God, Woman, and Country

Danilo López

God, Woman, and Country

Published by ACE Industries
All rights reserved Copyright © 1997 and 2004 by Danilo LCCópez This book may not be reproduced by any means without written permission from the author. Second Edition, 2004 Dallas, Texas Cover Painting: © Blanca Beatriz Caraballo Coral Gables, Florida Untitled, fiberglass and polyester resin book with inserted natural materials and objects

ISBN: 1-892820-16-1

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For the gunshot deviated by a rib, for the red convertible nieces and nephews enjoyed, for an afternoon of fishing at Apoyo and Cocibolca lakes, for the fins, the visor, and the snorkel, and the book about the dodecahedron transporter, and the husk’s fire, and the thousand Cordobas, and the lovelore advice. For the uncle you were, are, and will be, Alberto Roman Morales, I dedicate this book to you. Danilo
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Also by Danilo Lopez: Poetry: • • • • • • • • Antología de Tarde Return to Guatemala Génesis Y Otras Fantasías Dead Souls 18 Poems 11 Nicaraguan Poets in the USA (anthology) 5 Poets from Miami (Anthology) Nicaraguan Poets of the Immigration (Anthology)

In preparation: • Dona Nobis Pacem

Translation: • • The Furies at the Deaf Man’s Villa (Guillermo Menocal) Loves and Frustrations
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• • • • • • Editor: • • • •

(Guillermo Menocal) The Lost Past (Guillermo Menocal) The Wind’s Wail (Yolanda Gonzalez) Expressions of the Soul (Karla Juarez) Paradise Regained (Carlos Martinez Rivas) Magic of Love/La Magia del Amor (Karla Juarez) Events/Eventos (Guillermo Menocal)

Poemas Personales (Lourdes Guerrero) Poemas de Nicaragua (Isis Pereira) Voces de America (Compact Disk) Relacortos (Guillermo Menocal)
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The Chronicles

I.

Faits Accomplis 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. In the Beginnings On Similarity The Gossip On Stupidity Check Mate Norwich Houses Paperboy

13 14 17 20 23 26 31 33 34 35 36 38 40 42 44

II.

Intaglio 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. In Theory Dream Number One The Puzzle Sacred Places The Kiss
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6. 7. 8. III.

The Smell of Lavender Illusion Memories

46 48 50 51 52 54 56 58 59 61 66 67 69 70 72 74

Fabliau 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Ging Seng Kristel’s Oracle Teri Ivgav Cloisters Legend Goddess Dolls

IV.

Lovelore 1. 2. 3. Dawn Raelian Muse Dusk
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4. 5. 6. 7. 8. V.

Midnight Afternoon Eclipse Out of the Duldrums Rough Sketch

75 77 79 83 84 86 87 89 92 95 98 100 102 106 109

Remember Altagracia? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Condega Town Picnic with Father Bread Man The Gigantess The Knife Sharpener Siblings Father’s Home Terra Incognita

Epilogue

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Dans ma tΛte un oiseau chante toute l’annϑe. In my head a bird sings all year long. Vicente Huidobro

[ mar leva tudo o que a vida me deu Tudo aquilo que o tempo esqueceu.
The sea takes everything life gave me everything time forgot. Fausto

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Acknowledgments

The author thanks and acknowledges the
editors of various magazines in which some of the poems were published: “Condega”, Third World; “Out of the Doldrums”, Midwest Poetry Review; “Houses”, Writer’s Exchange; “The Smell of Lavender”, Poet’s Review; “Illusion”, The Poet’s Pen; “Ging Seng” and “Ivgav”, Star*Line; “Norwich”, Hayden’s Ferry Review; “Raelian Muse” and “Sacred Places”, Crescendo 3;

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“On Stupidity” and “On Similarity”, Neologisms “Rough Sketch”, Midnight Zoo. The following web sites have published poetry by Danilo Lopez: • • • • • www.Dariana.com www.Artefacto.com www.Baquiana.com www.proyectoSetra.com www.SieteDias.com

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“...Paz que llevo dentro, paz que todavía sabes hacer música y la haces en mi...” “...Peace I carry inside, peace that still knows how to make music and does it in me...” Salomón de la Selva (Nicaragua, 1893 - Paris, 1959)

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“...El origen de las cosas no es anterior sino permanente; mas por no caber juicio de relatividad en lo que es insondable,- la percepción humana señálale al tiempo en un punto el principioque es a su vez el fin de la Causa de todo lo relativo...” “... The origin of things is not preceding but permanent; but since judgment of relativity does not apply to what is unknowable, -human perception assigns to time in one point the beginningwhich is at once the end of the Cause of all that is relative...” Alfonso Cortés (Nicaragua, 1893 - 1967)

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I. Faits Accomplis
“...at the Gates of Gaeia people were crossing in both directions: Angels went to Heaven, Devils went to Hell, and Humans stayed, undecided...”
“Of Men and Visions” , the darker Danilo Lopez

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In the Beginnings
“We live in time so little time and we learn all so painfully, that we may spare this hour’s term to practice for eternity” Robert Penn Warren, “Bearded Oaks”

W

hen I awoke Before and After were already in existence and a mobilized and crazy world surrounded my body and my soul. I have nevertheless reminiscences in my mind. I still see them when I sleep, and when I wake up I thank The Creator. Bilad-as-Sudan is land of sand, jungles and sun, and holds great secrets too. I saw four gods living in the Ol-Orun; they were black with white eyes, short and fat they enjoyed playing without preoccupations, they had fun without rest.
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Great gods did great things: space is infinite and not only for Earth life shall be. We were wounded by fire, dried by dust, disseminated by the wind, united by webs, germinated by water... the Great God loved us in the valleys, in the rivers, in the mountains, in the swamps, in the woods, in the dessert, on Earth. He loved us in Ile-Ife, and prior to us, He made plants surge, animals; He appointed chiefs of things, lords of kingdoms: the elephant because of its sense, the tiger because of its force, the monkey because of its astuteness. He created man from mud, He shaped him and gave him life. We are black like the night, black like mud, strong like the tiger, astute more than the monkey and the elephant... Proud and erect... worthless.
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God in the heights, Man on Earth. That is why He burned us and the storm fell on our backs, and we had drought; we were destroyed naked, without dying to suffer... and fire made us dark. I saw the destruction from within, maybe Man has two generations, and the second is the best. I saw seeds fall, trees grow and fruit, snakes crawling, life leaves fly... everything started to form again. God gave me a name, I gave myself a woman: Sekume and Bongwe... her name follows me ever since. Often, I hear her steps behind me, and sometimes, when I sleep, in a quick awakening, I see her entering my body, because at night, she, Nisim, goes for a stroll.

