• Every Poem I Write Is About Ted Cruz by Gabriel Ojeda-Sague

    Photograph of Santería altarCheck out Literary Hub where Gabriel Ojeda-Sague, author of Oil and Candle, weighs in on "Santería, poetry, and not feeling Latino 'enough'."

    Some months ago I sat down with my boyfriend at a table where a woman he knew was also sitting. I can’t remember how we got into it, but she was talking about being Latina (Honduran, to be specific)—sort of to herself, sort of to us—and how Latinos were all very different. I wasn’t listening very closely because I was trying to do some writing, but I suddenly hear her say “Honestly, I can’t deal with Cubans. Like, they’re just not…” She sort of hung on the phrase and let it ring, as if she had already said what she wanted to. I looked up and asked her what she meant. “It’s just, to me, they aren’t real Latinos.” It was obvious that she had missed my very telling facial expression, somewhere between “what the fuck?” and “is she paying attention?” I said “My family is Cuban.” She sort-of tried to recover, saying, “Oh well, I don’t mean all Cubans, I mean especially the ones from Miami.” I had to laugh. I said, “I’m from Miami.” She again tried to recover, saying “Well, my friend just tells me Cubans from Miami are really out of touch with the rest of the Latino world.”

    I bring her up not to embarrass her or to use her as a strawman, but to show that this is not an uncommon view of what Cuban-Americanness is from other Latinos. It’s not even the only time I’ve had this kind of conversation.

    Read the rest at Lit Hub.


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