Review: Grunge Tejana

Grunge Tejana: A Altar of Artifacts for THE ANA FILES
Artzine, Bonnie Cisneros and Cloud Delfina Cardona, 31 pgs, Plancha Press,, $15

Grunge Tejana is an all-inclusive haunting. The artifacts and excerpts in these pages are a supplement to Bonnie Cisneros’ essay “The Ana Files,” previously published in River Teeth Journal. In these lovingly collaged pages, I grow to know Cisneros’ friend Ana. I feel Ana’s disappearance, Cisneros’ loss of a sister, everything that haunted both girls, now women.

Though published in 2018, this is a quintessentially 90s zine complete with Nirvana lyrics, annotated liner notes, photobooth strips, mixtapes, jelly shoes, a 1994 notebook paper drawing of Courtney Love by Ana herself, photo-copied concert tickets, y más.

On the topic of más, Grunge Tejana sheds light on the brown folks who made up a big part of the scene down here in Texas. Let me tell you, San Antonio, Texas was and is the place to be for Latinx art, writing, everything! This zine feels as much a love letter to the San Anto of the grunge era as it is to Ana. “Mexican, Tejana, American. All that,” Cisneros writes. “Our ancestors came as they were.” We had and still have just as much of a place in grunge, and this zine is a valuable addition to the conversation and preservation of this legacy.

“You can’t spell Nirvana without A-n-a,” Cisneros writes. Upon wrapping up my reading of Grunge Tejana and maybe wiping away a tear or two, I am compelled to agree.