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On Similarity

T

he idea of similarity, its concept and other abstract derivations, go far beyond the Egyptian civilization. Aknathon, the great heretic Pharaoh, having proclaimed the existence of no more but one God, wrote on the Omega papyrus: “That, which is not equal, is similar”. However, in Sumer, hundreds of years before, another great legislator and code writer from the gates of the city through his dinner table, had already structured a theory on similarity, the equal, and the distinct. According to Amurabi, there is a line that connects all beings, all things, all concepts, all times. It begins... or ends? Anyhow, one of the extremes is the equal. The other is the distinct. Between both there is an extensive range of vague concepts on which the echelons of similarity are laid: near the equal, stands
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the like. Close to the other extreme, stands the different. In Peru, Manco Capac developed a measures system to cut off the mountains the colossal stones that were used in the building of Machu Pichu. There were equal stones, similar, distinct and other stones. An obscure hermit, who was believed to have come from Tenochtitlan or the Phillipines, asked the emperor about the location of the middle point. The preoccupation for finding an answer to such a question tormented Manco Capac for the rest of his many days. The center, the middle, the navel, had always been relative points. Ever since Hermes Trimegistus declared that: “As above so below, and as below so above”, “the complete realization of things” became a stepping stone for prophets, poets, and scientists.

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To Einstein, the shortest distance between two points in space is a curve. To Ruben Dario, a tree is “almost sensitive” and a stone “does not feel at all”. To Jean Dixon, a black “will conduct multitudes” in Africa and a new Ar Hijrah will take place in the South. Similar, other, history cycles that repeat themselves, Antichrists, the image in the mirror, hate, indifference, love, death, life, and rebirth. All are equal concepts, yet different. The opposites, the extremes, all come to touch each other at the same point of the wide circle. Maybe the true difference lays in the passage we all walk, often difficultly, between the two ends.

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The Gossip

A

ccording to popular wisdom, gossip is a women’s trade. Unfortunate assertion and worse belief that was popularized during the Middle Ages, when European kings and monarchs utilized, some due to cowardice others for strategy, their women to deliver messages to a confessed adversary or a potential ally. Napoleon and Josephine were masters in the art of gossip, he, dictating the phraseology and she repeating the sweet words. The annals of history registered ever since that behind each great man there is a great woman. Behind? Before? Hand in hand? The truth is that gossip, practiced by aristocrats, commons, and the bourgeoisie, although in different manners, was heightened in category with the progress of times.

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Churchill during World War II, and Hitler, during the organizational period of the National-Socialist Party, exhaustively demonstrated the power of gossip when used at a massive scale. The latter, promising promotions to his loyal servants; the former infiltrating false messages to the enemy lines. At high governmental spheres, but especially diplomatic ones, it was discovered in gossip a value never suspected before: its power as a weapon in global and specific negotiations. Information leaks, some people called it; declaration of non-identified sources, some others named it. It was nevertheless, the communist secret service that recognized in gossip an effective and rapid way to transform the real into false; the true into dubious; the lie -which is essential to survive- into certainty. This way, trust and skepticism between nations, governments, and political23

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economic systems reached new levels during the Post-war of Cold War era. Today, with centuries of gossip on our backs, we have learned to confuse, blend, and conciliate the one thousand and one truths -or lies? - that endure scattered among humanity. The secrets of the universe, with their point and linear theories, with their black holes, supernovas and big bangs, have not escaped the vortex of gossips in which we subsist today. Nonetheless, those are part of another story.

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On Stupidity

“I

gnorance can be eliminated; the stupid has no remedy”, spoke Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha, thousands of years ago. During his many travels and casual encounters, Zarathustra, the Ancient prophet who knew Persepolis before it was even built, met all kinds of people, animals, and things. The only one he regretted was an obscure king named Fanor, The Stupid. It was under his reign that appeared a decree prohibiting such activities as reading, writing, and sculpturing, but encouraging the population to play all sorts of games like drinking, eating, sleeping, and sexing. When Darwin wrote the manuscript of his infamous “The origin of the species”, which almost cost him his life, he had originally written “stupid” instead of “less fit”. That
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was a reference to the “natural selection” which meant that those who are less fit to fight with life, or those who do not have enough ability (intellectual, manual, or moral) to cope with everyday problems, become relegated to a second place. In nature, the second is the last, and there is no opportunity such as “the last will be the first” and viceversa, as Jesus taught His followers. The Christ Himself condemned the stupidity, the blindness, and deafness of the Masters of the Law, whose followers used to consider as never-mistaken geniuses. In Greece, the Seven Sages represented the concept of Stupidity with a group of philosophers inside a cave. They were sitting with their backs facing the entrance, analyzing among them the “greatness of the world and its origins” unaware that the world was another measure, in another time. They thought the voices from the people outside were echoes of the gods.
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Dostoyevski opted to retitle “The Prince Idiot” his celebrated novel rather than “The Stupid”. Nietzsche picked the word “idols” and Borges and Dario selected such names as Golem and Toki. Many stupids call themselves revolutionaries. They consider everybody as lacking knowledge and expertise. Stupids run projects, institutions, governments, countries, and other people’s lives bearing in mind a distorted vision of facts, ciphers, images, and doors. Their life is an immense journey, which takes place into a labyrinth. They go everywhere and nowhere. They do not like changes, challenges or favors. They feel protected and secure in their old small stuff: that crazy maze only they can run, discover, and recognize. If you wake up at night hearing their distant cry, or in the streets run into an
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angry person, or have a genius for boss... feel sorry for them. A stupid can be easily identified: they never know what they are. Let them manage their tangle. Do not ever enter it. They do not want to be alone, yet they fear that it is their inevitable fate.

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Check Mate
First Movement An anonymous young man from Brooklyn starts to manipulate with mastery the pieces on the checkerboard. Morbid humor of the little devil who in a country lambasted for its fatal luck, continues to draw idols on an indecisive, yet exact, horizon. First strategy: idols are produced in mass to be consumed by the masses. Second Movement The brilliance of geniuses is incubated behind the centralist ideology. All sorts of marvels are chemically studied, planned, and prepared in this great circus of science and technology, where a setback of two hundred years does not impede the
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people to touch the beard of a nonexistent god on the other side of the moon. The Arab square also holds a secret advantage beyond dogmatic understanding. Second strategy: the division of work is sacred dogma of faith. Its only objective, to be consumed while producing. Third Movement One dreams. One fights and wins. The race of America is a meteor coming from the obscure sidereal depths. It is a lucky staircase that wakes up thinking in the mornings and goes to bed in the evenings weighing alternatives. National championships are part of the genius’ delirium that approaches, step by step, the obsessive final war on top of shells and clear circumstances.

