Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I am a ghost

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there are days
when i believe
i am a ghost
haunting stairwells
and abandoned migrant camps
sleeping with Billie Holiday
and getting drunk with drunk Indians 
Being pulled into seance sessions with bolshevik clouds
Having to possess her body to become real

Ghosts do not cry. Ghosts do not die. Ghosts have unfinished revolutions.
I cry so maybe I exist.
I will die so maybe I still have a shot at space travel

My revolution has not started so I continue offering sage
to the ancestors and to the babies whose future I hold in mine.
When night comes I become a ghost in other planes of existence
I am an apparition in another dimension of her heart
Even the noted dialectical materialist, Frederick Engels, believed the world and her double were being recreated simultaneously in another realm of space at the same time.
I have visited that world, actually worlds, several times.
She is different, beautiful, you can choose to be yourself or another, because she is free of the restraints of our skins:
There you can walk barefoot,
drink the water from the ground, from the streams and rivers,
no danger there except of not wanting to return.
There the rain is made of crystals that bend the sun into a creaking womb of life.
There i can fall through the sky and enter my house through the roof of my bedroom.
There it is always morning.
Then an arm pulls me through the walls and I cry out, gasp as I land once again on the floor of my reality, my ghost hood.
Come talk with me, tell me how you're doing -- that will be enough assurance that I am alive and well -- and if you want to know the future come visit me in your sleep
I will show you how a ghost dances cubist cúmbias and gets electrified at the neighborhood pachanga.
You turn out to be a ghost and I turn out to be your body
You turn out to come from those other worlds and I turn out to return the visit
You turn out to heal your wounds and I turn out carrying them all so that I can say I am human because of your gentle laughter.
So tell me, who do you see?
Am I man or ghost
Am I human or shadow
Am I real or just someone you conspired with at another meeting to exorcize the ghosts who rule through war and illusion
I will be a ghost until the world I need becomes real...

Monday, April 28, 2014

relationships | day 27 | poetry month |

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I am related to you by tenderness, not trauma.

I am connected to you by a woman, not fists.

I am related to you by the longest, deepest embrace; not the jackal that wears a doctor's smock.

I am veins, lungs, skeleton, mud, moon, cenote, maize, besos on your lips, inhaling the DNA of your wounds.

Silence will destroy his rage

The wind will gather our ancestral dust:

My grandmother's grandmother's grandmother's grandmother was hurt too

And now they come to be with you, to sleep and dream in your wounds...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Soul seas | Day 12 & 13 | poetry month

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My tenderness will absolve my rage
Or else I will have to eat my fingers
So that I can never carry a weapon
other than an ink pot
where I will dip the nubs of my blindness
to scribble your names...

I will not die on the border of nothingness
I was born to live in a sea of
abandoned bones and continents
forced drownings,
linchings and fatal crossings
A sea that fits in a wound the size of your smile,
carried on the back of the starry loneliness of our night

The muddy languages of
displaced grandmothers
disappeared fathers
mortal mothers
and indigenous grandfathers (who followed the lead of the women
into the fields and their horizons)
spoke our names
spit us into existence
kneading their saliva into the dust
with the longest caress,
in their howling breath,
to gestate our skins pockmarked with black moons

Here we are
even after so many defeats,
Planting in their shadows
Dreaming the same dreams over and over
Until the sea herself tells us to quit ploughing the land
to enter the realm of her feathered skin
She repeats:
It is you that has been defeated,
not the land,
not the ancestors,
not the prisoners,
not the martyrs,
not the women who have borne us,
not the migrants,
not the people whose labor feeds our souls.

