tijuanagringo (tijuanagringo) wrote,
tijuanagringo
tijuanagringo

BORDER POET LINE






border    poet    line
	three words  from  Tijuana 
marching up
	and down the page
		on the street
scribbling in the 
long	diagonal  plaza
daring yourself to double entendre
border  poet  line  -  border  line  poet 
poet  border  line  -  poet  line  border
line  poet  border  -  line  border  poet
	etcetera quotidian combination
form 	six ways    to      say it	   from
	3 X 2        perm-mutations
with  more chances  of  hitting  the  big one
	one   in  six  every     day
than  any  stinking  lottery  lightning
striking  here      or   there
on either side of our little
	border    poet
		line
so
Whoa!		Halt!
	stop
your      pen  in  the 
plaza  mouth   of
Santa Cecilia
	detente  la  cabellaria - hold 
your horses
		here
where the first
	tourist wagons
used to turn   
off  the old dirt road
up    from      the river
here
	on the flat space
where the missionary camped
in our wilderness
	240  years ago
here 	the city has grown
into the blighted booming downtown centro
	where
you 	turn	poet  line	border
	turn
		and walk through    the    thrice-paved  plaza
	Santa Cecilia
sometime  called  Arguello  diagonal  street
		now  full  of
	re - construction 
	short-pants visitors
		buying  tequila  T-shirts
on top    of  the  latest  tourist  rehab
	color-coded
vision 	in yellow & red cement 
with  its accessory 	vendor kiosks
pilgrims  from      four  painted  corners
petals  of the  Aztec    world     flower
xochitl  in  tlalticpac
			aye
it's all been				rebuilt, repainted, retouched
you saw them         		digging up the Earth herself
last spring           	you examined the raw open trenches
like some           versemongering  arqueolodilettante
standing on        prior paving from post-Vietnam
gray cement		slabs engraved twenty years ago
with all those       	signatures of Mexican movie stars 	
and comedians
you looked down        		into the gray concrete layer
buried under the	ground of  a golden age  Tijuana
from the roaring       		20s  and early-30s  prohibition
	and under that				ye olde west dirt
	dry brown 		depth
	resting upon 	primeval 	Sonora 	
c o b b l e s t o n e
piled  in ancient clay
but 
	now				back on the surface
Santa Cecilia's got 
a new dress shirt
	laid down by summer cement workers
	on top of ragged autumn pants
until the diagonal block has become
one enormous two-headed serpent
	swirling body
with coatlicue feathers
	encrusted in cement
	inlaid	all over  the pavement
from one scruffy
		eagle serpent head
pointing	fangs 
toward the reborn beak 
on the municipal palace of
art and culture at
2nd & Constitución
from there where  their 
newly bending body 
	turns all the 
	way down its  
	pedestrian  street
inlaid with 
concrete skin
twisting in curves
along the narrow 
	plaza block 
between
	restaurants bars
	stores and
cantinas
until the
ultimate 
ear of corn or 
	rattle tail
	its  
second  
separate    head  
at the other end of this street
	broken circle  in cement
framing a new mariachi stage
beneath that  monster aluminum arch
towering over 			in xochitl tlalticpac
						Aztec  world - flower
four petals in red & yellow 
colored plaza cement
where feathered dancers beat their drums
every Sunday		for tips
and				
	you
		gringo
WHOA!
	HALT!
stop
	poet
hold
	the  horses
	of   your  pen
		to
strike your match
	& scribble a cigarette
		smoke this verse
	outside the cheap market
	on the corner of First street
	beneath that fake aqueduct
in the shadow of Hotel Nelson
			– home of the finest forbidden love –
under the enormous millennium arch raised up like 
a silver parabola @ thirteen storey height
high and shining  monstrous harp
from 	so many  cables
plucked in the breeze
who now support
a gigantic video
scream 	hung-by-the-neck
beaming municipal propaganda  straight  
					up   		Revolution  Avenue
	and
	from  here
bent over new cement plaza
what already looks old
yellow-red paving stained by
	gum, spit, candy, butts, trash
	here 
you think of Francisco Morales' poems
written on the skin 	of this city
	and you light this snake
	cancer   taco   smoke
flash scratch struck 
	fire @ five cents the 
		booklet of matches
	German shepherd pastor aleman
Relámpago brand dog grinning on
	his cardboard cover
		your one-in-six lightning
		border        line         poet	
matches
your inspiration
in  the   mouth  of
	Santa  Cecilia
		patron saint of art and music
		ai  mi  querida  santa
	your mariachis wait       
in  suits of  black  cotton
shining   with    silver   buttons
waving  their instruments  at  
		clients
ranchero  narco  pickups  or  vans
or only  some  guy  with  a good  job
taking  his  girl  out  for  a  serenade
	- who can tell the difference any more? -
guitarron       guitarra     trompeta    violin
they are 	your 	inspiration
		poet       
your  living  muse  men
	when
you begin another  night  of bars     
		and    Mexican  snacks
smell your  fresh tacos  and  spilt beer 
		with Omar Khayam and Charles Bukowski 
	at Tijuana cantina 
	in spirit  if  not 
		flesh          
	stop         wilderness        singing        beside 
	and have a drink         or        three
		a loaf	of bread
		with    thee      and          me 
		and wilderness were paradise enough .

