New books for sale online: one week only.

yes, your billz will buy this here hat and cane.

Ok, ok. Let's try this. I know there are at least a few people out there who want copies of the new books before they're sold out, and that can't make it to the 4/20 Spoken Word Showcase in Flagstaff next week. So how about this:

I'm putting the two new books onsale online for one week only. If you pay for them through PayPal between now and 4/20 and email me your address, I will put them in the mail to you while I am in the States for the show. Sound good? Ok.

  1. This Line Drawn Across Footprints: a high-quality printing of 44 pages, 16 poems in English, 4 Spanish translations, illustrations by Pedro Día, all of my best work from 2004-2005. $8 USD including shipping to anywhere on the globe. I swear. I'll do it.
  2. Where Do Airplanes Build Their Nests?: another 44 pages professionally printed by an independent printshop in Flagstaff. 23 poems, most of which have never been previously published or performed. Original photography from Ireland, England, France, Spain, Mexico, Guatemala and Cuba. All new design work. This is the best from early 2006, when I left Flagstaff, until now, sitting here in Cuernavaca. Also $8 USD, shipped to any country whose government will allow it.
  3. OR I'll send them both for $15. Because I can. I know, crazy.

So, you can pay through PayPal. You know the deal. It's fast, safe and secure. Really. Just hit the button below, as if you were going to "donate" (a ha-ha) and send along the jolly bills. Then send along your jolly address. And I'll send you some brand-new, still-smell-like-ink-and-printers'-armpits books. They may or may not be jolly. One week only, act fast, jivecat.

PS. The image on the right is what I'm gonna look like with all ya bills.


This Line Drawn Across Footprints cover

After three years and four hundred copies of my last book, "Sun Said Shine," I'm excited to say that I will have two new books released at the 4/20 Spoken Word Showcase in Flagstaff, AZ on April 20th.

The first book is "This Line Drawn Across Footprints," and is a compilation of work from 2004-2005 including many form poems and other pieces that were in heavy rotation during the 05 and 06 tours. 44 pages long, 16 poems and brand-new Spanish translations of 4. Pedro Día returns to offer more of his acclaimed illustration work.

Only two hundred copies will be printed this time. Price will be right around $7. Due to still living in Mexico, there are no plans to offer the book for sale online at the moment, maybe that will happen in July.

Here's a list of the poems:

  1. Gadsden in Sestina
  2. Arizonan Ghazels
  3. In Ciudad Júarez, They Say the Night is a Thief
  4. Fabulous, or Where Costs Are Way Far Down
  5. La Conquista Still Unfinished, the Priest Climbed
  6. The Boy's Pockets
  7. Morning of February 21, 2005
  8. I Confuse the Dead Man,
  9. Michael's Fever
  10. This Poem Ate it All
  11. What He Dreams of in His Coma
  12. Fausto Arellano
  13. La Viejita de Sonora
  14. Eight-Year-Old Slinky Falling Down Stairs
  15. Three Times el Búho Speaks
  16. Silverfish

italicized poems in Spanish and English

More info on the other new book soon! Yay!

Gadsden in Sestina

During full moons on the border, the helicoptersare violent in the midnight air, fighting to fly and spy the footsteps that are called illegal in moonlight. My house seems to shudder and move and I'm expected not to notice,

no one is ever expected to notice. The border is a breath caged in steel, created with the movement of a pen, drunk, violent across parchment, never mind that it was almost illegal, this line drawn across footprints.

They say the American, Gadsden, his footsteps crooked, didn't notice how much tequila he drank while debating the particulars. He signed the 1853 treaty for half of what he had been told to: the border was to be pushed halfway to Mexico City without a violent shot fired, but Gadsden, a woman on each knee, was moved to compromise.

