Monday, October 10, 2011

War in the USA

The bombs
Beat
Beat
Beat
On Mid-Eastern floor.

We have grown accustomed
It seems, to the cruel, old bombs.
So all and all they fall,
Once the thriving body of a man,
Now a headless corpse.

The bombs
Beat
Beat
Beat
On Mid-Eastern floor.

While people won’t listen there is no “them”
But only “us”
Still, we go to a movie, a nightclub,
Have lots of fun,
Pretend flesh is not been scattered,
Forget it all.

And the bombs keep
Beating
Beating
Beating
Hard on Mid-Eastern floor.
On dignity
On patrimony
On culture
On religion
On institutions, houses, nature
On woman and man
On girls and boys
Dis     mem     be     red
In front of their families
While some claim to know God and Liberty
And we sing.

On the Highway

I always want to evade the first part of the trip, the people, traffic jam, of too many people together, too many cars, the heat, pollution, cement, one building over the other in a grand mass of filth. Plus the people, again, yes, the people in their cars talking, with other people talking, on the phone talking, mute with their A/C, it’s better that way, away, sealed. I get desperate, I turn from one side to the other, I look at the people not wanting to look at them but they are unavoidable like breathing the heat. The motor vibrates, sweat comes down again, and again, I turn, catch someone else looking and we hate each other, it must be the heat, sweat comes down and we move bit by bit, bit by bit like the sweat that comes down. WHY IS IT SO HOT IN THE TROPICS?! And then we move, really move, like cars were designed to move. But there’s still too much city, shopping malls, fast-foods, traffic lights on the streets below. So I look at the street, now the lines repeat themselves in perfect order yet they are never the same, like words. A truck passes past us and I can’t but think of tragedy, us included, how it would be like to die at any moment, why not, why not die there?, unpoetically, trivially, even without a mention in the news, so many people do. When I’m done with catastrophes Cayey is usually there, I know because I look, really look through the windows as if I had never seen those mountains, the divisions on the rocks, the trees that grow next to the highway and just before the big bridges the lonesome tree that is always there at the top of the mountain like a memento, it stands triumphant like a monument yet nostalgic. I love the tree. Wish I could get there. No I can’t get there, it’s too far up. Well I could, you know, but I won’t. Wouldn’t like to disturb that image either. Then the sea from afar, gold-colored if the sun is setting, and the cattle oblivious to their end, helping themselves to the grass. The panorama changes gradually, green becomes different shades of yellow, everything dried up, and the eventual fire consumes the plains where it seems hard to imagine that so many people could live close by. After a while, those monstrous letters approach like an omen, P - O - N - C - E, the gate to Inferno, a city that at the end of the 19th century was the hope of the nation, now turned to its complete opposite, a city closed in itself where its mentality decays gradually though it counts with a great museum and universities, where there are TWO bookshops for school books, where fundamentalists rise their flag triumphant and where there is a religious school that tried to put me in order. People aware only of here and now, no, they do not know themselves, living in their own contemporary bubble. Friends who don’t understand me anymore, aunts and uncles who disregard me, trying to impose their hollow views, unaware of what I know. A space I can no longer call my own. I’ll take that highway up once more

(2011)

(Following Kerouac's style in 'On the Road.' I've noticed I fail to keep the style going midway through, but I'm not really interested in rewriting it.)

Myself and Kerouac

I cannot see as you did Jack Kerouac,
Even if I tried I would be thrown back,
Into my own cell of ghastly world-sense,
Which since a child I’ve fed.

I cannot close myself to everybody,
But neither can see good in everybody,
That breathes a clean or polluted air,
I oft sense evil or suspect a stare.

And no, to me god is no Pooh bear,
There is none, least of all yellow haired.
In my own world at least,
There is no room for deities.

Still, I admire your individuality,
The new way of writing and the stretching of the beat,
That has opened the eyes of generations,
Now truly aware of their fellow and of nature.

“America!” you seem to say “the roads are there to See and learn”
But then you gulp down life until you’re dead
So no, I cannot see as you did Jack Kerouac
But still I See and still I understand.