Together we can lay in the sun or bury ourselves in the darkness
Together we can decide
Who shall be first and who shall be last
Who will keep us together from start to finish
Who shall be the ones to carry our sweat on their shoulders
and who shall serve the bread of our love


Friday, April 11, 2014

I am closing in | Day 10 & 11 | poetry month

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I am closer to life than to death
I am closer to tenderness than to hate
I am closer to breath than to silence
Every day becomes an answer to taking sides
Every night I ingest the suns that will never be ours

I am closer to horizons than to forgetfulness
I am closer to the next woman than to his oblivion
In five years or five lifetimes

I would never change the molecular structure of my bed
I would dream with the same woman
whose tears have become tiny gashes on the wrists of hurricanes

I am closer to the wind than to the smokestack
I am closer to the dust than to the rails of capital exploitations
I am closing in on the predator that has made our skin impossible

I am closer to you than to my mortality
I am closer to your suffering than my own
My senses are craters on your body
My body sister to your menstruating lands

I am closer to her water than to the desert
I am closer to her light than to the sorrow.
She revives the sun, gifts it to heal the first wound.
Her body becomes the next sun,
the next beginning,
the first kiss of humanity.


He believes the woman that wants to destroy him
She doubts the man that loves him

She is life under siege
She is resisting, her eyes cry knives:
An eye for an eye to blind the monster
An eye for an eye to love blindly

I am closer to power because I am with her
I am closer to the moaning ocean wave because I hear her
I am closer to the ripening sky because of her skin of clouds
I am closer to the sun because I walk alongside her
Now, I am closer to being human than to being forgotten


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

When I die | Day 9 Poetry Month

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 When I die
I will be so dead
You will have to invent a fake life
to match my real death
I will be such a big death
that everyone will enjoy
the musical composition
of my decomposing body of work,
inhaling the stench of my improvisations
My blues will finally be about being down, out and dead.
Laying there in my coffin
please know I got dead drunk on tequila shots of formaldehyde
salt and lime my corpse
and make video called "The Dead Gone Wild"
When I die
all the flowers will cry
out of happiness
Now that I am gone
They'll sing:
He will never bother us again!
he cannot torture us anymore with his shitty clichés!
Everyone who is important will show up with crocodiles
cause they will not be able to fake their own tears
Anyone who knew me
will praise my name to the skies with the left hand
while with the right hand they will hold their nose
Oh when I die I will be so dead
no one will really know what to do with me
Bury me?
Cremate me?
Ask the pope to canonize me?
Build a mausoleum specifically for poets
So they can visit my Leninesque physiqueness,
preserving me for eternity to ward off limericks and capitalists?
Maybe just let me rot under a highway underpass?
I don't know what to suggest or expect
When you're dead, you're dead and self-determination takes over
but please:
no accolades,
no praises,
no homages,
no illegitimate children or polyamourists
to denounce me for lack of providing orgasms
or who may want to lay claim to my literary real estates
When I die
maybe sprinkle a bit of mud on your shoes,
maybe wipe my slate clean,
maybe laugh at me for all my stupid mistakes,
maybe remember the nights we spent together,
anything that makes me human will do.
When I am dead I will still be waiting for you
Arms open
Deep sighing
Faking my own life so I can't be dead
Well, really dead but still true...

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Migrant ghost heart | day eight poetry month

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She is now just an idea,
a deep memory
an ancestor
a sister
a woman
a ghost heart
in my mind in my veins in my half life

Her body was her own utopia
she gave herself over to one man only
gave birth to sons
who married and had daughters and one son
who she then raised
because her sons became trapped in the delirium of their bodies
-- and nothing else.

Her body was overthrown
by an uprising of cells
brigades and divisions
armies invading overrunning her body
all organized by her beautiful blackened curly hair
the uprising occupied her adulthood
burned her body into all her sisterhoods
occupied her five senses
punctured her voice into silent curses
deep pain, nails under the eyeballs, skinned alive pain
The onslaught of cellular troops
forced her to retreat to childhood
where her father and mother
where her sisters and brothers
waited for her
they were the fortress walls
of tenderness
of sweets and toys
of being held in arms
of being breast-fed
of being rocked into cozy sleep under hand-made quilts and lullabies
where the warm breath of her mother's wisdom
pushed back the scrimmages, the ambushes and cleared the battlefields
so she could live another day to live...

She became all her sisters
Her skin an impeccable wave
her lips a crimson dance
Her bones turned into glass
She became the young woman again
Until she became the girl of her own utopia.

She would laugh at our jokes because it made her happy
She would cook all the meals and served coffee because she knew hunger
She attended to herself with the love she made
because she knew what being loved did for her
She offered herself without conditions...