If he had been too drunk to move that pen at all, I would have taken my first baby steps in Mexico instead of the U.S. The subtle violence of coincidence almost doesn't exist until you notice it, like the border almost didn't exist until a law was passed to raise a twelve-foot steel wall,

a law was passed to begin patrols with helicopters, to regulate the air moving between two countries, to electrify the border fence, to put landmines under footsteps, to take down bilingual notices, to institutionalize the violence

instead of find the cause of the violence. It shouldn't be legal, this game of noticing effects instead of causes. An American moves into a gated community, a Mexican puts one foot in front of the other, both thinking of the border.

Gadsden, father of border helicopters and my baby steps, father of illegal violence that no one cares to notice: we're all waiting to see how your wild night will end.

La Venta de la Mesilla

En la frontera, durante las lunas llenas, los helicópteros son violentos en el aire de medianoche, luchando para volar y espiar las pisadas llamadas ilegales debajo de la luna. Mi casa parece estremecerse y moverse, y esperan que yo no lo note, esperan que nadie lo note. La frontera es un respiro enjaulado en acero, creado con el movimiento de una pluma borracha, violenta tras el tratado, no importa que fuera casi ilegal esta línea dibujada sobre las huellas de las pisadas. Dicen que el gringo Gadsden torció sus pisadas, no midió cuanto tequila tomó mientras debatía los pormenores. Firmó el tratado de 1853 por la mitad de lo que a él le ordenaron: la frontera se extendería casi hasta la ciudad de México, sin un sólo tiro disparado, pero Gadsden, con una fichera en cada rodilla, fue motivado a cambiar de idea.

Si hubiera estado demasiado borracho para mover aquella pluma, yo hubiera dado mis primeros pasos en México en vez de los Estados Unidos. La sutil coincidencia de la violencia casi no existe hasta que la ves, como la frontera que casi no existió hasta que una ley levantó una muralla acerada de cuatro metros,

una ley que aprobó el patrullaje con helicópteros, reguló el movimiento del aire entre dos países, electrificó el alambrado, colocó minas anti-personales bajo las pisadas, quitó letreros bilingües, institucionalizó la violencia en vez de hallar la causa de la violencia.

No debería ser legal este juego de notar los efectos en vez de las causas. Un gringo se muda a una comunidad cerrada, un mexicano va paso a paso, ambos van pensando en la frontera.

Gadsden, padre de los helicópteros fronterizos y de mis primeros pasos, padre de la violencia ilegal a la que nadie le presta atención: ahora nosotros estamos esperando para ver como aquella borrachera tuya terminará.

Michael’s Fever

20s-era rental built of bent boards,bad carpet and brick. A falling value, south of downtown and neglect by landlords. But at night, through the windows pass drafts and views,

I find him standing when I get up to piss. His shoulders defeated, his open mouth holds a yellow tongue in bubbling bliss, his eyes unkempt. I ask if he's ok.

There’s a sun in the south,

he replies, standing dead asleep. The windchime is the breeze's punching bag, the curtains are canvas sails burning and they leap to catch us, doors slamming, our clothes in red rags.

Forensics will find us tomorrow, but still none can explain the smoldering window sill.

I Confuse the Dead Man,

his bony chin playing the washboardof his knuckles as he thinks me over. He sends moths to burn in the lamp, his hollow eyes fixed from the rocking chair, his teeth, bleached monuments.

Dead men don’t have tongues, some god keeps those for himself. Forget the soul, it’s overrated: you should see this god’s long cape of squirming pronunciations.

I ask the dead man if the rain falling outside is my ancestors running into gutters. There are two cracks running like thoughts at the base of his skull. Time moves in sputters and stops. The room fills with the

sounds of his dry creaking joints as he stands, his jaw moves in words he lacks the tongue to pronounce.

In Ciudad Juárez, They Say the Night Is a Thief

but it was not the night that stole you,night wrapped warm around forehead and under your arms, it was men whose shadows have climbed into their hearts.

Jalisco verde, a childhood in seabreeze spent naming clouds: libélula, golondrina. Then older, to the north, to work. But it was not the night that stole you.

