Michele Serros


Named by Newsweek as "A Woman to Watch for in the New Century," Serros is the author of Chicana Falsa and other stories of death, identity and Oxnard, How to be a Chicana Role Model, Honey Blonde Chica, and ¡Scandalosa! A former staff writer for "The George Lopez Show," Serros has written for the Los Angeles Times, Ms. Magazine, Marie Claire, CosmoGirl, and The Washington Post and contributes satirical commentaries regularly for National Public Radio. An award-winning spoken word artist, she has read her poems to stadium crowds as a national touring "Road Poet" for Lollapalooza, recorded "Selected Stories from Chicana Falsa" for Mercury Records, and was selected by the Poetry Society of America to place her poetry on MTA buses throughout Los Angeles County.  Serros attended Ventura College before moving to Venice, Calif. and enrolling at Santa Monica College. She transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles where she graduated with a degree in Chicana/o Studies cum laude in 1996. "With the so many years I spent in college," Ms. Serros has been known to joke, "I should have three Ph.Ds by now." Source

Mi Problema

My sincerity isn’t good enough.

Eyebrows raise

when I request:

“Hable mas despacio por favor.”

My skin is brown

just like theirs,

but now I’m unworthy of the color

‘cause I don’t speak Spanish

the way I should.

Then they laugh and talk about

mi problema

in the language I stumble over.


A white person gets encouragement,


for weak attempts at a second language.

“Maybe he wants to be brown

like us.”

and that is good.


My earnest attempts

make me look bad,


“Perhaps she wanted to be white

like THEM.”

and that is bad.


I keep my flash cards hidden

a practice cassette tape

not labeled

‘cause I am ashamed.

I “should know better”

they tell me

“Spanish is in your blood.”


I search for SSL classes,

(Spanish as a Second Language)

in college catalogs

and practice

with my grandma.

who gives me patience,

permission to learn.


And then one day,

I’ll be a perfected “r” rolling

tilde using Spanish speaker

A true Mexican at last!





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:





Education & Learning


Literary Devices:


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie


a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line