Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sones del Zócalo

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Arnoldo García

Sones del Zócalo

Mexico City sones terremoto blues
A Mexican Johnny Depp look-a-like
is condemned to play Edward Scissorhands on a street-corner
Another Mexican, with the square jaw of Michael Keaton
in full Batman regalia
poses for photographs with tourists and other passerby's
Unemployment is down by two.

We are all assigned to play a part in this great drama
Indian women at the bottom

They sit with plastic baskets
asking for spare change
everywhere it's the same
Indians at the bottom
Whites at the top
even if they're Mexicans who can pass for Hollywood stars.
Two young men with a boom-box
breakdance with fury
The polluted, thin air doesn't deter their hip-hopping
to techno
A man his skin rubbed in green
a verdant mime,
Plays an Indian
moves in synch to Bach symphony
He starts screaming platitudes every time he gets a donation
Another indian woman sprawled on the sidewalk her hand held upward
waiting for money to fall down
There is a hierarchy of skin color
The indian woman cannot play a hollywood
she's condemned to beg
Marcos was right
We are being condemned to become products in the shop windows of malls.
Who's playing Che? Who's playing Ramona? Who's playing Frida?

I noticed that all the white mannequins pose defiantly
they stand with the power pose of a chola
Except the real cholas who stand and walk defiantly
get arrested, criminalized.
Here the mannequin cholas display the latest fashions
that they'll never wear.

Who is playing the migrant?
Who is playing the drug dealer?
Who's playing the narcotraficante?
Who's playing the Mexican?
A jarocho strums and plucks a harp
playing the opening plucking notes of La bamba
He starts wailing "Para bailer la bamba ...."
I keep walking on
Mexico City sones to tell our history of survival.
Does anyone want a real change?
Graffitti proclaims: it's time for a real change
AMLO = +educación -muerte
Where are the Indians?
Where are the Zapatistas?
Who's electing who?
What role will the new president play?
War on drugs or war on drug-users or candidates to drug use
to escape the drudgery of neoliberalism
The Zócalo is built over the Templo Mayor.
The metropolitan cathedral is tilting
the temple of Aztecs below are pushing their way up.
What will they see? Hollywood or Mexicans being Mexicans?

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