Colibrí Chilango


Un colibrí llega a mi azotea chilanga
y de repente todo me parece posible, aunque improbable:
flores donde no hay colores sino cemento,
metrópolis construida sobre metrópolis,
metrópolis suspendida sobre lago,
nervios tensos esperando tremores,
craneos esperando volcanes,
en fin todo, al final, todo finalmente.

Entonces colíbrí, ¿así? ¿Pero cómo?
Esta ciudad es cemento oxidado, ciudad suspendida
entre viaductos y periféricos, aviones internacionales
y humo humano ahorcador, colibrí júrame que vives así.

He oido lo que dicen de ti. Que eres el alma
de los guerreros aztecas que fallaron en batalla,
que eres el alma de las madres perdidas en el parto,
eso dicen, pero nunca les di la razón,

porque de ser así colibrí, esta ciudad estaría llena de ti:
viento vibrante, lleno del llanto de tus alas,
nubes negrillas resplandecientes con tus plumas,
mujeres acaso madres, muertas, chupaflores en cada florero,
zumbeando como moscas crecidas.
Por cada mexica muerto en el hecho de hacer ciudad,
un chupamirto aletea por un lecho de urbanidad:
cada mestizo urbano aplastado en el choque de dos mundos,
cada borracho azteca aplastado por el metro,
colibris viviendo en los tuneles como murciélagos.

Pero hoy te vi, colibrí, llegaste a mi azotea
entre el alambre viejo y caca de gato aun más vieja,
tú llegaste, y ya no tengo recurso,
tengo que creer

que en esta ciudad hay un sinfín de colibrís escondidos,
viviendo clandestinos en viveros, vivaces,
devorando el mercado de Jamaica por las noches,
atracando el azúcar, ratas de dos alas,
borrachos perdidos por las aguas frescas,
hambrientos, locos de horchata,
no me queda de otra
engo que creer

que hay corazones latiendo mil veces por minuto,
que hay alas batiendo doscientas veces por segundo,
que hay vuelo esperando a las madres muertas,
que hay un cielo heredado por aztecas asesinados,
así, tengo que creer

que aún hay colibrís en la Cd. de México,
DFectuoso ombligo donde todo es posible,
pero la vida no es segura, y tengo que creer
que un día de estos nuestras alas batirán este humo.

This Poem Writes the Ink


the ink writes the poet.
Headlines write the politics.
Sentences write the prisoners.
Textbooks write the memory,

lessons ignore everyone.
Grades make the student.
Students learn the teacher.

Jobs work the employee.
Streets drive the car.
TVs watch every household.
Religions rely on the fanatic.

Prices buy the customer.
Drugs do the poor.
Lines wait out the people.

Oil burns until
it runs us out,
airplanes fly themselves.

Dogs walk the owner.
Workers run the country.
Bicycles push the leg.
Forests make the rain.
Chocolates savor the tongue.
The sex makes the lover.
The baby births a mother.
The poet becomes a child.

Words write the poet,
poem writes the ink,
and poem makes the stage
seem small.

Live in NYC. Camera: moisés regla. Thanks to emily, geoff, eliel, geko, jon

Government Applause Ceremony

Pumping hands botox cheeks unjiggling photo op.
Budget speech—children are the future—
drugs are bad—
feedback squeal.

This passes for work. Elected officials, bored
reporters & governors, cops & whore dirvs,
robbers & parade pompous robbers,
taxdollars, tell-tale, checks unbalanced,
tale-tell, payola, no tale told.

Budget high heels hell to pay dirt,
pintail on donkey, elephant for peanut.
It goes to the head, to the headline,
headlong, headstrong soundbite.
Signature ceremony microphone,
government applause ceremony monotone,
cellphone monophone monotone
applause. The finger foods
run out

One Night And Your Hair

is everywhere: longblack
forget-me-nots tied in knots
around your pillow, in your sink,
in your kitchen, in your mirror.
It’s all yours now.

On your chest, between your toes,
under your nose and over your eyes,

It’s all yours now.
Laced with you,
graced with you,
thick traced with you,

etch-a-sketched with you,
wrapped in you,
hung torn breathed with you,

longblack you,
back to nails you,
one night you,
everything to do with you.

Your pillow, your mirror,
your kitchen, your sink,
your fingers and nose,
your chest and toes.

Rough, you left your hair
on what was once my pillow,
on what was once my chest,
in what was once my bed.

It’s all yours now.

Nicaragua Night Hotel

The man who guards the front door sings to himself as he guards the front door. There’s one huge roof over the squat hotel, hovering over the rooms on columns. The rooms are a set of cement walls and a few flimsy doors.

Most of the guests try to bathe before trying to sleep through the slow tropic heat, and the showers have elaborate tiles which are old enough to be covered in something that looks like rust. Only near the door are the tiles smooth and bright, worn by feet into a thin trail. There are cement washtubs built into the corner of both small shower rooms. The guests never used to bathe with running water. Above, a single fluorescent tube is screwed into one of the vigas, the spiderwebs around it have become so clogged with dust that they have become the ceiling.

At night there are only the sounds. Men murmur to their lovers, water falls from a plastic pipe in the shower, the singing man guards the front door from a rocking chair. He will stand naked in the shower at dawn.

Then it starts to rain like teenagers throwing fistfuls of water against the fired-earth tiles of the roof. The drips start through the spiderwebs. Empty rocking chairs nod with the wind coming off the lake, which is running down the empty streets, looking for open doorways. If the guests were to take showers now, they’d run across the patio, trying to avoid the rain. They run their fans all night long, for the mosquitoes. For the sound.

A dog is echoing somewhere outside. Most of the guests are old. They’re asleep now, or laying awake waiting for drips, listening to the fans.

The man in the rocking chair also whistles. His tongue is a cello bow drawn across a bending handsaw. The flimsy doors are closed. Snoring harmonizes with the rain that harmonizes with the fans. The dog must be stuck on a roof somewhere.

The curtains are thin. The sheets are thinner. And the man who whistles a handsaw is the thinnest of all.

What Burns Above My House

There is so much happening in the sky
it's all we can do to keep ourselves distracted.

Late summer. The monsoon rolls in.
We set the mowers against the grass,
they graze like domesticated helicopters.
Their growl fills up the neighborhood.

Hawks float down from the foothills
bending the wind with their wide arms.
They watch for mice running from the mowers' whirling mouths.

The clear sky hemorrhages a beautiful white cancer,
the sun becomes more beautiful in its gradual eclipse
because we notice only transitions and invent things--like boredom-- 
to camouflage our moments.

Everything smells of clean electric sex.
The wind has distance on its breath.
The afternoon begins to explode.

A season like this
makes me wonder how we ever managed
to shove time into clocks and watches,
keeping time like a tiger on a leash,
oblivious to its obvious rebellion.

Sooner doesn't always come before later.
Now is never stuck in the middle.

The dirt roads will arrive eventually.
Today they're running late.