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21 March 2009

"Cuento de hadas (Fairytale)"


When Eve had one eye
and no breasts,
and Adán had no testicles
in The Garden Peacock
of Feathers in Bloom.
Huitzilopochtli warned,
“You can eat all the apples you wish.
But don’t you dare come
near the mango, avocado,
banana and chirimoyo trees.”
Huitzilopochtli gave them his back—
and said he’d be back.

Eve stared into Adán’s eyes.
Adán stared at her eye.
They roamed for twelve moons
and got quite bored eating
golden huasheentohn apples all day.
What a bore, thought Adán.


One day Adán went fishing
at a different fishing spot and
smelled a familiar smell.
He grabbed a branch and
wrapped his legs, pushed down
with his left foot and pulled
his body up with his left arm.
He sat propped up on the mango tree.
And the smell of skin, meat, flesh consumed
him with vertigo . . .
had never tasted anything quite like it.
What a bore—those apples.
No wonder Huitzilopochtli said
to eat as many rotten apples
as we pleased, he thought
as he took that last lick of his pinky finger.
Huitzi would never find out,
and he took two more for Eve.

On the other side of the garden,
Eve looked at the calla lilies,
their protruding yellow pistils.
Near the purple hydrangeas,
she spotted a yellow banana tree
that reminded her too much of
the calla lilies. She pulled down
the giant, green leaves and
grabbed a small canoe like banana
and swallowed it in one bite.
Huitzilopochtli and Adán would
never find out. She ate it;
there was no guilt.

As Eve walked back,
she spotted a tall avocado tree.
She took one—would spread its insides
on tortilla leaves. She prepared
her molcajete salsa and ate the
avocado with delight all by herself.

The next day Eve and Adán woke up
to find skin, meat, and flesh.
Eve had grown two mangos,
and Adán had grown two avocados
and a chiquita banana between his legs!

. . . So Eve went on yet another walk
and found the chirimoyo tree;
she was repelled by the toad like fruit.
Her tongue went right through the peel
and devoured skin, meat and flesh—and
accidentally swallowed a round brown seed.

Eve came home with two eyes.
Adán stared at her; his body contorted
and changed shapes.
Huitzilopochtli had cursed Adán,
thought Eve.

Out of nowhere, Huitzilopochtli
came around the corner;
he foamed, salivated and smiled,
“You have tasted from the chirimoyo,
from the mango, from the banana,
and from the avocado trees.
And this is good.”

"Shattered Beer Bottles"

To see "Shattered Beer Bottles,"

please visit Fringe Magazine at

"Made in América"

Street window to Paradise
under a blanket of smog, where chiseled mannequins with their suffocating plastic faces
stare at passersby.
On a street vendor’s cart,
bacon strips wrap an American wiener drenched in oil
on an infernal metal plate with a 2” jalapeño on the side.

Upturning an empty stomach—
before the sight. A stench
of dry urine hobbles by. Fingers
reach into a Sesame Street trash can. For breakfast, no
green ham and eggs this morning but a 5” beheaded cold hot dog with a he anorexic’s
wet saliva
on its tip.

In a river
of gringolandia desires. Shakra, Sooki and Sonia’s Lingerie stand side by side in L.A.’s intimate wardrobe corner from blue contact lenses to pirate copies of the
Passion of Christ
(No foreign books, paper and pens
on sale here).

On the road, uninterrupted commercial
billboards— with blonde synthetic wigs trap an American beauty in a
rearview mirror.

"Welcome to the City of Valladolid" / "Bienvenido a la Ciudad de Valladolid"

Where dogs don’t bark and children don’t smile
Where ears point straight up like a German shepherd under attack
Where people say “Good Bye” instead of “Hello”
Where dirty cigarette butts and white crumpled napkins decorate every Café Bar floor
Where gypsies understand the Art of the human stare
Where there are no fences but instead invisible trenches
Where vallisoletanos push their way through without a pardon me or an excuse me

Farewell Valladolid, with me I take your piercing Tongue, Evil Eye, and Judas Kiss

Bienvenido a la Ciudad de Valladolid (Spanish Translation)

Donde los perros no ladran y los niños no sonríen
Donde las orejas están paradas como las de un pastor alemán bajo ataque
Donde la gente dice “Hasta Luego” en vez de un “Hola”
Donde las colillas y servilletas sucias blancas decoran todos los suelos Café Bar
Donde los gitanos entienden el arte de la mirada humana
Donde no hay muros pero sí trincheras invisibles
Donde los vallisoletanos abren camino empujando a la gente sin un “Con permiso” o un “Dispense Usted”

