering words of witness.” 
— Melinda Palacio, author of How Fire Is a StoryWaiting, awarded a 2013 International Latino Book Award, and Ocotillo Dreams
Cover Artist Mahwish Chishty
"MQ-9 Preditor, copyright by Mahwish Chrishty
Cover artist Mahwish Chishty lives in Chicago, Illinois, and initially trained as a miniature painter from the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan. She has since aggressively combined new media and conceptual work with her traditional practice. Her formal paintings depict contradictions and irony within its pictorial coding. Starting from a silhouette of UAV, she paints colorful folk ‘truck art’ imagery on these war machines to give them a second skin that opens a dialogue about Pakistani common culture. These paintings are accompanied by culturally loaded text and iconography to communicate phrases like:

“Look at me but with love”
“Honk your horn before passing me”
And “Go in peace; Come back in peace”
These expressions in combination with stark iconography gives birth to a new visual language. Ms. Chishty's recent pieces challenge the grotesque reality of modern warfare by combining layers of photo-transferred images from Pakistani print media and tradition of miniature painting. She is interested in the contrast of terror with the representation of cultural beauty.

Ms. Chishty has exhibited her work nationally and internationally at venues like the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MOCADA), Brooklyn, NY; Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD; Gallery 10, Washington D.C., and Rohtas Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan, among others. In November 2013, her work was featured at UTS gallery in Sydney, Australia. Ms. Chishty also has pieces in public and private collections, including the Foreign office Islamabad, Pakistan and Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka Shi, Japan.

"A wolf song sung from the author’s lips, these poems ring across moonlit sand to identify and demolish borders both physical and spiritual."
— review by Zachary Kluckman, @ Alibi
the end of Superman

it wasn’t some devious plot
put into action by his nemesis
the pesky Lex Luthor
or a stray meteor shower 
of that lethal poison
Green Kryptonite

it happened on 
the Larry King show
during an interview
someone called in
wanted his opinion
on how to rid the 
country of all the 
lazy dirty illegals
invading the good
ol’ U.S.A. and why
hadn’t he done some-
thing about it already

Superman hemmed 
and hawed saying
he didn’t think it was
a legitimate threat
to national security
and besides from 
an economic standpoint
it made no sense
and people everywhere
have a right to pursue 
a better way of life
since borders don’t 
detract from the 
fact that we’re all 
human beings with 
the same wants 
and needs

the caller spoke again
this time sounding a lot
like Glenn Beck until he
cleared his throat to
lower his voice as he 
asked Superman why 
he was going soft on
criminals and that
maybe he wasn’t our
protector of truth
justice and the 
American way
after all

Superman tried to
get a word in but then
the caller did the unexpected
he asked Superman to prove
his citizenship and by the way
wasn’t he from another planet
which would truly make him
an illegal alien if there ever 
was one 

Superman had nothing to say
and after the show turned
himself in to the nearest 
ICE detention center
where he now sits with 
the other detainees

becoming invisible
fading away