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Fourth Movement And if ideology stimulates -over therepersonal self-praise, it augments -over here- self-sacrifice for the Homeland. A nation projects itself with the accumulated individual accomplishments. A country is developed by the unfair competition of its members in the sluggish dream of free enterprise. Behind a gross caliper curtain, is cultivated the soup that will engulf like a victor and with the dressing of the militants, the triumphant revolutionary cause in sciences, culture, sports, politics, and the military. Economy is the transformation of the individual to satisfy the system. Third strategy: ideology shall make of the individual its image and counterpart to sustain the State. Fifth Movement The bacchanal’s reason of being is its voluntary escapism. Liberating the
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inhibiting superego is nothing more than another libidinal farce. Pavlov and the socialist resources identify on the checkerboard the game of cat and mouse under simplified amplitude. The battle of corsairs, cadets, and knights defends a king, a country, and a sweating man full of liberal caprices and rotten syllabus of imperialist fatigue. It’s my world against yours. My system against yours. Can I load on my shoulders, nevertheless, all men? Am I the system or is the system I? Sixth Movement Once the fissure open, the sword enters, lacerating, definitive; it conquers the coagulated blood instantly; and the pain will serve to make the mind awaken to a new consciousness of being and essence. Metalanguage and symbol are united in the same systemic crusade. Light closes on the forehead and another luminary forces the contender to run
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startled, scared for his victory. Double defeat. (Was I a vehicle or a rationalized clash? Was I the snobbism against individual existence opposed to totalitarianism? Was I the object of this historic checkmate or a prelude of a new death?) Seventh Movement Everything has ended. And everything begins here. In a tranquil Swiss town, a fecund genius plays an anachronic game on the Arab square, ready to show with ostentation his pitiful personal cause through the colors of a flag unknown to him. Let the giving be total, since for this I was designed and programmed. I have no choice but to love my destiny. Eighth Movement The game remained open with that ancient mate. We both signed a will of hate, love, and amazement. Luck was
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decided in an eternal return to the time that imprisoned my persona, our tenebrous past, the silly present, the hypothetical and uncertain future. In an obscure apartment in New York -the crammed empty city- shaky hands, uncrowned head, ambiguous ruin, another genius refuses to see his queen, his king, his dear stoned bishop. Lacking information, with the mastery oriented toward another crux enigma, I think, that could well have been a rehearsal; a drill of victory that will not repeat itself, a defeat again programmed with the purpose of not having to come back. In the next battle, I think, I was afraid to lose.

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Norwich
In Bluefields of Zelaya there lives an old man the sea has made him tall sun has browned his skin hunger has made him thin In the evenings he can be seen raising the sails of his thoughts, after he has spent the morning excavating and his body is embedded with coral The old man whistles and you might see a glistening speck of sand encrusted on his head, shining through his coastal gray hair The old man does not caress the metals and peels-off rails with his remembrances: trains, bananas, stations, desolation
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The coast recognizes him and kneels before his presence. He casts his net into the sea and touches other worlds. He has a rancho on the beach, distant like a song in the forest, tranquil. There are seashells on its walls and in the yard: wood, stones, palms, shells of ancient chelonians and skins of archaic lizards fallen in the river. He has cages in his patio and birds in his garden. The old man wastes away his feet on the sand, his lungs on the tobacco leaf, his sense of smell on the sea food, his eyes on the net, his ears on the sea waves. He falls, little by little, -between dreams and walks36

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into tortuous paths of caviar mountains and ebony canoes. His vision is back and the routine begins anew. Except for a few crabs, nobody knows his secret.

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Houses
I step out to the balcony and see passing by the same poor houses. It rains. They are the same yellow houses and the same blue colors. The sun comes out. A bird flies. I see the same houses passing by. I feel the same warm mouth and the same bitter flavor. I continue to be myself. They continue to be poor.

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Paperboy
I hear steps, on the double, frozen on the heat of the pavement a grave weight answering back to the silence and the twinkling of coins, loose, crossing the mute warmth of the afternoon meanwhile my back sweats dryly trying to speed up this boring region of my spirit

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II.

Intaglio

“... Then I perceived an image sunk below the surface, and realized that what my eyes saw was not what I got...”
“Chronicles of my Land”, The Ice Queen

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In Theory
“The universe was an infinity of maybes” Peter David, “Vendetta”

I have written a thousand poems and I have dreamed another thousand. Of those I dreamed, I have forgotten 999. Of those I wrote, I have lost another 999: the perfect poem the urban history of Nicaragua the applications of solar energy to vernacular architecture my essays on ethics and aesthetics my refutation of Kant, Schopenhauer, and Kafka the diary I faithfully kept for thirteen years the songs of love, theology, and exasperation the secret messages the Letters from Amelis
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the 999 poems I forgot could be just 9 or 999 millions compiled along my existence are they trapped in some arcane place in my memory, the Universe? will I eternally approach them only, never reaching them? will they return to me when the circle of Time begins again? if the velocity at which I approach them becomes infinite, the space that I travel could be one, or the entire Cosmos, and for the equation to comply time should be zero does this mean that the poems are gone forever, lost within a personal space of which I have no consciousness at all? or that they simply never existed, and belong to someone else’s dream?

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Dream Number One
“I have been happy, though but in a dream” Edgar Allan Poe

Today I will think about you without wanting it, without thinking it I will dream you with those fire eyes watching my dream your skin will be tanned and shining in my dream like those Africans you used to fear today I want to dream about you to purposely entrap myself in this tangle of situations and words we don’t know where will lead yet I dream you child running on the walkways of your home, crying, laughing, jumping the rope and doing things little girls do
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I dream you in school uniform, touching a guy’s heart in love who is still waiting for you in some lost corner of your life I dream you in Rivas, Chichigalpa, and Corn Island I dream you speaking English and dancing at Lobo Jack discotheque under a thousand forms I will dream you deliberately, and I don’t have to try too hard because you did everything already -knowingly or unknowinglyit doesn’t matter today I will think about you despite you lacking the courage to think about me

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The Puzzle
To Kidest Albaari

I

f we take the one thousand pieces of a puzzle, throw them to the air, and let them land on the floor, there are numerous possible combinations they can be arranged in when they touch the ground. Statistically, one of those possible combinations is to form the figure they collectively compound. Such is the possibility of each human being finding the perfect mate. We are all thrown into this world, randomly, and are expected to form the figure He has in mind since the beginning of Time. We are supposed to determine our purpose in this life, and help put together all the pieces of the puzzle, each in its proper place. Each piece has one and only one place. Our challenge is to guess His thoughts and
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find ours. We are all different in character and age. Geography, years, and beliefs separate and reunite us in this arcane plan of the Cosmic Mind we call different names. It is the same God interconnecting everything, the same God that at the time of the Big Bang, threw all the pieces of His puzzle in a void named Universe. The same God that continues to watch the pieces fall in the chaotic order of haphazard.

