South central LA, 2017

My poem is about South LA formerly known as South Central where I grew up. I wanted to focus on what I feel has been neglect instilled on my community from its own people mostly. It’s not just about the poverty or violence but how other neighbors and cities within Los Angeles that have become more instilled in culture leaves us with nothing to show for but negative stereotypes. Cities in LA like Inglewood and East LA have a lot of culture to show for themselves as they are predominantly Latino or African American. South Central exist where the virgin murals of east LA and the soul food joints of the other neighbor hoods ends. It’s a place where races mix and although they have come to live nicely together, the only product we have to show for is not beautiful art or food, but gangs and drug activity. The poem focuses on the Virgin Mary more specifically the virgen de Guadalupe who is everywhere in East LA on the sides of buildings and as someone who believes in her whole heartily I’m upset south LA Doesn’t have that deep root connection to Latino culture like the virgen de Guadalupe.

Guadalupe, why are you not near?

South LA is empty; he’s wild

on the streets, holding cash, guns and child

He holds on but she screams of fear

time goes on, but the end is not here

but its close. And the time made grievances pile

guns, drugs and violence were cool for a while

You came to us and said our cried you’ll always hear

I know Mary your heart is full of love brighter than the sun

Appeared in that heavenly star studded green for our people

and in that holy ground for you we built a steeple

i know that in the east is where you rest your head

but in the south we pray that are family would stop going up to meet your holy son

but Mary hurry, your people might soon be dead


-Noel Nevarez


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