Adiós Valladolid: Me llevo tu Lengua penetrante, tu Mal de Ojo, y tu Beso de Judas
Welcome to the Ancient Capital City of Valladolid

Fences (2004)

"Stray Dog"

". . . There comes a time when the endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable patience."
– Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

He might as well been a stray dog lying on the side of the road with an open gash with entrails exposed with no name with no one to call and no one to claim. He might as well been a stray dog without a nametag because no one even knew his name. Black man worries about the owner's son, the manager, who is currently upstairs. They insist that only his friends help when strangers attempt to help. This black security forgets he has just dropped this little Mexican man's head on the metal bar stool's foot. White boy comes down and lets me know I have no say. "This has already been taken care of. This is none of your business! Stay out of it!" is his response in my face as he turns his back on me. They forget there are more Mexican people around and see the evidence carried out in the rain by other Mexicans—refuse to call 911. One altercation after another mixed with rancor and humiliation. What shall I do when I am wearing high heels, bleeding red lipstick and brown for skin? Because now, they have turned a constructed femininity against me. The owner's son says I have a reputation for causing trouble at this place. He does not even know my name! The officer replies, "What ever you two have going on, should stay out." How is this so, I ask myself, "Did not Frederick Douglass side with women in the suffrage movement?" A century later, I am full of emptiness of anger of distress. Are my words inaudible? At the scene, the police officer, also a white man reminds these two victims of racism that this man could lose his life. Blood slowly oozes from his mouth. Clinically unconscious and must be flown away in emergency life flight.

"Air of Complicity"

“Desculpa é só uma pergunta. Vocè acredita no Amor?”

I fell in love with the violin, with the cigarette smoke, and the vinho Porto that inebriated that place of enormous rocks; fortress that trapped my thought. Of the dim light that lit small pieces of paper, allowing letters to appear upon their surface. On the reverse of my bill, Martini 1,50 / Martini 1,50 / Martini. . .

With his fingers that played like big-bellied, crazed bees on top of frigid strings at dawn. With the yellow Portuguese Suave cigarette boxes on top of the blue fluorescent mantle piece. With a distant and solitary candle whose flare did not cease illuminating.

With the bent nape of his neck and of cheek that held the violin. Of the thin and wooden stick that hardened against strings that cried out their touch. With the fully erected cigarettes in between fingers in an air of complicity.

With his arm that embraced the violin that not once refrained from rising and falling on top of those volatile strings. With the crystal clear tubes of Martini. Enamored with a swig from a beer bottle, the serpentine shaped couch and the splendorous spider webs against the ceiling.

I fell in love with its sonorous honeyed cantata full of Beethoven and Mozart. In love with the stupor, with their lost gaze and endless claps. With his humble and silent adieu that grew with crescendo and fomented in the coração.

“Desculpa. Seus dedos são como abelhas porque produzem Mel.”
“Muito obrigado.”

Valentinos (Café Bar, Esplanda)
Porto, Portugal

20 March 2009

"Reincarnation" (Poem) / Ascending Stairs (B&W Photograph)

In the XVI century, Juana, daughter of Isabella “The Catholic” and Ferdinand of Aragón, is accused of being mad; meanwhile, her father and Phillip appropriate her throne. She remains recluse in St. Clare’s Convent until the day of her death.


Below, I leave images of
Juan de Juni’s Jacent Christ, Crucified Christ
and the body
of the church of San Antolín.

My feet kiss each and every
one of these snail shaped
cold stone staired steps.

On top, I can see clearer through
this steel barred window.
Rumor loses itself in the wind’s murmur

The sun hides behind the clouds
like Philip between
those wenches’ legs.

Below, gossip stirs
from tongue to tongue
here in Tordesillas and all of Castile.

Look there!

Pigeons fly over the Duero River
Ripples leaving not
a trace of their sweet touch.
Tis’ not the steel rods that
halt my unfurling.
I don’t fly as
the birds
because I am not mad.

Listen to what thou say,

Even if thou steal my throne,
I love Philip and thine life
I will always be the
Sovereign Queen of Castile.

