On these streets where love is a word
which one doesn’t see
I discovered a state of being as beautiful as
a flower that is yellow by night: Anarchy
I had to lift myself above that dawn
and take some leaps as beautiful as a triumphant Nureyev
I had to rip my heart over the asphalt
drink alcohol at night
moan atop a body that was also moaning
my consciousness was the diamond that cut the waves
of a hellish sea drawing memory:
demons like angels sculpted in precious stones and fire
carved in bloody rubies
paintings extracted from some Dali delirium /
I have the voice of lost years
poetry is an integral state and verses are born in springtime
like precocious children from this era of intense velocity
your open spaces will be useful for containing the overflow
of my imagination that streams like bubbles in the blood
of my wound open to your eternity, O poetry
you’re a mountain chain of beholdings
technology of an aesthetic chipped into memory
sleeplessness rage time
and so each verse has its past present and its future each
verse carries memories emotion hopes that wrack
my bones robbed like a fruit from the past
and the past is the recollection of a girl I loved
with the psychotic lucidity in the nights of Athena
when she stripped
intelligence and wisdom from a body as beloved as a poem
I have yet to write
and so I will go in search of that infinite verse
I will go like radiation in this restless night
like a brothel for the rich wherein pretty adolescents
are tried out for the first time /
everything must be destroyed
only I can intone these verses over the silence
because the perfect recital is found in solitude
without any listeners apart from my images
clinging to the present
where the ill-fated years hold off against the thrusts of the water
of these stormy seas from which
I emerge as pure
as a dinosaur that outlives the past.
A Mask's Confessions
I cut off an ear in order to better hear the sounds of poesy,
and in order to seem a bit like Van Gogh.
I dedicated myself to listening to all types of music until I discovered
Schumman in that urban sprawl, La Victoria.
I chewed the fat with the whores, and visited almost all
of the Lima brothels, in order to acquire a philosophy as
stringent as Cioran’s.
One night, I ran across Pessoa exiting a movie-theater,
his face was thickly whiskered. He remarked: Hey, it’s always
a good idea to set aside a few poems for posterity.
Saturday, I was off the shores of the Herradura, zipping along a chromatic wave and
Luis Hernandez surfed by me, reading Shelley and drinking an ice-
cold brew; I couldn’t make out the label on the bottle,
but I knew he was reading Shelley from that direct & easy
manner in which he did a hang-ten.
Poetry is written for your buddies.
Place of the Desert
An entire forest of sadness is an apt phrase
for the feeling of being nobody.
But it might just occur that Holderlin walks
on this silvery shore
beneath the murmur of the forest.
Many dreams would come forth like beasts to console your cheeks
just like the strange glance that resides high up
over the rooftops.
On the shore of a tree, light and shade are meanings
that have taken on their immensity, not alone but accompanied
in the open field by birds fashioned from words.
Only after having closed the road, no longer aspiring, to arrive
at the house of aspirations, in the silhouette of an absent flower,
Holderlin reclines on the tense edges of the night
which do not succeed in
touching the dream because the dream has another edge
of blood boughs from which a dry leaf falls, one which has strayed
from the route
Here we see him smiling in a photograph of a garden
which also is a photo of many birds.
The cacti can no longer tolerate the noise, they await any
vagrant shadow in order to ask that it carry them off.
To describe this garden is no longer a mythology, the years that slice
gave the trees a humble abode.
The windows darken, the doors open.
On the other shore, our old words rain,
and there’s a light at the end for those who pause in order to
contemplate the silence.
Holderlin enters the fire of the perpetual forest
and there’s no room for his shadow.
From the eclipsed drowsiness of things, the rose of the winds opens.
Blind, like a tree, the old man closes his overcoat,
coughs and sets himself
into his own center. A Lady
stripped of tears
on the other shore
and her leaves of gold dissolve in the water.
I know that you must have awoken from a long dream
in which I was a shadow as watchful as
a tree’s, a tree which also dreams of you.
It could be that this tree is now a mast
guiding your sail through a sea that is never tempestuous yet never calm,
an ocean with waves like murmurs
where each drop is my body that rocks you from one side to another
like the bed in which you are, ab initio, a lily and, during love,
a hungry panther,
and I, far from being a hunter, am a deer devoured between your
arms as white as a piece of primeval ice,
though which I slip
lightly as I if had no weight.