(2011)

The Pig’s Lament

“K U I I I I I!!! K U I I I I I!!!”
Was the last thing I heard
From my beloved Chonchi.
One night’s passed and suddenly everything’s prepared
And I stare in the mud at the moonless sky
For I cannot sleep.
But the music starts and those begin to creep
Into the house, full of rum and many other drinks.
For “It is Christmas!” they say, “A time to love and share!”
Yet they disturb my mourning. Of my pain,
What do they care? But the next time to sink
Into my sad remains their greedy teeth.
Away! Let me be, to drown my pains in the still night air.
For they dance, they kiss, they eat,
And Chonchi is sliced into pieces there!

(2011)


-Poem based on Gregory Corso's 'The Mad Yak':

I am watching them churn the last milk they'll ever get
from me.
They are waiting for me to die;
They want to make buttons out of my bones.
Where are my sisters and brothers?
That tall monk there, loading my uncle, he has a new cap.
And that idiot student of his--
I never saw that muffler before.
Poor uncle, he lets them load him.
How sad he is, how tired!
I wonder what they'll do with his bones?
And that beautiful tail!
How many shoelaces will they make of that!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Notes on Trance

He is there,
Stock on an instant
Outside the door
While the teacher speaks
Dead words in the background.
He plays half unwillingly
With unfinished thoughts,
Reaching the abyss,
Nowhere and everywhere.

He is there,
Trapped in seconds
By the sound of leaves,
By the strong breeze blown.
His unfixed eyes,
The horrid blankness in his face
Reveal the void, his absent mind.
Wake him up, wake him.
What have they done
To one so young?

He is here,
There,
And everywhere,
With a belt of memories
Too heavy on the waist,
With every step realizing
How he has died
So many times.
How he is not the one before
Nor any other anymore.

Copies and copies of him
Now speak in his head,
Piling up words,
Dead bodies without end.
How is this truth?
How he has found himself?
It is unfairly simple to just say
That through time Victor realized
He needed not wake.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Echoes’ Reply

“We hate poetry that has a palpable design upon us […] Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself but with its subject”
John Keats


I

A confession, is that what you ask?
Somewhat far from my taste, and such a waste
Of time; Oh, how I hate the poetry class.

A time ago I asked for Poetry to the Echoes in the air
And so they did declare:
“We are the same, but do not dwell upon the common world,
Yet we gather all, the bright, the dim, the flight, the fall;
We sing these songs, so fast, so fair, to mimic Realities, the vibrant Stare.”
Ah, by such statement felt so firm my soul.

Who cares about sensationalism, such a stupid thing?
Where to stick tongues, fingers, dicks, or sexual toys,
To better please the joys of girls on girls or boys on boys?
I’d say it’s a boring realism as vane as taking up a shit
And might be even more on the later to enjoy.

“But it’s all so modern”, you might say;
And every moment you tend to deviate the theme,
Ruining another pulsating emotion right beneath the skin.
No wonder how many people got away;
More than once I’ve also felt the bitter sweetness of giving in.

I’ll better decide the things I’ll draft, and how to write them;
A confession? Sylvia Plath’s fell flat; it did not stir a thing on me.
So no self-help involved, I take the Power in my hands and I concede
The Sight upon whichever path I want, as long as it respects the Silence.
No, I will not conform! Long ago I did give up the urge of blending in.


II

It’s never, never Víctor who speaks these truths,
Nor his many yous, who snuggle by the stars, who dream of ice.
I have befriended the darkness and the light,
Having left bare the tree of the forbidden fruit.
None but I, ungraspable; my spine,
Cracked up between the lines.

No, no I am no man.
This is no throat that speaks,
No brain, no bones, no skin.
Yet I dare to give away commands,
And I demand!, a search for ongoing sublimity.

So rise poem, raise your fist!
Ravage it all, consume it all, renew it all,
And claim your victory.

(2009)

(This was an assignment on confessional poetry for a class I ended up hating. I decided to twist the subject of the assignment a bit to write it in my own style.)