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Sacred Places
Many places in the world draw the secret energy Bacon and Thritemius aimed to capture all their lives: the womb of the Black Virgin of Ankara the passageway of Aglie in Paris city sewer the wine cellars of Casa Madonna where Cagliostro lives the Northwest corner of the patio in Altagracia the countertop in the Kendall apartment by the Golden Cage Of the many Sacred Places an abundance of them are not in use anymore except for secret sects visiting at night: the Magic Circle of Stonehenge head number 4-A in Eastern Island certain location of the Altamira caves
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The Source excavations in Jerusalem the pyramid of Uaxanctun restored by German archeologists Evil places should not be mentioned for their bounding spell might hurt her and those he loves I only think of that point in space without dimensions or time the point where it all began fifteen billion years ago and all will end when God reclaims His dwelling place and tries to form this Golem Universe one more time

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The Kiss
Of all the memories that I stole from you: the big green eyes watching my dream the soft happy words talking about love the attentive instructions on how to approach him the warning of the last notice of employment the eternal everchanging figure efervescent, fresh, beautiful the date of your birthday on March the 23rd the names of your grown children the married-again husband the clepsidra indicating the morning brake is over your fingers running on the keyboard your face reflected on the monitor the cafϑ-con-leche shared at the terrace the poem I wrote you before I met you the Christmas card I never received
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your relationship with a Nicaraguan guy prior to me there is just one I shall never return you: the furtive kiss you surprised me with the one I clearly feel today the one that wrote all our stories in one second: the story that was the story that will be the story that could have been

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The Smell of Lavender
To my wife, Krista “No wreaths please especially no hot house flowers” William Carlos Williams, “Tract”

When I die, bury me with the objects of my joy: poems I wrote when I was thirteen ideas of tales some day to be told outline of novels one day to be written Reima Aleksandra’s navel and her hospital name tag the slide of Abuelita reigning from her majestic rocking chair the Portuguese book on politics and strategy we never read the fosilized white seashell Gabriel dug from the backyard
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the Rosicrucian Source Book so I don’t forget the Truth in the next Plane the picture where you are 25, a rifle in your hand a rose in your hair Kristel’s first pair of glasses, bent and broken the ten commandments Mother gave me along with Father’s letters Danibel’s single earring, her drawings and sweetness When everything is ready to close me in throw the Palm Cross we had in the bedroom wall and the remote kiss you gave me at the airport the first time I went away

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Illusion
All memories come back in my dreams: friends from school days already dead pretty girlfriends who inspired pleasant sentiments towns I grew up at playing and those I visited as a tourist, a student, a wanderer in my dreams the future speaks: I have seen myself rambling through Father’s home in ruins, the paint flaking, trees dying time fools my memory confusing past events with future dates in a corner of the patio I see my eldest sister, younger than me, entering the bedroom
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and my wife is a grandmother sleeping away her last agony I talk to myself before being born and feel trapped in this wheel inexorably spinning I wake up, and she sleeps by my side I look at the girls in their beds and know that Reima and all of them are safe I go back to the mirror, which daily talks to me it points out new gray hairs

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Memories
I could found another city before my glowing eyes and relate how the Big Dipper convinced me to go and sail with her again I might think of the distant brothers and sisters the children I lost and one or two girlfriends dispersed along my wonder years I may collect cheers to your laugh, your curly hair or the straight one, I don’t know which and try to keep your sweet image or the sour the one most convenient to my sorrow But all those attempts to rebuild the past the thousand poems that lie at the bottom of my secret drawer
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the days the kisses will not be more than just memories

the jealousy

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III. Fabliau
“A Book is a Spell”
“Focault’s Pendulum”, Humberto Eco

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Ging Seng

O

nce upon a time Ging Seng initiated a cycle of conferences. Her modeling of lips and fingers gained her high places in Vogue, Bazaar, Goodhousekeeping, etc. When her New York apartment was abruptly relocated to Nicaragua, with no false mirrors or bengal lights, she realized what it is like to walk difficult situations all the way wearing in her feet only rose petals. There was a Walker in her life, who did not have feet or hands. Sometimes a diffuse shadow would appear on his shoulders resembling a human head. This happened in the days when commodores had the ability to convert big salt bags into colorful butterflies. Ging Seng wanted to test her loving capacity under the most adverse circumstances.
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When she ran into the Walker again, she unfolded Kristabel’s persistence, Donna Sumer’s rhythm and Penelope’s patience. Her woman’s heart beat with the potency of a thousand quasars. The Walker was not the same anymore. Nobody knew of their whereabouts after he disappeared on a Monday at the end of the 20th century. What the human race ignored was the foundation of new intergalactic colonies all over the universe. The origin, development, and destiny of such forces was scattered without limits beyond the end of times.

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Kristel’s Oracle

G

ing Seng, among lotus trees and wool songs, planted her love seeds in the palace gardens, in the aromatized rooms of the geishas, in the ports of sandal and marine fog, in the brick roads of the Empire. Her sweet and volatile melody filled the Fukuyama with echoes and messages; it reached the edges of frozen rivers, the depths of ancestral snow, figurative mural paintings, brimming with cynical and sashaying signs. Without mermaid’s chants it occupied the bazaar, the water, the dances, the martial arts school, the Red Sun temple, and the fantastic kimono; the sandals, the sake, and the primal image. There was a mournful Prince who listened to the sound. Again, legend eventually put aside dreamed reality, and the encounter was fatal for life and for death.
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An ethereal limbo, extending its arms of frivolity and seriousness, covering with its green breeze the wide horizon of the islands. There was a deliverance. An innumerable and varied ritual, a tsunami that at times decreased in level from the Heavens where the Emperor’s son lived- to the lustrous and radiant Earth -where the Emperor’s son was Master. From the crystal rose and the metal lotus, Kristel was born, with all her Venus essentia emanating from the sea spume. An universal creature of love, earth, sun, and moon. Today, a Princess named Ging Seng orbits the space, governing the illusion of some Prince in love. At night, her face watches us. During the day, her song protects us.

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Teri

T

he Tale Teller has written about the Japanese Ging Seng and her daughter Kristel, famous beauties who amazed ancient warriors and secret emperors. The Tale Teller wrote the stories of Siddartha Gautama’s priestess Karmal, with her exotic eyes and rare ebony color, and that of Queen Ivgav, who ruled Persepolis for twenty years and re-invented the ziggurats as the best place to talk to the stars, primary guardians of the gods. Double-Comb, the Mayan Gifted Ruler, set during his 8th century kingdom the standards to differentiate good poetry from bad moons, strong smiles from rotten personalities, penetrating eyes from eternal happiness.

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In the land of Sekume and Bongwe, south of central Equator in Africa, dancing was the ultimate performance, and singing songs to sadness, the first shield against rivalries, hatred, and love. In the Caribbean, not too long ago, a small storm was born. People could see it from the deep waters, and feel it from the hidden master suites. It is the hour to talk about Teri, the Princess who came from the ocean. She was born with the beauty of both, Ging Seng and Kristel. She was held by the gods while perfecting her character, as a virgin, as a priestess, as a demigod. She was designated Queen of the New World and stars were sent to light her path. Other standards were created to meet her more restrictive expectations on poetry, personality, dance, and singing. Yet, as years passed by, she decided to live as a human being, away from the
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heaven that was created for her. Teri, the Princess, traveled to Earth, where she is now learning, living, and waiting -without searching- for the common prince who also came from the waters.