This music
she hums and sits upright
even though her bones
have lacerated her flesh,
gnawing away her laughter
the shards of her bones
skinning her eyes with barbed-wired tears
Her body an incision of endless weight
splitting apart the atomic meditation
of the pain-killers
into particles of song
pushing her down into a bayonet of solitude
shattering the vertebrae of her embrace

She did not want to leave alone
She refused.
The invading armies shriveled
Our mourning became her ally
She would not leave alone.
So her father came for her
brought her a girly dress that she adored
And then she left with resolve and unfinished love...

Monday, April 07, 2014

Billie Holiday | day seven poetry month |

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She sings:
My heart is in Baltimore
My voice is scattered
in the ruins of your bruises
Winter always
hangs 'round
the corner
of my eyes
is handcuffed
to my blues
Wherever she goes
I will follow 
on my knees

She sleeps:
There was a man
who buried his hands
in the gardenia of my suns
Inhaled the DNA of my suffering
to erase the darkness
And take me away
busting me out of my cocoon

She improvises:
I was black I was white I was a woman
Whose only weapon was a song and night.
I was red I was blue I was a woman
Whose body became a battlefield for their lust
I was yellow I was North Star I was a woman
Whose voice tamed the coyote and the wild forgetfulness
I was brown I was azure for the lost south
Craving a family, a sacred land, a house, a lover-man

She writes:
He only wanted
what nobody else wanted
To let me sing
Sending death away empty handed
To drown his skull in my ecstasy...

Billie Holiday sits in my living room
holding my hands
traces the notes of her next song
on my wings
She rises from the couch
Puts on her shoes and walks away
pushing away the shadows...

She texts me her goodbyes:
I was blues

I was ebony
I was a woman
I was black

I was white
I was a woman
standing on the stage
gently ripping open

the graves of my bones
with the chrysalis

of my hands and caresses
on saxophones and pianos and an occasional guitar
I was power

I was explosion
I was a woman
who pinned gardenias

on the shock of dusk
who uplifted

the vibrato
of her fears
to carry you wherever I sang

Sunday, April 06, 2014

arnoldo garcía: Electrocutions | day six poetry month

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i am
a misfit
a misspell
a mistake
a misunderstanding
a mistrial
a misprint
a missile
a mission
a missive
a misfire
a mist
a mistreatment
a misbegotten
a misfortunate son
a misnaming
a miscreant
with a mississippi deep wound...

Saturday, April 05, 2014

I am tumbling | day five poetry month

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I am tumbling
in the debris of space
going backwards, lunging forward
paralyzed by the electric sun.
my ancestors
for generations
studied the sky's movements
to determine
our place
in the cosmos,
they were not lost or seeking gold and power.
what sun is it
they would ask

how did we end up with the moon's bellybutton
they asked
what lands do our hands traverse
where is
the root of our songs
a journey in community
to find the place
where the sun had been born
to become undivided again
to become the breath of gods and goddesses
ants each carrying a grain of maize on their backs
going into the darkness of the soil
to gestate
to sew
to inhale
to ingest
to uphold
the sun's dust
at this time
when autumn begins stroking my hair
when the rivulets of cries have hewn my face
when suffering is ordinary
and laughter extraordinary
i ask:
is that the same sun of our ancestors
is the belly-button of the moon infected
where do I belong
how can i stand when I am against myself
the pollen makes me sick
i am alone under the sky of wars
where is my place
filled with sea-shells and the old man's ceremonies
I have become a molecule
on the edge of a knife
in a crazed hand
stabbing at the longest night
The scientists peer through cosmic telescopes
photograph the dancing explosions
the incandescent snails spinning out of our control
the Hubble telescope dangles between microwaves and quartz
and what are their conclusions
are we in place
are we where we belong
does the moon have the final say of the sea
can we return to rub, massage, mingle once again
in the belly-button of our mother
how do we turn back
the turbines' threshing of water, salmon, tribes, wind, migrants,
the human deformation of the rivers' spinal cord
who can have enough with just the other's love
who has had enough

