Sobre la poesía

This was a poem I wrote in 1981, that I liked then and still do, but that needs context to be comprehensible. At what point do poems expire, speaking only to their own age? At what point does a text that interests its writer become interesting to another? I never thought of this level of poem as something to publish, but others are less modest than I.

SIMBOLO DE PERUANIDAD

The Chancay face has a curved eye and stands
among cumbias and guayaberas
(imported and contraband)
in the crowds by the jukebox sounding
CON TU AMOR
dreaming in bars the gods are silent
but they rise

As La Tapada stood with one veiled eye
among the flowers of a National Palace dream
(il faudrait du vert à cette place, dit-il)
Miss Peru wore Maybelline
no somos de aquí they said
the President lives abroad
and the eyeless face walks
backward down the road PERDÓNAME

Carnaval: a day to show your desire
–-Spanish costumes French style
I WANNA BE YOUR NUMBER ONE
me dijo, y me llevó hasta Estados Unidos, qué lindo–-
We’re proud Incas
only foreign investment will save Peru
no somos de aquí

The Chancay face with shaded eyes diffused
among a wig and satin cross
in the offices with the jukebox sounding
TODO SE DERRUMBÓ
from lawn chairs we call them comfortably
name the gods our real selves
as though they were here

The Chancay face has shells as eyes and turns
among imported and smuggled the cumbias and guayaberas
counting small coins–
OH QUIERO DORMIR CANSADO
Curves his eye
on an embroidered girl
as though we were here
gone but we are here
Krugerrands in an offered hand unseen–-
fingers cut through the bone

Marzo 1981: SÍMBOLO DE PERUANIDAD era la eslogan de Petroperú y se citan canciones de Juan Gabriel, Blondie y Camilo Sesto que andaban en las radios. Se inspira en un poster que había para promover el turismo de culturas antiguas, que tenía una máscara de Chancay.

Axé.

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