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Ivgav

F

rom the ziggurats of ancient Syria, astronomers used to make calculations and take measurements of distant and mysterious planets, and, some argue, gave instructions to extraterrestrial visitors who came in flying ships. Behind the mirrors, and against the popular belief of our age, a world created opposite is in motion: antimaterial twins eternally imitating us, whom we cannot hug, pursue, or mimic in return. At the other end of this short dimension of desks, there is a movement of body and energy. Different posters indicate a constellation of heroes destroying a fence: ceramics, banners, plants... and this perennial prose I thought forgotten and dead.
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Cloisters

K

halil Gibran envisioned, prior to his first astral flight, all the future margins of his beloved Persepolis, the majestic celestial city that housed the Royal Palace of Jerjes. In spite of anachronic locations and one or another Arabic poem, Khalil felt a permanent necessity to embrace other deities: Chinese, Japanese, African, and also Hindu. Rare encounter that of the Visionary Poet with an Uncivil and Astral Master, in his pilgrimage to the mountains beyond Mongolia, Khalil met The Enlightened. Birds do not enjoy their flight as much as fish their swimming. Siddartha Gautama knew all the secrets, all the pain, and Zarathustra had to begin his terrible task: “The Buddah, Khalil, the Buddah”.
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Occasionally, the lovers of Happiness meet in the heights of Tibet, in the snowy mountaintop of the Himalayas: one by one they give away pieces of their heart in love to the simple mortals that, avid of caresses and words, look for the aid of the Buddha, or of one of His priestesses.

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Legend
“Woman, be my country” 1. God her dark eyes hypnotize him in an eternal blink he sees how DNA molecules agglutinate in a thick soup to form the beginning of life, in the intemporal plane God’s mind smiles, Noah releases the explorer pigeon which later returns an olive branch in its beak, the Good Thief fears and an earthquake announces the death of a Martyr, infinite arrows hush over the helm of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, Christopher Columbus lands a foot on America
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in a foreign island a French ex-conqueror agonizes, poisoned and another, German, dies by fire, a boy screams in silence in the ovens of Auschwitz, a missile nails the most recent kibutz in the mountains of Dipilto a peasant falls wounded, and a solitary astronaut sees Angels on the hidden face of Luna at this very instant Reality ceases to existand begins the Fantasy of releasing her lips 2. Woman she was not here rain suddenly attacked in the morning bringing a sensation of doom and lust:

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red lips rounded on the napkin midday suns smoked in a rush feet massaged nails done memories creating and recreating a language only she and him understand then it was late old days were no more but in pictures and funny faces: the afternoon Papi slept and they took his hat one quiet night riding imaginary horses gypsies made of light and shade corners nobody knew or remember friends flying heads atop mountains she was here and air became leather pencils became chains touched by strangers no more soft bites on his face no more tongues rolling thirsty mouths
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a drink background romance darkness sorceress magic cloaking them despising cashiers and patrons they built these memories out of paper and stares they built these stares out of paper and old songs selffulfilled prophesies dramatizing the scene a nasty sincerity evoking reality the sweetest caress his hands felt a raging heart pounding desire a simple no a trembling maybe an expiring yes 3. And Country “Ich bin so lang nicht bei dir gewest”
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(I have been away from you for so long) he dreamed his return from a long lasting voyage at the threshold her silhouette awaited he would be born from the darkness to reach the happy seconds her lips provide her eyes gave him the hope and the reason and the passion and the poetry and reality and illusion and the power to love

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Drawing © by Beatriz Caraballo

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Goddess
suddenly, her name acquired the likable sorcery of friendship and Peru, with the wonders of Machu Pichu and Cuzco -the Navel of the Worldbring up a cumulus of ancient images, archaic music, ancestral architecture her face has traveled all those generations to find him here, in front of her dreams, across of her fantasy she longs for beautiful heirs and strong personalities, he theorizes about hideous shadows and golden cities he writes about an inexplicable gemütlichkeit between two

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Dolls
Ixchel and Itzamna, the Creators saw that the children in the world below were suffering anxieties: the Lords of Totonicapan had become cruel and had envy of the children’s ability to be happy The Creators remembered the three Ixtans that had defeated before, in the form of mermaids, these same Lords of Totonicapan Beautiful Quibatzunah was called to the presence of the Creators, they made minute reproductions of her, gave them life and put them inside small boxes of copal, the sacred wood The small dolls were put by Quibatzunah under the children’s beds, thousands of them. During the night the dolls took
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away the worries, and in the morning the children awoke happy again, The Lords of Totonicapan had been defeated once more Today, you can buy these little boxes in Antigua Guatemala, or receive them as a gift from a grateful indian wizard

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IV. Lovelore
“Eso sólo es fuego de tusa” (“That’s just a temporary spark”)
Alberto Roman

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Dawn
I learned to capture the flood of your thoughts with my third mystic eye and discovered in your sparkling darkness the happiness of life the intelligent little voice I am yours forever and came so you could take places where we felt the same words and stones We walked under a topographic sun drilled in a shop that doesn’t exist yet: future called your soft sadness spread with tenderness and realized it was going to write you an astral process still not understood Your dynamic figure, a tall image with a happy forehead
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your infinite face, the dawn of the universe I touched with my sight and quests Your devilish gestures occupy an extensive ambit of this afternoon, and I await the time propitious to the memory to dip into the elementary flames of reality

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Raelian Muse
couples find their way to eyes and lips let us try a third language a hush a touch small steps lead the way five forward one back a jump a lion waiting hunting feed your body parts rotundas laid in three circles spread talc on the blanket buy a soothing oil (the painter’s dog sits by the pool the partner’s niece runs on the walkway their friend towers over the table a customer next door clicks her lashes at me)
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you now fulfill these afternoons an icecube melts the heat in my belly a floating sensation curls the air action is when the body leaves the mind and your arms fall on me like algae in the sea of my skin action is when my lips rediscover your shoulder when an embrace closes this rite when you smile standing in the threshold opening the door to another passage

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Dusk
I bring you cigarettes, nights, and money the snobbism of our lives is not such as far as love is concerned your skin, close to a thunder, is as silent as a monk’s retreat we seek all that is clear and strange in poems, darkness, smoke this rare lovers love is felt in the deep breeze is hidden, unbelonging, clandestine like a fight emerges from the levelness of the fog hugs us with beauty, makes us wish we drowned together on the way despite of facts, situations, and words despite the thoughtful kiss with which we sealed our night
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I distrust of the vibrant force that might make your freedom to become chained to my prison

