La Bamba

Newspoem 12 April 1998

An American restaurant ran a Mexican newspaper ad (an Arandas paper) that read:

“Chicago restaurant wants laborers. Restaurant pays extravagant wages, gratuities, and an apartment.”

That ad was a fabrication. Said restaurant, actually a Champaign restaurant, pays an immigrant staff (largely illegals) half what was claimed, retains gratuities, and said apartment was revealed as a dilapidated shack—sans heat—that a great many shared: an awful uninhabitable cramped space.

Mexicans came, after that ad, anticipating ample wealth, and made salsa at wages half what was advertised.

Oh come on. In my city much worse things exist. It’s routine.

Can a subbasement elevate a basement?

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Newspoetry at Spineless Books