I Am a Victim of a Traditional Class.

(Inspired by Crispin, Sophomore English Major of Neijiang Normal University, PRC)

by Luis Humberto Valadez

    You are a joy to be around. I don’t 
    want you to as I am. As I am is the 
    tradition of not making yourself in 
    front of others. Or it is the 
    tradition of making yourself only
    in front of others. 
    English is victimizing so many of 
    our aims. Our aims are only as 
    strong as the doors they can 
    I hear, from you, father and 
    mother do not see a victim who
    takes many examinations for class 
    distinctions that are solid lines not
    bending like the radicals of your 
    You hear, from me, your dream is 
    like the afternoon rest that is not a 
    tradition where I come from, like 
    the values that lead you away from
    your parents’ class to English.  
    So here is class time to write on 
    very thin paper, spelling your      
    name without radicals tightly 
    pulled like a hood on my head  
    during our winter classes. 
    I notice you never wear one. To 
    me, it seems, you have learned to  
    accept the cold.  
Packingtown Review – Vol.7, Winter 2015/2016

Luis Humberto Valadez is the author of what i’m on (2009, University of Arizona Press) and Valid Lush (2012, Plumberries Press). Hailing from Chicago Heights, IL, Valadez worked as a teacher and in social services in Chicago before becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer posted in the People’s Republic of China from 2012-2014, an experience his more recent work draws from. More of his work can be found at luishv.bandcamp.com.

  1. Luis Humberto Valadez
    a good body shape could bring me the luckpoetry