The face of Mamá argued with itself, tears over smile. Papá, moustache black and words: bye, cuidate mucho, there are men who have swallowed their own shadows.

El Norte means hope and hope is a four-letter word spoken between bleeding fingers, between shifts. Then the night stole the day and you waited

for the bus, thick footsteps in sand behind you. Men whistled and called. Then their fingers tore, their shadows swollen inside you.

It is said the longest night births the most beautiful sun. You, far away in wind. May it never be said that it was the night that stole you, for it was men who still walk wearing badges but cast no shadow.

En Cuidad Juárez, culpan a la noche

pero no fue la noche la que te llevó,
la noche envuelta tibiamente en la frente y bajo tus brazos,
fueron hombres cuyas sombras se han infiltrado a sus corazones.

Jalisco verde, una niñez en la brisa marina
que transcurrió llamando a las nubes: libélula, golondrina. Luego al crecer,
al norte, a trabajar. Pero no fue la noche la que te llevó.

La cara de Mamá peleaba consigo misma,
lágrimas sobre su sonrisa. Papá, bigote negro y palabras: bye, cuídate mucho,
hay hombres que se han tragado su propia sombra.

El Norte significa esperanza y esperanza es un insulto
proferido entre dedos sangrantes, entre turnos de trabajo. Luego
la noche se llevó al día y tú esperaste

al autobús, graves pisadas en la arena detrás de ti.
Unos hombres silbaron y llamaron. Luego sus dedos te atravesaron,
sus sombras invadieron tu ser.

Se dice que la noche más larga procrea al sol más hermoso.
Tú, alejada en el viento. Que nunca se diga que
fue la noche la que te llevó, pues fueron hombres que aún caminan
con sus brillantes placas pero sin arrojar sombras.

versión en español: Raúl Gallo Calvo

Arizonan Ghazels

In October all of the leaves turn to stained glass,they shatter like bombed churches across the sidewalk.

The drugs are in the trunk, stuck between gas cans and diapers. Ahead, the border is the horizon, is a line of shimmering coke.

Sparrows bathe in potholes, sunlight falls in chunks. The storm drain sighs and aeroplanes stiff-fingerpaint the sky.

Her head somewhere between cement and god, she stands and begins to brush off her yellow dress.

There are sleepers in the eyes of the sky and morning breath blowing across the city.

Jagged pieces of Spanish falling from the cop's mouth land like sharp tetanus in brown ears.

In the hiss of the nineteen seventy eight-track, ghosts sing between the notes of a country song.

Two black crows make out, all tongues and no teeth in the middle of the rain-stained street.

A coyote spread across the freeway, a rusted shell of a car on the Rez.

The eyelids shed wishes, two thumbs make preemptive war.

Ghazeles de Arizona

En octubre todas las hojas se vuelven vidrio emplomado,
se rompen en mil pedazos como iglesias bombardeadas sobre la banqueta.

Las drogas en la cajuela, atoradas entre tanques de gasolina y pañales.
Adelante, el horizonte es la frontera, es una linea de coca brillosa.

Los gorriones se bañan en los baches, la luz del sol cae en pedazos.
El desagüe suspira y los aviones torpemente pintan el cielo con sus dedos.

Su cabeza en algún lugar entre el cemento y dios,
ella se levanta y empieza a sacudir su vestido amarillo.

Hay legañas en los ojos del cielo y el mal aliento matutino corre a través de la ciudad.
Un español irregular que emana de la boca del policía cae como un tétano agudo en oídos morenos.

En el siseo del cartucho de mil novecientos setenta y ocho
los fantasmas cantan entre las notas de una canción country.

Dos cuervos negros se besuquean,
todo es lengua pues no hay dientes, en el medio de la calle manchada por la lluvia.

Un coyote arrollado en la autopista, una oxidada carrocería en la reserva.
Los párpados derraman deseos, dos pulgares jugando a la guerra preventiva.

Versión en español: Raúl Gallo Calvo y Moisés Regla.