Aya   yankee  gringo
enough  Rubaiyat
kiss   your   own   fingers   
		border 
poet   line
		and  touch the saint statue shoulder
	ai  ya  madrecita  mia  -  beloved  little  mother
		quiero tu bendicion - give me your blessing
your protection from     government versus narco  please no more war		
no police chiefs slaughtered     with      Sunday bullets
driving the via rapida                home from mass
no more special agents   stuffed into   sedan trunks 
no more traps for troubadors who die tape-mouthed 
before		they reach          Bombay
no    dawn coming up    like Kipling thunder   no more
death squad    commando war of         kidnapped silence
no  women  raped    and  mutilated  on  the hills of  Juarez
no  more  cars  driven  off  the mountain cliffs of  la Rumorosa
not  even  neighbors' dogs  howling at gunshots in the night
and   none of that  power    who has barely   yet  been     felt
in   the  thousand years  of  	m i l l e n n i a l 	terror    
now  being  born
no, no nuclear     jihad
	those dirty bombs     blowing off    fortress  SanDiego
collateral  dust  	cultural  damage    cross-contamination
	of	Spanglish 	Espanglés
hybrid smallpox  gas      dancing across  our  polluted
drinking   so much 	dumping fallout
border           line         poet        
no more shades of gray
where  federal soldiers    prowl   these paper streets 
automatic pen  rifles   slung    over   their     shoulders
scribbling glances with     border  city   police    forces     
	no more   rams  horns   blowing  apocalypse
bullets outside drug money nightclubs    
	ack-ack ack  ack   ack    ack      ack       AK-47 
newspaper headlines  screaming 
	NARCO  BATALLION  DISAPPEARS
	devoured   by   crocodiles
Alarma! 		Alarma! 		Alarma!
no 	no 	no 	not tonight       no war
we must protect both the Mexican and foreign tourists 
	that they may drink in peace the weekend 
that they may 	rest
	in verses     poet  line  border
making 
love   not war  poetry whore 
in that 
thrashing knot
		fighting	
over
there before the gay bar 	Ranchero	no
it's nothing,    only   the  plaza badges
beating transvestites     who 
dared to touch a man
right there .

Oh shit - don't look .
      
turn away little gringo girls and boys turn 
away into MERCADO POPULAR for smokes
                              
tobacco, tobacco will keep them awake in
Oz for eleven twelve thirteen bucks the carton
      
one-third the price of the other U.S. side
smuggle them across to sell on the street
      
pay for that other devil from hell itself
crystal rock cocaine methamphetamine
      
or something more sophisticated upscale
ecstasy and drug rape in drinking clubs

holy mother Santa Cecilia save me from their traps
only find my satisfaction in tequila, beer, smokes
      
no, my son, you must also take 
up your cross and write poetry

no matter how ugly or how
boring it may be
 
Escribir, por ejemplo: "La noche esta estrellada,
y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos." 
 
like Neruda if you dare compartir
his starry night where they tremble
	blue in   the       distance
filthy beast  cigarettes
azure smoke coiling snake
like  Satan  assaulting heaven
un-rolled  into  verses  and  lines
	less  than  two dollars  a pack
	here in Mexico on a border zigurrat
c i  g   a     r       e           t             t                 e                   s
on this  farthest river corner  of  homeland  prime number
three thousand   kilometers     	before any  pyramid
and they, no, we			can all still smoke
	in restaurants and bars
	cafe      cantantes
from both sides     of the frontier
we can all 	write poetry
hiding under the stones
in this valley
				where
the  missionary  camped
	240 years ago
on this same flat space 
this page
	above 
the river
where                           
he wrote in his diary :
		began this conquest
		of California today
		
once upon a time in 1769 
before this plaza        was this place
he found and wrote :
	the land was full of lovely fields where a 
	beautiful stream of good water was running 
	and we camped there, without approaching 
	the nearby Indian village. 
	It is a large piece of flat land a league 
	more or less from the sea - or so it seemed to 
	me.  The animals pastured greatly there and 
	ourselves, without any worries except to 
	reach San Diego tomorrow.... 
      
well, stranger gringo from a foreign land
next door to	your right hand
some things have not changed
without  any worries  except
to  reach  
	San  Diego 
t o  m   o     r       r           o             w
		b u  t 
all the rest      yes
	has  gone
has changed			b e e n
replaced 
 				drowned
under the new holy 
megalopolitan 	 see
where your  lines
poet
	border
on
	ex -
		cathedra  
verse .




_________________________________

2003-2016




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