Three Poems by Santiago Vizcaíno
this sheet of paper can cut off your head
this sheet of paper can cut off your head.
penetrate your mind like the corpse of a pig.
we laugh, we empty ourselves of angst / we hide our deformity.
eternity sharpens its knife & gleams.
so many infertile mountains / only lizards. and mosquitos unsettled by an imaginary rain,
but in truth desert / wolves skinned by the sun.
here the inebriated masses.
here the mooncalf tottering like a tinsel skirt.
here we celebrate sadness, sir.
we sleep on the sidewalks worn of chicha and aguardiente.
beer doesn’t cure the hangover / it sweetens it.
if we are lost, no reason to show us the way.
don’t bother / you could get hurt.
this sheet of paper can cut off your head.
this is not a howl / it’s the cry of a decrepit ancient.
because the party, a saying of the body.
because the party, a desire never fulfilled.
oh, do we dance among the smoking flesh.
oh, the laughter & the violence.
& the weeping / a cascade, lava.
this disguise can show you my face,
the double visage of my countenance.
but we are many / you could get hurt.
there’s no day or night that calms the thirst.
where does this path lead to / do you know?
join us, fluttery hummingbird / trembling body.
ignite yourself as well / dry branch
but what the hell does this damned music go on about
who is it for / who is witness to its drumming
stamp your feet through life / stamp your feet.
here there is contained joy about to explode.
maybe it’s not music,
just a child hurt by hunger and weariness.
we take him out for a walk.
Cuenca, no more
To Luis Borja Corral,
valiant little gremlin
They said not to smoke and we smoked.
It was the fury.
Two corpses alit in a taciturn Athens.
I was no longer man, but ridiculous. I learned that friendship is “splendor of the instant”.
We were reading each other,
reading and beating our minds
one against the other.
What a beautiful battle of egos,
of quotations, of bad translations of ourselves.
They said not to drink, and we drank.
We walked inebriated through the damp city streets
like two foxes lost on the asphalt.
And we ate the world’s most delicious cuy,
licking our fingers,
downing that salty peace with a fifth of patucha pecho
as it should be.
They said not to get high and we got high.
We were happy inhaling,
or rather, inspiring the envy of the sober.
But there was someone else:
I quote him: “If one drinks, if one drinks
again, if one drinks until they hit the ground they must rise up
and continue drinking until they behold the Dragon.”
The Fakir is my pastor.
They said not to vomit and we did.
Into the live ford of the Tomebamba River, we vomited.
The wine came up like blood.
Spring of blood wine from the dark gorge.
Like that song, or rather like the video: Pass This On.
They said to fuck, and we didn’t fuck.
We raped an imaginary woman, daviliana,
who broke a bottle
just at the instant of the kiss.
But we did not suffer.
We wept from the zealous passion of bliss.
Like an incandescent pill.
They said to catch the flight, and we didn’t. Because memory fogged over.
Pleasure’s hangover remains.
Moribund body, post-partum depression.
Nostalgia for the wave that thrashed us about.
And here I lie on the sand.
because I drank I lost myself in noisy nights sweating cold cups of ale and urinating on filthy cots while women regarded my bloodless and wasted member. because I drank I didn’t see paris and I wasn’t there for my mother’s birthday. because I drank I was escorted to the cell of memory. and I paid for it dearly. I drank until the days became one. my 30 years were also lost to me. because I drank I met a woman who destroyed my neck. because I drank I lost her. I’ve argued. I’ve beaten walls. I’ve loved the solitude when everyone has gone and a fateful morality fills my house with rage and my bed with the miraculous semen of deformed ghosts. because I drank I have sweetly slumbered for twenty-four hours straight. because I drank I have friends who are murderers, grave robbers, pickpockets, stymied soccer-players, karaoke singers, gorgeous transvestites, sociologists devoted to the social drug. because I drank I have been institutionalized between white walls. they have stuck probes up my penis. they have stabbed me on the sidewalk. they have laughed at my dwarf-like body. because I drank I suffered from a stormy sensitivity. I wanted to escape but I had to embrace god. so I preferred death. because by drinking, I have been happy and have conceived ecstasy like a premature child. because by drinking, everything is now clear day through the honey of stinking breath.