*On the morning of Jan. 15, 2016, beloved Chicano poet Francisco X. Alarcón died of cancer. He was 61. Below are photos from the event ¡Viva la Vida! on Jan. 10 at Cafe La Boheme in San Francisco’s Mission District, celebrating Francisco’s life. Please see our next issue on Jan. 28 for a special tribute to the life and legacy of Francisco X. Alarcón, featuring art and poems from his contemporaries. If you have a poem, images or artwork of Francisco that you would like to submit, please send to editor@eltecolote.org.

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[su_pullquote align=”right”]

Angel of Poetry
Oh, my dearest
Guardian Angel,
Angel of Poetry
I was thirteen years old
when on my mouth with
passion you kissed me
my Grandma Elvira,
holding a mandolin,
was the only witness
“listen to the song
of the flowers, m’ijo;
in xochitl in cuicatl”
my Grandma sensed
your presence, Angel
of the Ancient Wisdom
and since then you are
my most loyal companion
everywhere, day and night.

—Francisco X. Alarcón[/su_pullquote]

Sunday, Jan. 10 was a very special day. Family, friends, musicians, Aztec dancers and even the poet Francisco X. Alarcon himself was present, to read his poetry, despite his condition, since he was diagnosed with cancer last year.

The event, “Long live Life (Viva la Vida),” a song of love for Francisco X. Alarcon, was actually that: a demonstration of love.

The poet is a warrior. “Viva la vida!” he exclaimed to the four directions, his voice echoing in the hearts of all who were present with him, and together they too exclaimed, “Viva la vida.”

Cafe La Boheme is, as Francisco X. Alarcon says it is, the cathedral of poetry.