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p.e. garcia is an editor-at-large for the Rumpus. They live in Philadelphia and play the banjo. Find them on Twitter @AvantGarcia.

3 poems

by p.e. garcia

the emperor’s new groove is set in Peru & stars David Spade


my dad is asleep || he always sleeps

during movies || but he tried


when he heard there was a movie

set in Peru, his homeland (!)


he doesn’t understand

why all the brown faces


have white voices,

& all the brown faces


aren’t really that brown,

& no-one really looks


like they’ve ever seen the sun,

let alone a Sun God.


but here is his homeland (!)

once—twice—infinitely colonized,


& reflected in the funhouse mirror

of America, he has nothing


to do

but sleep.


the white woman hands me a pan flute


as if it’s sacred

as if it’s blood

as if it’s bones

as if it’s flesh

as if it’s dead

as if it’s noble

as if it’s savage

as if it’s costume

as if it’s coinage

as if it’s ruins

as if it’s artifact

as if it’s mirror

as if it’s a white woman handing me a pan flute,

as if to say,


                       isn’t this what you are?


darkest Peru


at the anarchist bookstore,

a white guy offers tea

& tells me to be critical

of Che Guevara.




i eat chifa & drink Inca Kola

near Elephant & Castle;

it’s always raining &  i’m always lonely

in South London.


the guy running the Peruvian restaurant

asks if i’m German;

everyone asks if i’m German;

Americano, i say,


but i don’t know

if i mean it

anymore; it’s been six weeks

& i was always lonely in America.




i’ll  take the tube to Paddington,

where that bear got a British name,

that bear from darkest Peru,

in a story meant for kids


who don’t look like me.

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