Friday, April 04, 2014

Nothing matters | day 4 poetry month

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Nothing matters
really nothing
revenge is a dead end
sleep is impossible
her lips have become a mirage of the dictatorship of capitalism,

I press myself into a void of coldness
masturbating chaos.
My body has become a grave
where movements and monsters find comfort
MLK is still bleeding to death in Memphis
and my grandma still wakes me and Gilberto to tell us that she dreamed this would happen.

nothing matters really when you are a migrant
here today, there tomorrow,
the boss, the foreman, the police, the ngo's, the activists, the teachers, the neighbors, the work, the camp, the journey, the laughter, the rain
they have the power to disappear you
to rob you of everything called dignity.
Except love.
Justice bleeds to death every fourth,
irrigating the plants of my orgasms,
a bullet hole in the throat,
a moist furrow to shoot seeds into the stars:
I am bleeding to death
from a hole in my words.
my grandmother dreamt this too
a tiny open scar
that gushes mud for her pigs and flower beds:
my mom knifed my soul
my grandmother stitched it up and occasionally ripped it open
just to remind me that I had been abandoned and loved
I became adept at wounding myself
vulnerable to the wolves of hugs
easy to sleep with so that my eyes would not implode
i am a ghost already.
My land was stolen seven generations ago.
My future wounded seven hundred years into the future.
Nothing matters for the next fifty years.
after i become the glaze over your eyes
after i become a prank on the living
after I tire and everyone finds out I never gave up
since i am more spirit than bones and flesh
since i am more song than monogamy
since I am more mutiny than servant
since i am more than myself
my sadness will be forgotten
and my fists becoming laughter & betrayal
in a bible of liberation wars.
Nothing matters,
you can scratch your luck into my pigment
and nothing will change -- except your luck.
every april 4
every fourth day of the month
every fourth day of the new year
every fourth hour of the new day
every fourth time we smile or talk with each other
every fourth lie that counts
You and I are tested, branded, crazed, separated.
A wound on space & time.
Does anyone, including ourselves, believe
we will make a difference
a blade to cut the umbilical guitars
a bomb to destroy the neighborhood thug
a conspiracy to overthrow the digital regime of loneliness?
nothing matters
except you to me
a quilt of tears, beatings & our arms around each other.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

if I told the truth | day 3 poetry month

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if i told the truth
i would live in your arms
to raise my picket signs
calling for
human rights
to love at your side
and cry out
no to death
if i told the truth.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

To be you | day two poetry month

To be in you
To be you
I submerge my body
in the waters
of your laughter
I submerge my tongue
in the book
of your hips
I quiver body under tongue
panting out
bullets, wars, the dead.
panting in you:
the DNA of tenderness.
I submerge myself
in you
covering my skin
with your scars
drowning your pain in mine
and the earth tumbles
at your breasts

My body sways
in the waves cupped by your hands
my tongue
tiny flesh offerings
carried away
by ants
made of ink
scribbling away my veins
into the dust
My torso goes that way
my arms, legs and skull disappears
finding sanctuary
in the realm
of burrowing insects
and worms

You no longer cry
you can no longer be beaten
your eyes
your lips
your hair
your scars
your sorrows
your joys
your body

I am forgiven
I am remembered
I become.

(an ant stings your foot
sending the electricity
of my shadow
across yours)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

If I were human | day one poetry month

If I were human
I would be a woman
Whose fists would be tenderness filled with thorns.
I would worry about nothing except my daughters

I would love freely
The man who would make me laugh at philosophy
The man who would not hurt ants or my tears.

If I were human
I wouldn't fear unemployment
I wouldn't fear the distance that keeps me from her
I wouldn't fear anything except not being able to love
in the rain of winters without hope

If I were human
You would be happy, more fearless than you already are
You would be able to live
where the sun sets & rises without losing your place.

You would say:
Your wrinkled skin,
your battered lungs do not matter
Only that your heart pounds in my hands
Only that your smile is a machete to wield against my darkness
That your scars are the DNA of my pleasure

If I were human
Utopia would be now
Wherever we go,
wherever we are...