In you I’m just barely a swoon, a sunray that faintly tries to melt you,
and turn you into roused water, love:
avid liquid that churns from the mountains and
never yields but falls and falls and falls
until arriving at the river whose channel am I once again, my love,
and in my fury that spindrifts over you, drowns you,
you abandon yourself
barely covered by the groans that run from your mouth
as when in the act of love
we are once again one
like the sun that is devoured by the sea
without igniting it nor snuffing it,
only making its temperature rise and
creating the clouds,
and those clouds are you, at times cumulus, at times cirrus,
and I, the azure-emboldened sky that always holds you up just
as I now hold you over the bed’s edge and lift your legs
in order to take you and
I lick your knees your crotch your thighs,
and you electrify yourself, you are rain, lightning-laden, falling over
and I am fertile earth my love,
grass burgeons, trees grow, birds, savage cats
that regard you with drooping eyelids while you fall, fall, fall
you fall like a porcelain doll among sheets of the girl who
you are anew, love,
you fall like your breasts over my chest, your legs chewing at my lungs,
love you with abandon when you want to absorb me entirely, leaving me
without a thread of respiration, only to
spool it anew, threading it with your deep kisses, love of mine,
kisses on my face, on my lips, under my arms,
and then you arise like a wind-swollen sail
or the tallest building in a city,
and I run through all of your streets, those most narrow and hidden,
those flooded with light, or shadow-webbed,
because the city is you,
and I am an errant shipwreck,
Malcom Lowry dancing in the volcano of your body,
drunk on you, and not merely tequila, peyote, but
Paul Gaugain painting you savage, elemental,
priestess of French Polynesia or
of this poet, taciturn, yet who recreates and describes you, dreams of you, and
writhes with you in sheets, just as in this poem.
To learn how to place a period and a comma.
To learn how to consult the fragrances.
To learn how not to abuse the spiritual soul.
To learn how to in-differentiate the colors and to communicate with birds and trees.
To learn how to differentiate Chopin from Bach, and Amadeus from Vivaldi.
To learn how to walk in a simple manner, like omnibuses along the Express Way,
or like dogs.
To learn how to caress.
* Banisteriopsis caapi, also known as Yage, is a South American jungle vine. It is used in preparation of Ayahuasca, a decoction used as a medicine and “plant teacher.” It is cultivated and ingested by Shamans. The
reader familiar with Ginsberg and Burroughs will remember their Yage Letters.
Sermonem ad Mortuos
At the end of the myths,
when everything is de-invaded,
we’ll discover, who knows, a light; no,
no, I don’t want to
belong anymore to a true or
to a false reality,
and because of that
I light my body on fire.
Over your shadow, the eagle beaks bleed
the skull bones that frenetically tune my dreams,
this nightmare that launches me to the abbey’s attic where
your body stretches out safe and sound
your cat-like structure
your breath that enters my cell like a tornado
like a snake that turns the evening and its motives into stone,
the evening and this judgement hurling insults at the flight of gulls
the vapor trail that denounces your wildness
your blood that mixes with my wild heart
and crushes it like a leopard who intuits
the imperceptible shredding of these echoes
of these words that persist like
a riled leopard who runs across the savannah that ignites
the reflection rippling atop a spring’s water
where, like algae, all of my silences reside,
as well as the oneiric cathedral that acquits your absences
and the language of another tribe that yips like a coyote
And I await you
besieged by this labyrinth
by this flash of errors that unravels my name from your lips
the exquisite sea that attacks with its breeze
the probe that secures itself against my bones like a crocodile
like the malignant beast that reigns over my nightmares
the world where I chip away at this fire jawbone
this diamond jawbone this
tiger jawbone this music jaw that has snapped
the solitude of the equinox
and I await you
with my terror of daybreaks
with this fear volleying insults against building windows
and doors that open like nameless sluts
and I await you
and I chuck myself at your forehead
like some Telemachus who curses in order to
regain his Ithaca
venom of darkness from the cannibal Isle
you hold up your hands to the prow of Trans-Atlantics
and emerge like an angel that has transfigured its wings
Your voice returns
and the mountains are the same skulls that subordinate
the language of this city
this heap of murder victims and concrete
Your voice pillages the bloody structures of this instant
the muscles of gorillas that shred the fertile fields
the plots where I have shed my skin
to the repertoire of other crows
and I await you in order to
tear down the fences and
the lurid framework of the stables
where a colt
your name across the border.