Monday, April 25, 2011

Francisco X. Alarcón - On Monday I Feel Like a Dragon/El lunes me siento como un dragón

On Monday I Feel Like a Dragon/El lunes me siento como un dragón
Francisco X. Alarcón

On Monday I Feel Like a Dragon

early on Monday
my hair stands out
like a sea urchin

I can barely open
the shut oysters
of my sleepy eyes

Monday morning
I’m a wild porcupine
with a real bad humor

this trail of smoke
you see following me
it’s the dragon in me

ready to let go
at any moment
a big blazing roar

but a friendly
“good morning!” is
enough to douse its fire

after I greet and chat
laughing aloud with
many of my classmates

by mid-morning
I’m so happy to be
at school on Monday
El lunes me siento como un dragón

el lunes temprano
tengo el pelo parado
como erizo de mar

las ostras cerradas
de mis ojos dormilones
apenas las puedo abrir

el lunes de mañana
soy un puercoespín
de muy mal humor

esta cola de humo
que ven dejo al pasar
es el dragón en mí

listo para rugir
en cualquier momento
un gran llamarón

pero un amistoso
“¡buenos días!” basta
para su fuego apagar

después de saludar
charlar y reírme con
compañeros del salón

a media mañana estoy
muy feliz de estar
en la escuela el lunes

© 2011 Francisco X. Alarcón. All rights reserved.

Well, Francisco X. Alarcón has just nailed Monday mornings, all the dragon-breath and porcupine hairiness of it... and the forces that chase the dragon feeling away, too. While music may be the universal language, I suspect the feeling this poem captures is shared wherever kids go back to school (or, dare I say it, adults go back to work) on a Monday... and I bet that's within and outside of our universe, for that matter!

If you follow this link, you'll be able to watch a handful of videos in which Francisco X. Alarcón discusses everything from his writing process to being a bilingual, binational, bicultural poet and what that means. You'll hear his poetry, too, and, if you're like me, you'll start off saying "I'll watch one or two" and you'll watch and listen to them all. He's a natural storyteller and fabulous poet (as you can see via his last entry here, too), and I'm thrilled to have him here as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday we had ONE LANGUAGE: Listening to Saint-Saens' The Swan by Joan Bransfield Graham. Tomorrow we start with Charles Waters and I Wear Mommy's Dress! For more information on 30 Poets/30 Days and how to follow along, please click here.


tanita✿davis said...

I love this - I think it may apply to my life more than on Mondays, though. The sea urchin hair, and the smoke, at the very least...

Tricia said...

I love this, especially the wild porcupine. It's not me, but I know many people it describes well. It seems appropriate that I highlighted Spanish/English poetry yesterday. Seems like we're on the same wavelength some days!

Carol Grannick said...

Long ago when I was fluent in Spanish, I read Francisco X. Alarcon's work with great joy...Today mid-Spanish-fluency-recovery I was able to do so, once again. I love his work, and thank you for posting it here, and providing this fabulous link. GOTTABOOK's 30Days/30Poets is a wealth of absolute delight!

Charles Waters said...

I'm with Tricia in the fact that it doesn't apply to me but I also know PLENTY of people of all colors that will relate to the words of this wonderful poet!

Anonymous said...

I so love that the poem is bilingual. Still relishing on the power of the images... Thank you for this gift, Mr. Alarcón.

Rita said...

I LOVE "the shut oysters
of my sleepy eyes"
and the "real bad humor." This captures that feeling perfectly. The transformation back to human feels real.

Thank you.