“Arresting Beauty”


Poets Note:  This poem emerged in response to reading Harvard professor Samuel P. Huntington’s cut and paste  advanced-publicity article “The Hispanic Challenge” and then his book Who Are We? Challenges to America’s  National Identity.  Reactions to his article, probably more widely read, addressed his bigotry, which I find to be intellectually small potatoes and a distraction that forgives more serious assumptions he makes about American culture.  Frankly, I found the book a showcase of cheap rhetorical tricks and sophisms, and therefore entertaining, and more important here,  found fascinating the rationalizing persona that he invented to write his book. This poem recreates that persona or a persona in that mold.

This poem, included in the as yet unpublished volume Foreign Heart, was first published in Puerto Rican Poetry: An Anthology from Aboriginal to Contemporary Times by Roberto Márquez, U. of Masschusetts Press, 2007

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