At the Mirror

Prepare for bacteria 

There is something abominable in the mirror,
always something out of place.
Each day a new discovery of imperfection,
of the mortal, the human, the animal.

Each day reflected
a face that mocks me when I stare,
the feeble muscles, the newborn wrinkle,
or the bones too small, and the dangling pork meat.

Just when I thought I couldn’t care less.
Always something out of place,
Something always refusing,
to fit how I want it to,
to meet my own demands
of ambiguous perfection.
All this so stupid and yet I stupidly grieve.

Then I meet with the world at night or day,
casually walking through the streets of the city,
casually dressed and casually walking,
through the city of the streets,
filling my lungs with the stench of reality.
I breathe in deep, breathing deep my insecurities.
Because these streets of the city
don’t deserve to know my private pains.

And at times an epiphany strikes,
the epitome of male and female in front of me,
How they walk so happy.
Oh, how happy do they walk!
How gracefully, and so carefree!
Or so they seem or want to be seen to be.

All poignantly passing with perfect steps,
I know they self-adore their perfect limbs,
their faces of perfect measure,
their perfect beauty, success, and happiness.
All so perfect,
too perfect to let them live.

Oh, how I want to steal those smiles.
But none will fit my face,
where there’s a hollow ground for an ominous grin.
How I crave to break those smiles
to curl their lips with sourness,
and shatter their most precious memories,
wither their happiness,
till they twist and scream in pain.

Oh, how I wish to destroy them,
make them die from inside out.
Casually dressed and casually walking,
gathering their pieces of flesh and bone
with my cart of bone and flesh.

To reach home and see once again
how there is something abominable in the mirror
and behold myself.

(2009)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Fall of Canon

Beyond the window
the hawk spreads its wings,
wings of earth and toasted coffee

But I, unaware, sit still
in dogmatic silence,
a monk devoted to modern comforts,
cloistered in my room,
a shrine to imposed learning,

In my hands the opened book
feels heavy with its laws,
with its conceded posterity.
The pages stick to my fingers with raw sugar.
I breathe the country air, the rum, the filth.
The walls start swelling with sickness,
and I’m sure to hear
the empire pounding at the door;
how they have come,
to twist the neck,
to pierce the tongue.

Oh no, enough of this,
I don’t want to be the victim anymore,
no more blabber of politics or customs,
those stealthily taking full control of words
as any other empire would do.

Still I care,
but I also want to feel
other matters,
other ways to lift the spirit
out of the puddle.

Still I’m not deaf
but the shout is,
always the same,
and ever more distant from me,

You might never know
how it thrills to feel the pleasure
of entombing living letters
with the turning page.

(2009)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Upon Staring at the Face of Death

It struck me suddenly,
without previous cautions.
And I felt overpowered,
drained from every earthly thought,
alone most strongly,
lingering in pain.

The blurred hands of memory
had forced my eye lids open
making me see again that figure
so utterly changed,
those limbs that lay there
crippled and clenched.

The same that had once been eight years old,
a poor boy’s only defense,
laborers for sugar cane,
and pitch black petroleum.
The same that had once held a machete,
held my mother,
held me.

But not yet dead.
No, still not dead…

I stood there again
for an eternity in silence,
bearing my impotence for all to see,
as my mind wandered away,
leaving behind the wall of anguish,
now to a state of full comprehension,
of things I never imagined
I could.

(2009)

Nota: Poemas tempranos

He estado subiendo algunos poemas de mi fase temprana (y no es que me considere gran cosa pero algo de experiencia tengo), la cual considero consiste en los primeros intentos de escritura en el 2003 hasta el 2006. No los considero buenos del todo pero fue lo mejor que pude haber hecho para ese tiempo y con la pobre instrucción con la que contaba. Me parece interesante ver el desarrollo o temas que siempre estuvieron ahí.

Lo inexplicable

En la negra noche
y en el inmenso frío,
ríos de azufre nutren mis venas.
Mientras trago alfileres
con las manos atrapo el cielo,
con los pies la tierra,
con esmero cuido
de mis flores muertas.

