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A possum crosses my house’s sky
His hands smell of sandals,
Describe a nocturnal gladiator
That touches and smells women’s sex.
In my dream, someone on the right side
Throws silver coins into a pristine bucket
Oh! Childhood’s sounds.
You will dream of shit and your ancestors
Will say it is good fortune,
Keep that hand on your left pocket
Music on the wrong side;
I was born with two aspects: the written word
And Zapotec’s melody, in order to love
I’ve always used my two hemispheres.
I miss you and all you know
Are the dark woods of ephemeralness,
The click of an eye that opens to take away a piece of something
Just to close again immediately,
Like a shell closes down on feelings;
A hot coin on your back
Or laughing astride
A free animal, or not,
Animals oblige to their fate
Repetition without a reason,
The moon with its milk drawings
With its rabbit looking upon disgraces
Right there, where gaze at a distance seems to unite.
A thorny monkey,
Like taking away thorns after bumping into a cactus,
By taking away spikes you get more splinters.
Was I ever happy?
Yes, when it rained and a dark hand served me
Bean soup on a plate from the crops outside
The golden bowls’ town,
When someone named mirror stayed by my side,
When I flew a kite and lost sight of it,
It’s true, whatever goes up comes down in your face;
When I escaped Uncle shoe-maker’s belt,
When the sun raised and the only thing I had
Was a pig’s yell, previously seen, legs tied,
Next to death’s funny gorge
Stand in line to be sacrificed?
Lightness for paper,
A tyre passes marking your shoes for ever.
I know about spells:
I know how to get rid of sadness,
How to get rid of obsession, of fear:
If I bury myself next to a river
And someone rubs up his testicles against my head,
If I sit looking at the sea
And they find my lost pulse: lylyly, pé, pépé,*
If they spit anisette into my face
If wind takes away sand from my eyes
If they fill me up with toads,
If I lie belly down on the earth while it trembles.
If I read my dreams as predicted by the old lady
Who used to sing to me in childhood: name your sadness,
There’s nothing like knowing what you long for,
To talk about melancholy you need to hold
History and stories on your hand,
You need, amongst other things, a hammock
And loose hours like a pendulum,
What is time?
A dying mother
A wretched father
Destitution turned into stone,
A mountain prayer,
Make love to the one that doesn’t peel you.
I looked at your cat eyes
Savouring an unbuilt possibility,
I just wanted to run away,
Just wanted to run away.
Because my exodus started at eight years old
And where I lived wasn’t barren,
There was a community, fireworks and their shuddering,
There was freedom and mutual trust.
I quarrelled with my tradition
Didn’t allowed it to deflower my hand full of alcohol
Didn’t want to show nothing:
I was never a virgin,
I was always inhabited by ghosts
That assaulted my jute cot,
I never wanted my blood to be pure.
I know about Conquest and its promises
I fought chocolate and mole,
To get rid of the sewing closing my eyelids
I had to hold a torch born from my guts,
I burnt my body so that I could believe in justice
And bumped into ignorance instead,
The news I was eager to embrace showed me their glitz
And my back gave me back the crab’s rear.
Leave in order to always come back
What happens if one sticks to one’s ignorance?
Isn’t it better to suffer one’s inventory?
Now, without haven, nor boat, nor dwelling
I took refuge in silence:
A comatose state.
What does my happiness look like?
I am a fly,
A dot on an almond’s leaf
About to depart, about to deliver,
I’m a buzz in memory’s ear
I tattooed memory too.
A crack through which levity shall not enter
Through which innocence shall not walk
What does it mean to be indigenous?
A bet, sails of grown beards
Never again a place,
A spider looking leather sandal attached to my feet,
A little accumulated salt,
What’s world history?
An eye crying for its neglect.
Flowers know it, as well as peoples
The day happier stories were told
That day we left behind our sufficiency
To give ourselves to a never ending repetition,
Now I know
It is too late.
*Lylyly, pé, pépé.
Sixteenth Century Zapotec onomatopoeia equivalent to the sound made by pain when it walks inside the body.
Translation by Diego Gómez Pickering