"La nube me persigue"


voy como esfinge volando en el mar
sin poder descifrar mi propia rima

voy como pegaso galopando hacia la cima
del monte olimpo intentando pisar cielo

intento succionar ambrosía
intento succionar

hartos están mis cabellos de tragar y oler a mierda—bragas
impregnadas de este olor asfixiante


niegan que desmoronan
como estos muros medievales

se nubla la realidad

deslizan sus nervios—ahogan
mis pensamientos

salgo corriendo de este edificio
infestado llamado facultad de
filología y letras

17 March 2009

"Brown Child"

Yaah, a chaanpal born of you
and me—of blood and corn—not another
blind seed in my womb—not the salt
down my Olmeca—Tamoanchán face.

Eyes the shape of
your sábalito fish eyes or
my ox seed eyes and with
your Chac nose—with
my mother’s crossed-eyes
looking inward—a sign of
beauty in the Mayan people—and
an owl or dove’s beak
for a mouth.

I ask for a chaanpal born of
you and me—not the fishing
for blood-covered plumbs in the waters
of the Usumancita River—on my knees

searching for the
the little torn arm and leg
of a conenetl on the river shore.

I ask for palms that
will beat the drum to
the sound of the earth’s heart—fingers
that will not be embarrassed
to weave petacas

that will hold tomorrow’s
sun-shaped corn and weave
petates that will serve as
tonight’s dream holders,
the tamal and the atole pedestals, or
our muertos last dress.

Copper brown skin
firmly between the papaya
and guayaba trees—not afraid
to climb and hold tight to the branches
and tumble down like an earthshaken
banana falling from
its dying dark
brown stem.

A conenetl for the love of the leaf,
the quetzal feather, and threadlike
insides sharpening
the white

And yaah, you ask
what about the hair . . .

With your hair—the
signal of no defeat. An
indefinable midnight
black rooster blue. Or

a chaanpal with
warrior hair that will
never conform—a chaanpal—not the
of rue to empty
a forsaken

I ask for a conenetl and
you, Yaah—not the returning of salt
my Tamoanchán face.

"El huevo"[1]

Mother took the egg and blessed it in our small bedroom apartment. Then, she blessed my little brother with the egg and made the sign of the cross several times. For two days throughout the night, my brother kept waking up with a startled cry, for no apparent reason because he didn’t have a fever or colic. Estaba asustado.[2] Mother kept repeating several prayers—good prayers, of course, like the ones I learned prior to my First Communion while she carefully rubbed el huevo on my brother—not missing a single part of his little body.

When mother was done, she cracked the egg carefully and dropped it into a glass of water. The yolk dropped slowly to the bottom of the glass, and some spirits dropped to the bottom, and then other spirits rose to the top of the glass. He’ll need several limpias mom said aloud as she observed the glass of water and the egg. It was true—the boy was scared. But mother never shared her knowledge about the egg and its healing powers with anyone like the day she was talking to her neighbor while I was pretending to wash dishes.

“ . . . ¿Usted—sabe curar a los niños de susto?”[3]
“—Sí vecina.”
“¿Y cómo los cura vecina?
“—Pues, con rezos, ¿y usted?
“Pos también—con un “Padre Nuestro” y tres “Ave Marías”
“Igual—con rezos—vecina.”
“— ¿Y cómo va su árbol de guayabas?”
“Bien vecina. Este año el árbol nos dio muchas guayabas. Déjeme agarrarle un bolsa de la tienda la Lacky para darle unas cuantas guayabitas.”
“Ay vecina—me da mucha vergüenza con usted. Va decir que nomás vine a pedirle guayabas. . .”
“¿Cómo cre vecina? Por favor, ni diga eso. Bórrese esa idea de la mente. Ándele véngase.”

[1] “The Egg”
[2] He was scared, meaning that something or someone, and sometimes something supernatural, had scared the child.
[3] “Do you—know how to cure a child’s fear?”
[4] “—Yes neighbor.”
[5] “And how do you cure them?”
[6] “—Well, with prayers. And yourself?”
[7] Well the same way with an “Our Father” and “Holy Marys”
[8] The same—with prayers—neighbor.
[9] “And how’s your guava tree?”
[10] “Good neighbor. This year the tree gave lot’s of guavas. Let me get a Lucky’s grocery bad and give you a few guavas.”
[11] “Oh neighbor—I’m embarrassed. You’re going to think that I just to ask for guavas...”
[12] "How can you think that? Please, don’t even say that. Erase that thought from your mind. Come on—let’s go."

Llorona (2004)