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Midnight
Saturdays have her aroma, darkened autos dance and jump on still ponds invading cobblestones my poles feel the soft light of her body my flying foot runs on the pedal my eyes arrive to her hair nights are thirsty days are absent of life words emerge like distant echoes in a funny dream that makes her laugh we depart, sail together without falling on dense conditions we cross the city conclusions take us to open days substituted with origins to a closed sun adorned with water drops to a linear winter spread on the skin to a cigar of sobs smoked in the nothing to a death of things received without pain
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without minutes, without rancor to a warm hand caressing defoliated heavens to some broken words sounding with furious calm we laugh and dimly smile with whelming light storms we cross the complicated contents of multiple electrical connections between us

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Afternoon
I am better off like this in my hill I feel secure without anxieties without disturbances almost happy and almost sad almost loved and almost alive you tell me with reason I am almost a man at my age I am a person of averages calms and circumstances thank you for the happiness you offered and I almost enjoyed thank you for the energy that amazed me and I almost tasted thank you for your concern, inspiration and care I almost appreciated five, ten or twenty years from now I will not remember you but full, whole solid
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the grace of my imagination paired with the force of your present will make me feel completely this love together we knew, developed, and enjoyed almost

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Eclipse
“Who, then, devised the torment? Love.” T.S. Elliot, “Little Gidding”

I tried to peacefully corrode my bones seating at the macabre covent where the witches of Salem gathered somber landscapes abound in Nindiri, a noisy cemetery, talking skulls I breathed the lights at the skirts of the Santiago volcano my bones didn’t emerge to my skin she had surfaced long ago towards papers and chests the National University was assaulted by soldiers and guards

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I relentlessly remember how the moon used to shake when contacting gigantic dogs my reasoning drowned in her dark red lips trembling for her figure my body approached its astral matter, her eyelashes reflected on my glasses, I learned about oblique woods and southern swamps listening her warm smile I realized her archaic memory lived within me snow lay on the sand, waters of the Masaya lagoon rapidly advanced and backed off on a shady rocky beach, laying on a green towel, my hands ran her contour only you and I remained, tremulous liberating ourselves of all lies created to escape together
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behind the dust and the clouds, a number of things, keys and calendars stopped being to us an eternal magnet, an electric current, an ignorant diapason stubbornly imagining us deluged before jumping into the water everything is gone and my serene profile reflects itself on the pavement on which I sit wondering calling you, far away crystals, whining and workmen were no more than daily echelons in the pursuit of common goals thinking of your clothes, the class break or your lipstick in my handkerchief, feeling your hush while playing on the air, traveling nocturnal kilometers holding your hand, your chin on my shoulder
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I have howled through drunk fields, demolished rocks’ thrusts, eaten veins and tusks, walked acute villages and broken speeds, looked for you all over my house, not finding a celestial trace, a shattered footstep, a dormant beehive in agony, leaves of terror I have meandered impatiently through the blood that surrounds me, I have thrown fusils and empty rumors, I have pronounced your name quietly and also outloud all was in vain, my hammers also got tired so I started the absurd reconstruction, the daily bridge that brings me to your fruits I inexorably arrive despite your legs running away I come piece by piece despite your drowned shouts
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I penetrate your seed above humid footsteps behold, don’t run away, I will hunt distant verses, the insolent aim that depicts your abandonment and shows me the exactness of your fragrance

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Out of the Doldrums
“in a dark time, the eye begins to see” Theodore Roethke, “In a Dark Time”

and I don’t know what came firstmy boredom looking at her body, or my hatred feeling her wordsbut when the time came to leave, my eyes were dry, awakened, and in a last spasm these legs were able to rise and walk the telephone kept on ringing behind me

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Rough Sketch
to Carmen Rodriguez, Mima he grasped the sparks emanating from her green eyes reflected in the mirror followed ethereal metallic wings that gently caressed her hands and felt solid he revered her womanly vigor childish innocence voice of ancient goddess, this infatuating figure his pencil drew he loved her things and the etiquette that one day surpassed his resolution and terror he finally succumbed to her indifference and buried in the depths his crazy ideas, traded gift of truth for silent moan
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supplanted imaginary kiss with tense embrace he guessed her fear and rejection the need for a stiff hug the hurdles in her dream smile to an imaginary man with an overlapped life she wanted to unfold her rhymes, complete her verses time transfigured her reminded him day by day the futility of her ruined hope the absurdity of his fantasy the immense happiness of that envisioned Avalon the unfinished Cithera in which she was Queen and he a devoured man
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V.

Remember Altagracia?

En la numerosa penumbra, el desconocido se creerá en su ciudad y lo sorprenderá salir a otra, de otro lenguaje y de otro cielo. In the numerous darkness, the foreigner will believe himself in his city and it will stupefy him to find another, from a different language and a different sky. Jorge Luis Borges

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Condega Town
“a stream runs through my mind amber honey and beeswax coat my mouth” Richard Weakley, “A Stream Through the Mind”

E

ach time I went to buy tortillas, I repeated in my mind the recommendations of my mother, “One peso or tortillas, and come back quickly, I don’t want you to stay playing on the streets”. But after a while I only remembered the first part, so on my way back, since I had to walk by the plaza, where everyday the boys of my town were playing with spin tops and flying kites, crossing it was like a torture to me. I would approach the guy who had the highest kite and ask him to lend it to me for a moment, because it was cool. I
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remember the feeling of the rope between my fingers, the wind pulling me, suddenly it starts to fall, “pull it! Pull it! You dummy!” and I pull, I give some rope, pull again, until it reaches the desired height. In the distance I see my cousin approaching, waving his hands, snapping his fingers, announcing a storm, “you son of a gun, they’re gonna kill you this time, your mother says it was an hour ago she sent you for the tortillas!” My face blushes hot, my body itches all over, I’m back to reality in a shock, cold air running through my lungs. I pick up the tortillas from the ground, clean the few that fell off the napkin... Back home a different world awaits me, yells, spanks, weeping, “don’t cry mister, don’t cry!” a gnarl in my throat, tears... but I don’t cry.

