MEXICAN DEMOCRACY, by Alí Calderón

Alí Calderón (1982, Mexico City) is a prolific poet, literary critic, and essayist among a younger generation of authors in Mexico. He holds a professorship in literary studies at the University of Puebla. As editor, he publishes the international poetry series, «Valparaíso Ediciones» in Mexico. He also cofounded the web-based poetry platform «Círculo de Poesía», one of the largest virtual projects of its kind worldwide with more than 3.5 million visitors. It presents original work and translations from around the world and from every literary period. In 2015, his collection of verse «Las correspondecias» was included in the prestigious Spanish poetry series «Colección Visor de Poesía», Madrid. Calderón has received numerous awards and has been invited to poetry festivals all over the world. He is also among the organizers of the spectacular poetry event «Encuentro -Internacional de Poesía» in his hometown Mexico City. 

MEXICAN DEMOCRACY

I.

another cadaver found in a black trash bag
nearby a body the wind a bridge
two blocks away: a hairy head eyes open
in the news: thirty executed this weekend shot
……….dead some with signs of torture the failed rescue
……….of a kidnapping a finger a ring a wrapped up newspaper
in the news: the campaigns began and ended there’s
……….a good feeling in Washington the migratory reform this
……….bimester there’s a one point drop in poverty wellbeing
……….good fortune

in the distance the roar of a truck

and then silence

they open the black trash bag
the stench mold spores on flesh:

a newborn

II.

And we climbed the one hundred and fourteen long steps of that temple
Its blackened stones were so rough that they burned our hands.

There I saw the neighboring villages
the markets with torches and tigers
Tlatelulco
it was from high above the little square that we looked down upon
the fresh water that comes from Chapultepec
Iztapalapa Tlacopan Tepeaquilla all watched over by our eyes.

We turned our backs and saw
by the constellations
shapes and bodies of their idols
evil figures
all of greater stature than a large man
and misshapen
of clay and dough and legumes
soften them with seeds and blood from hearts human remains
ahhh such flour

In a small tower and apartment serving as a hall
two altars
two shapes
two tall very disheveled bodies
one of them
………………Uichilobos

His face and semblance were very broad and his eyes deformed
……….terrifying
his body slathered with paste and roots and pearls
blood and various other pustules
and hanging close to the solar plexus indigenous faces
ripped from their skulls
so many as to bend an oak tree
and panting from the smoke of the incense
I have seen
all the walls of that temple
so bathed and black from incrustations
and plasma as well as on the floor
that not a trace brought life to such stench and semblance

they had a drum of crude asp leather there
that when they played it
such was the sadness of its beats
all of hell assembled

Five took them
two by the legs two by the arms
one more by the head pus and pox ripped open
their chests with both hands a flint in the form of a lance
and through that opening inserted his hand
and wrenched out the heart

and the dismembered body in dark wretchedness
disarticulated was eaten by all
and the basophiles consumed garnet and vermilion the faces
tinted purple hundreds of measures of red abundance as far as the plaza

and they sent the remains rolling down
and other erythrocytes
…………………….adorned their skins
the stumps the slashes living flesh lymphocytes

The despots poured blood out of the temples
before Uichilobos
tender heads of men coarse wiry hair
dismembered coagulating thighs
and forearms tibias there the bone appears within the fat
and flesh then protective tape
surrounds them wrinkled up noses mouths and then from some bridges
they hang them up
and the morning breezes slackened their jaws
wrapped up in black bags
here come the reserves
I have heard it said that millions of red corpuscles
and also normochromic cells pour forth
from the cut off heads that are piled up
over thoraxes whose flesh sloughs off
upon the mere contact of fingers
and there abdomens breasts frontal bones
eyes
machine gunned armpits, anuses, pancreases
rotting on the lips
of the rats

Mistresses of this land

 
DEMOCRACIA MEXICANA

otro cadáver encontrado en una bolsa negra
cerca de ahí un cuerpo el viento un puente
a dos cuadras: una cabeza hirsuta ojos abiertos
entre otras noticias: treinta ejecutados el fin de semana
……….tiro de gracia algunos con marcas de tortura el rescate fallido
……….de un secuestro un dedo un anillo un hato de periódico
entre otras noticias: terminaron e iniciaron las campañas
.………hay buena voluntad en Washington la reforma migratoria este bimestre
……….se abate en un punto la pobreza el bienestar la dicha

a lo lejos el escape de un camión

y después el silencio

abren la bolsa negra
el hedor el moho en la carne:

una recién nacida

II.

E subimos las ciento y catorce gradas longas de aquel cú
Sus piedras ennegrecidas nos quemaron las manos de tan ásperas

Vide allí los pueblos comarcanos
el tianguiz de ocote y tigres
Tlatelulco
Fue desde la placeta que arriba muy se face que oteamos
el agua dulce que se viene de Chapultepec
Iztapalapa Tlacopan Tepeaquilla todo señoreado por nos ojos

Tornamos las espaldas e vimos
a constelación
bultos y cuerpos de sus ídolos
malas figuras
todos de muy mayor estatura que un gran hombre
y contrahechos
de arcilla y masa y de legumbres
amánsalas con semillas y sangres de cuores despojos humanos
ansí tal farina

En una torrecilla y apartamiento a manera de sala
dos altares
dos bultos
dos altos cuerpos harto astrosos
uno dellos
…………….Uichilobos
Tenía la su cara y rostro muy ancho y los ojos disformes espantables
untado el cuerpo de engrudo y raíces y aljófares
sangre y otras varias excrecencias
y colgantes ceñidas al plexo unas caras de indio
arrancadas a sus cráneos
tantas para abangar un roble
y acezando por los humos del sahumerio
hube visto
todas las paredes de aquel adoratorio
tan bañado y negro de costras
y plasma asimismo en el suelo
que un rastro no exardece tal hedor e catadura

Y allí tenían un atabor de cuero crúdel áspid
que cuando le tañían
tal era la tristura de sus tumbos
los infiernos se allegaban

Tomábanlos cinco
dos por las piernas dos por los brazos
uno más por la cabeza y otro postema y landre rajábales
con ambas manos pedernal a modo de lanzón los pechos
y por aquella abertura metíale la mano
y le sacaba el corazón

y el cuerpo desasido en oscura laceria
descoyuntado era comido de todos
y los basófilos tomados granate y bermellón los rostros
purpurecidos cientos de azumbres de aloque caudal hasta la plaza

y echaban los restos a rodar
y otros eritroci
…………………….vestían sus pellejos
los muñones los tajos carne viva linfocitos

Derramaban también sangre los sátrapas fuera de los cúes
frente al Uichilobos y en degüello
tiernas cabezas de hombres hirsuta pelambrera
desmembrados los coágulos muslos
y antebrazos tibias allí asoma el hueso entre la grasa
y la carne después aislante cinta
les rodea narices esnifadas bocas y de unos puentes entonces
lo ponen a colgar
y el viento de las madrugadas desbravó sus fauces
envueltas en bolsas negras
allí vienen los retenes.
Oydo he decir que millones de hematíes
y también normocromáticos derraman
las testas cercenadas que se apilan
sobre tórax cuya carne se remueve
al contacto sólo de los dedos
y allí abdómenes mamas huesos frontales
ojos
axilas anos páncreas rafagueados
pudriéndose en los belfos
de las ratas

Señoras de esta tierra

∇ English Version by ©Gordon McNeer.