Alarcon Madrigals Book 1 (1994)
1. In a neighborhood in LA
2. Un beso is not a kiss
3. Tan real
4. Antiqua cancion
5. A small but fateful victory
Music: Roger Bourland
Poetry: Francisco X Alarcon
Vance Wolverton conducts the CalState Fullerton Women’s Chorus
Published by Yelton Rhodes Music, Los Angeles.
I first got to know the poet Francisco X Alarcon working on LETTERS TO THE FUTURE. Adrienne Rich had suggested I seek him out. I have always resonated with the joy and color in his poetry. He prints his poetry with an English version on one side and Spanish on the other. And even though I don’t have an ounce of Latin blood, he makes me feel like one when I set his words.
The outer pieces are about two of his family members: his grandmother (1) and his magical memories of her; and his sister (5) who stood up to their father refusing to do the dishes. The inner three are less peppy character studies, but are more color pieces that celebrate the Mexican-American flavor I get from Alarcon’s poetry.
I call Francisco my Mexican Buddha.