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Picnic With Father
I did not swim in the c a s c a d e I did not h e h t b m i c l
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that morning I only had eyes for the
l t l i t e a t n s c a l n r w i g u n d e r n e a t h,

I went crazy climbing

the of

big t

branches

h

e

s i c o m o r e
and at the end of the day I
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my sight in l r i g e d n o l b e ♥ t t l h e l i t

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Bread Man
hen I was a child, days began at eight or nine in the morning. I was still too young for school, so I enjoyed the luxury of waking up late. When I started elementary school though, it was a different story. I had to ride public buses for an hour before arriving at school. I used to get up so early, at about six a.m. It was then that I saw him for the first time. Bread Man arrived in his bicycle at six or five thirty in the morning. The felt hat slanted to the right, his pants tied with a rubber band at the cuff so they wouldn’t be caught in the bike’s chain. A big basket in the back seat with a huge table cloth wrapping the varied pieces of bread he sold: French bread, monkey fingers, large loaves, small ones, semitas, triangles, all warm, right out of the carbon oven his wife had at home. Eating that bread with real, homemade butter, soaked in cafe
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con leche, was a heavenly breakfast, with frijolitos, love eggs, you know, real eggs, made by hen and rooster, with a brown shell, good sized, orange-yellow yolk. Not like the ones we swallow today, all pale like if they had leukemia. But when Panaderia Jumbo, the Jumbo Bread Factory opened in the late sixties to early seventies, all that changed. The owner, some Deutch immigrant who spoke funny, had brought all that modern machinery from Holland. He opened the factory in the middle of the barrio. Some people were happy to work in a clean environment making more money than what they were used to, wearing a distinctive uniform with the word “Panaderia Jumbo” threaded on their chest. So, Bread Man started to lose clientele. It wasn’t necessary anymore to madrugar, to wake up at 5 in the morning in order to buy bread. The Jumbo squarish, white pieces
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were available any time, day or night in many pulperias, neighborhood grocery stores. You could store it longer without it getting hard as a rock. It was cheaper and they had a wide variety of types also, all of Bread Man’s and some more; different shapes, colors, and flavors. When I entered seventh grade, Bread Man had stopped delivering. I don’t recall why by brother and I remembered him once and wondered his whereabouts. We decided to visit his house on the other side of the creek. We rode our bikes and got there. It was his house alright, but he didn’t live there anymore. Some unknown tenant was there, he had moved out and away, the old man said, I don’t know where. “I bought his property very cheap, including his oven and molds”. And he showed them proudly, like trophies hanging on the wall. The oven, dusty, with spider webs, and little bugs; the bicycle with flat tires, the headlamp broken, the seat torn out.
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Where are you Bread Man? Where did Herr Gerster drove you to? Did you go back to your loved mountains in Matagalpa? Are you delivering bread to the saints in Heaven?

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The Gigantess
“In the swamp in secluded recesses, a shy and hidden bird is warbling a song” Walt Whitman, “When Lilacs Last in the Door and Bloomed”

D

uring Holy Week, we used to go to church each day. Even if we spent the whole seven days at my uncle’s house at Huehuete Beach Town, we still went to church every day. It was an old town chapel, with old saints, like Mayan temples, rotten benches, and a million holes on the stucco walls. Monday through Thursday, it was okay to play, and run, and sing. But Friday, ay, ay, ay, nobody could talk, or run, or play. That day Jesus had died thousands of years before. The streets would be empty like a desert and the day hot as if the sun itself had descended to earth. You wouldn’t
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see drunkards on the streets, or cars, or horses; all cows would be kept within corrals, and it was forbidden to fly kites, spit on the ground, and take a sunbath. Saturday, mock figures of Judas would appear hanging from light poles along the road. Peasants would put big tree trunks on the pavement to restrain cars from circulating. Monday through Thursday were the Gigantess days, la Gigantona. My little brother was afraid of her. She was preceded by a host of noisy boys and girls throwing small rocks at her long skirt, laughing, dancing. A small group of men, probably paying promises to some Saint of their devotion, marched in front of La Gigantona, playing tin drums and trumpets. Taa! Taa! Taa! Tum! Tum!, Taa! Taa! Taa! Tum! Tum! After each round of drums and music, these men alternated to recite rhyming poems, four lines each, ridiculing a prominent political figure or the economic situation of the country. A
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group of shabby dogs completed the escort of La Gigantona, who kept shaking her 12 feet high body, with long, loose arms moving as if swimming in the air. When the revolutionary government came to power, they tied this tradition to the Catholic Holy Week celebrations, and since they did not believe in God, all those who attempted to revive La Gigantona were accused of traitors, counterrevolutionaries, and imperialists. Most men that used to play the drums and trumpets were sent to the mountains to fight some “crazy, idealistic idiots opposing the new government”. They were sent to defend a revolution with no meaning to them, under the orders of “internationalist brothers”. The children, if not dead of hunger, were recruited to be a part of the Civilian Militia. Instead of learning how to read, they learned how to fire a machine gun, denounce their parents, and “give their life for the revolutionary directorate”.
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Back in a hidden patio, behind a tight curtain of pine trees and madroΖos, the woman who played La Gigantona, still keeps her costume. She cleans it every year, wears it, and dances, and sings, and tells jokes to herself about the comandantes and a revolution that took away her yearly reason of living. We can still hear her dancing Taa! Taa! Taa! Tum! Tum!, Taa! Taa! Taa! Tum!

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The Knife Sharpener
atching the Knife Sharpener was awesome. All those sparks jumping wildly from his spinning stone wheel, like fire works in a miniature sky at the rear of his bicycle. Like a thousand comets appearing and disappearing at his will. He usually came on Saturdays afternoon. Our maid was already awaiting his arrival, a bunch of knives, ice picks, and blades on her lap. Even Grandma’s scissors made it to the process. He never said many words. “Will you sharpen today, Mrs. Lopez?” “Yes, here you are”. He then turned his bike upside down, used the rear wheel and the pedals to generate speed for his ambulatory sharpening store. Spinning, spinning around, hypnotizing the guys from the
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barrio. A tough one puts his hand on the sparks, “they don’t burn, try it!, he who doesn’t is a maric∴n!” , the water dripping to the ground, all the eyes avoiding his gaze, nobody wants to try. Silence. The metallic sound like razors fighting, saws singing, shrieking ravens flying away, scared. The Knife Sharpener belongs to a large gallery of personalities long gone from the barrio. Carbon Man, Shoe Shine Boy, Curly Oldman, Paperboy, etc. There is no market to sharpen knives or scissors anymore. My Grandma, Abuelita, died in 74 and no one inherited her ability to craft clothes. It is easier to buy them at Sears or Letty’s, and if you don’t like them, you can always return them. The new stainless steel and electroplate knives are more durable, almost immortal. If they ever lose edge, Mom may prefer to buy a new one or a complete set, for that matter. Yes, massively produced.
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The gardener’s machete sits in a corner of the patio, rusting. There is no sharpener to take care of it. No grass to cut, everything is a concrete slab now, you know. No green in our hearts, just cement and memories. Only the wheel spinning in the brain, and the sparks burning my longing.