No te tienes por qué preocupar.

Tambaleando entre ilusiones
buscaré que hacer conmigo.
A quien voltee lo devorará mi sombra.

¡Ya no más!
¡No más realidad!

¡Con podredumbre sellaré mis labios,
mis ojos con cera!.
Sobre el papel exprimiré los sesos
y junto a mi féretro recordarán
al furioso humaNo,
al invencible mortal!

(2006)

Mis flores muertas

Un día lento,
       similar al anterior.
Parece escucharse el silencio;
       lo abstracto, tan real.

Una hoja cae, otra flor
       se marchita.
Y el tiempo pasa y pasa
       . . .y no existe.

Unos pasos,
       frente al abismo.
Mirar hacia él,
       delirio.

Un palpitar, ¡Tum!
       entrega fatal.
En determinado salto,
       no hay marcha atrás.

Caer y caer,
       en fantasía.
Caer y caer,
       en realidad.
No se resiste
       lo natural.
---------------------------
Tum-Tum
       Tum-Tum
Tum-Tum
---------------------------
Nuevas percepciones,
nuevos sentidos.
He besado el abismo.
Ha sido inevitable sangrar.

Hace mucho,
tu turno.
Sangra por mí.
¿Has visto egoísta igual?
------------------------------
Un pensamiento,
       al aire.
Una luna más,
       que contemplar.

Otro retoño florece
       . . .y se vuelve a marchitar.


(2005)

Todavía hielo

Llorad, llorad,
llorad sin lágrimas;
porque se han roto las deterioradas cuerdas que sostenían el alma.

La que alguna vez contuvo un reflejo de esperanza,
yace en el suelo quebrada en mil pedazos.
La que alguna vez fue el más denso hielo fruto del dolor y la apatía,
No resistió la batalla contra el tiempo.

¿Quién diría lo que tramaría el destino malvado,
a la que alguna vez pidió en secreto sentirse viva?

Rota está, en suelo;
¡Todavía bella! ¡Todavía hielo!
Obsérvala mientras su tenue luz se extingue;
mientras en silencio pide que conserves sus restos.
¡Canta angustia! ¡Canta tormento!

Llorad, llorad,
llorad sin lágrimas;
porque repararla sería pedir lo imposible.

(2005)

Conmigo

Descalzo,
sobre arenas movedizas caminando,
me desvelo
y ataca un golpe de viento.
Entonces me disuelvo,
me desvelo,
me disuelve el viento,
me dispersa hacia un lugar donde no piense más,
nunca más,
jamás,
no más. . .

(2008)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Imitation of Keats or, The Moonflower

As the kings and queens of old,
sits the dame of nature virile, bold;
serenely breeding on moistened, blessèd land,
each side tight-clasped, two lovers’ palms.
Biding for time it swallows the sun.
Fit then at midnight when the children come,
each wearing faces of unknown gray,
oblivious faces with fear engraved,
wild-dancing laces proclaiming: “Manna!”
All pay their tribute to supreme Diana.
Who sits high up between the stars,
conceding guidance with a blissful hand,
And with a diamond touch lifts she the dreams
of the moonflower as bursting clock in New Year’s Eve,
but turning backwards the eternal ticking stream,
behold “It feeds! It feeds! It cannot but feed!”
Unfolds the avalanche, the silken white extends,
through unabashed, perfumed, greedy ends.
A devouring savage swelling up the cells
as soprano singing swiftly in sustained emotion.
Oh! Such a stretching, sounding poison,
lulling audience out of sense!
“More, and more, and more!”
Setting petals, pistils to adore,
platinum pollen, light-footed soars,
cracked pearl-lips wail: “Some more room to store”.
In such an ecstasy. . .no human could contain.
But the rays of sun betray,
and pillowed tunes have come their way,
caressing, falling. . .every now and then,
soothing the coiling, sensuous, lifeless stem,
conjuring deep slumber to every children’s head,
completing a cycle of sweet excess.

V.E. (2009)