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Siblings
to my sister Lani

Altagracia was a quiet neighborhood like seawaves in the distance, slowly running in opposite directions, spume dissipating in the blue, seagulls submerging their beaks, a fish quivering its death but we were not supposed to talk about it, we were expected to shut up and sleep: the night an inhuman figure materialized on the street window watching from the bedroom the night father vomited in the bathroom
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listening to pain and anger the day you passed me Amelia’s first love letter, undiscovered, warm, innocent guarding the secret we were not supposed to talk point complain we were expected not to break the visitor’s fingers nor to steal certain friend’s toys we were to play in the attic, walk on the cornice fifteen feet above ground, slam the door on the beggar’s face, we were the ones, we were the two.
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Father’s Home
“Often in thought go up and down the pleasant streets of that dear old town, and my youth comes back to me” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “My Lost Youth”

T

his is my parent’s house, hence mine, ours. It is located at the edge of the city, where there is no pavement, no bus routes, no taxis. Some would say it is at the end of civilization. My father has to walk each day about four miles from the point where the bus drops him off, to the house’s porch. The barrio is known as Altagracia. Towards the south, or the mountain, there are woods, and a small rural village. Towards the north, or the lake, there is a large dry canal that crosses the entire neighborhood, large planted fields extend beyond my sight. During heavy rains it overflows and the water destroys everything. Towards the east or arriba,
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uptown, there are some haciendas with cattle, and more woods. We get the daily milk from one of these haciendas, in wood wagons pulled by old oxen, or bueyes. Towards the west, or abajo, downtown, a lot of houses, and the brim of the eternal city of Managua. It is the year 1954. My father is celebrating my birth, he’s getting drunk for almost a week now. He has to work every day in that little store he rents in the downtown. He repairs TV sets, refrigerators, radios, and all kind of electric appliances. He learned by correspondence and has an assistant, Julio, who is his apprentice. Saturdays and Sundays, father works in the house. It has a little porch, a small family/living room. Two bedrooms that share a common bathroom. In the back, there is the kitchen/dining/utility room. A large patio, or so it seemed all those years I lived there, completes the house, enclosed by a sixfoot high block wall. Eventually lots of trees will grow here. The guava tree, where the
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swing is, the same I am allergic to. The mango tree, the one that gives enormous fruits, colored in yellow, green, orange and purple. The whispering pines, the plantains, the green oranges, the lemon trees, the almond tree, and many others forming a penetrable jungle where we all play together or alone. Saturdays and Sundays he keeps building with his bare hands a little piece of the house. One day he completes the roof, the windows, and the doors. Another, he paints walls, installs electrical connections, plumbing fixtures, and excavates the septic tank. My mother watches after us, we got to be seven kids, five girls and two boys. Two maids help her out, one is pregnant, and the other has twelve children. One day, he will build a second story, with two bedrooms, one for me, one for my elder sister, Lani, who will always keep it locked, singing Elvis Presley songs and dancing nude. I will keep mine
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locked too, in revenge, writing love letters to my ten year old novia, girlfriend, who I will never kiss or even hold hands with. Don Antonio, the neighbor cattycornered, comes to help him once in a while. He has seven children too, but one of them is ill. She doesn’t speak and spends her entire day babbling, smiling strangely, her saliva falling from her mouth, her innocent eyes looking lovingly to yours. One day, he will finish the garage, big enough for three cars, that will eat up a large chunk of the patio, but what the hell, we have too many trees anyway, and we now need two cars, and the ping pong table has no place, but here. Two iron doors can keep the chogotes, the bums, from asking for food too much, (Lani and I will smuggle it to them anyway), and with a proper roof this can be another play area for the kids. In 1972, the second story will be destroyed by the earthquake, we will have moved out the month before to the newest house,
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which was also semi-destroyed by the earthquake. But my dreams, remembrances, fears and happy moments will remain in the house of Altagracia. Its block walls, fixed glass windows, zinc roof, wooden second story, all copied from an American blueprint bought by mail, will accompany me forever. This is the womb I came from, the uterus I grew up in, the open arms and the strong hand holding my child years. There will never be another house.

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Terra Incognita
I was born in a city that is not Miami it had a barrio with dirt streets and wandering dog packs there were gray cows and carts pushed by dingy kids there were blind, limping beggars and peep toms in the back yards there was a canal overflowed with filthy waters and garbage and small plank shacks about to fall apart there was a paper boy with chellings in a leather bag and barefooted girls with tortilla baskets on their heads there was a knife sharpener and a fat bread baker, both on bicycle there was a neighbor with a retarded daughter and a married one
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there were hogs playing on the mud and a poet dreaming with Victor Hugo there were convenience stores brimming with tin toys and candy and wagons with milk containers pulled by a pair of drooling oxen there were schools for the pauper and a meager Catholic church there was the Vatican Embassy surrounded by masonry walls and Mercedes Benzes and the nearby Pious XII School where I kissed for the first time I often ask myself what animals would my sling shot have hunt had I been born in Madagascar or what games would I have played had some Stevenson replaced Jose or what buses would I have raided had the Metro Paris run by the corner of my house or what moons would I have admired with Amelia had some Edvika Krηger been my friend
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I ignore what innumerable destinies I would have lived inside tired bodies or hostile places or what arrows nailed my silent chest or what Arab fighters cut my right hand I know this longing stare would accompany me in arduous combat and all solitary roads in Cairo already took me to Gnosos and Karnak I know my fingers drawed those faint buffaloes in Altamira and in a remote place of Alpha Centauri, Tahor showed me the Sacred Crystal on which The Spirit revealed to him the Holy Secrets of the Cosmic Mind

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Epilogue
Poetic practice can be a dangerous game or a perpetuating way of life. We manifest in verse form dreams not accomplished and crude realities. To the mystic, a poem is essence. To the practical, a waste of energy. To the poet, a source of force. To the masses a boring form of expression. Is it a Cosmic Mission? Is it a legacy? Is it a pastime? Is it to be shared? Each poet has his or her own motives to write, and to me that is good enough. My mother, Vilma, gave me my first book of poetry. My father, Adolfo, gave me my first book of science. Both write poems. My uncle, Alberto, gave me my first book of science-fiction. He also wrote prose.
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This tool, poetry, has been with me ever since. In it, science and letters blend. Poetry relates me to others and to myself. I learned to write in order to survive. D.L. Miami, Florida 1996

Epilogue 2
Quite often, time passes by us. We watch people, events, things, places, opportunities, and our own selves walking by. Paralyzed, we acknowledge the passage of time-space and do nothing to accomplish our dreams. This book took a long time to see the light. It is finally here. I read somewhere, “so many books, so little time”. This is true regarding the reading of books, but also the writing of them. D.L. Detroit, Michigan 2000

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Epilogue 3
Of all my books in the English language, this is my favorite. It offers a wide angle view of my poetry from its early beginnings in the 1970s to my search of the 1990s. It also closes a cycle and opens a new one. Where it will lead me, I do not know. This is the good thing about poetry, it is a continuous journey to the outside world, and to the inside self. Poetry reconciles both, and makes them one. I believe in a poetry without compromises, perhaps because I have made so many myself. I believe in a poetry that will raise our spiritual standards as human beings. I hope these writings and tryouts contribute a little bit to bring joy to those who have the patience to read them. D.L., Dallas, Texas 2004

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Born in Nicaragua in 1954, Danilo Lopez resided in Miami, Florida from 1985 through 2002, and moved to Dallas, Texas in 2003. His work has been published in English and Spanish in many literary magazines throughout the United States and abroad. An architect, poet, anthologist, and translator he is currently searching for new art forms.

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