El tipo me dice que Allende iba demasiado rápido. Que el país no estaba listo para tanto cambio (a pesar de haberlo elegido democráticamente, supongo). Y que por eso Pinochet. Que se explica así. Que él viene de campo, de una familia de derecha, que él sí los entiende, que algo se tenía que hacer frente a lo que hacía Allende, solo que al final dice, la cura fue peor que la enfermedad.

Dice que nunca ha ido al Museo de la Memoria y de Derechos Humanos aunque sea cerca y gratuita. Piensa que sería demasiado triste.
I was in the desert. It seemed like New Mexico. A river nearby, trees with scraggly, gnarled trunks and thin, tiny leaves that gave no shade. I was driving through the desert on a long road trip. It felt like I was driving from Houston to California. I pulled over and parked the car in a kind of state park, but right at the entrance by a wooden sign. I went to eat some food, and then walked back. I stopped under a tree and it started raining and on the other side of the river or creek, there were little houses and kids running in and out, the doorways blocked by sheets or not blocked at all. People were staring at me, but not in an aggressive way, just out of curiosity. I headed back to my car and as I got closer saw that all my bags were half in the car and half out. I ran to the back and saw my backpack and my suitcase open and ruffled through. I must have left the doors unlocked. I opened my wallet and all the cards, everything was missing. And as I got in the car I saw I had a ticket for $100. It said $100 in big letters with lots of check marks. I got in the car, jumped on the freeway and frantically called the card company but I couldn't remember the bank number. I remembered an old bank 800 number from the 90s and called it, but the man on the other end only handled bank business in the Phillippines so since I dont live in the Phillippines, he couldn't help me. I was trying to copy down the number for my bank, but I couldn't hear him well and I kept forgetting what I was trying to write down when I opened my eyes and realized—very thankfully—that I wasn't in fact robbed and I didn't have to pay a parking ticket or deal with the chaos of a stolen wallet.
In Houston, 18 - 34 year olds are only 32% white, non-Hispanic.


And income for this age group has plummeted by about $10,000 since 1980.


More info here.
(Quepa este paréntesis: pese a la variedad, nada encontrarás aquí, oh, lector exigente de esos poetas que se proponen, con toda la ingenuidad de la que son capaces —es mucha—, hablarle al pueblo con la tosca sintaxis que le suponen inherente: ni de esos otros que, invocando su experiencia bidimensional del mundo, nos presentan un escueto catálogo de aflicciones —en el que sólo hay variantes de una misma, melancólica acedía— que como mucho se propone humedecer el lagrimal de sus tías más sensibles).

- Daniel Saldaña París, del prólogo de Doce en punto: Poesía chilene reciente
The move in Language poetry was not that the reader was necessarily co-equal to the poet, but was at least an active bottom.

- Vanessa Place. More here.
This poem by Juan Felipe Herrera:

And if the man with the choke-hold pulls the standing man down 

Why does he live and if the dead man is gone why does he rise and 

Why is there a clicking sound the sound the soul makes when it leaves

read in conjunction with this new report from SinEmbargo.mx

Ciudad de México, 6 de diciembre (SinEmbargo/Zeta).– El silencio como estrategia para disminuir las ejecuciones, secuestros y desapariciones, no le funcionó al gobierno de Enrique Peña Nieto. Ni el discurso oficial que pregonan los funcionarios peñistas aquel de “incidencia delictiva a la baja”. Semanario Zeta actualizó el registro de ejecuciones en los primeros 23 meses de gobierno de Enrique Peña Nieto y los resultados son desalentadores. Se documentó que del 1 de diciembre de 2012 al 31 de octubre de 2014 sucedieron en el país 41 mil 015 homicidios dolosos, cifra que incluye las “ejecuciones”, “enfrentamientos”, “homicidios-agresiones”, los homicidios dolosos producto del narcomenudeo y los asesinatos intencionales cometidos con arma de fuego de alto calibre o con el tiro de gracia; evidentemente, los datos duros son superiores a las 33 mil 239 “averiguaciones previas” por homicidio doloso que reporta el gobierno federal en el mismo lapso. 
Need to, want to read these:

THEY KEPT KILLING HIM by David Borzutzky

and then these articles on the St. Louis-based Temporary Art Review:

State of the Art: A Social Response

The Hand That Takes: An Indictment of Ferguson

The Ferguson ARTrising
Yo soy yo y mis circunstancias.

- José Ortega y Gasset
christian yr pulling
and im pulling
and we are in the air
rising and rising
on cables hanging
and our bodies are
disintegrating, guts
falling into the bound-
less air below us


Black poets speak out. 

Here is a roundup of the poems on a site with links to the work: Cultural Front.

Each video of a poem starts with "I am a black poet who will not remain silent while this nation murders black people. I have a right to be angry." 

Here is Jericho Brown's poem. He was one of the people who started the hashtag.

And Danez Smith.

And a great one from Douglas Kearney and then this one of Khadijah Queen reading a poem by Harryette Mullen with powerful video accompaniment.

Hard times everywhere. Black lives matter. And Black art matters.

This morning, I woke up to a text message I received last night. 

"I wonder if you are sitting and watching live feeds from ferguson too."

And last night, I wasn't. I saw the news. I read some Aimé Césaire poems. I went to sleep. I dreamt of translating poems. And woke up with those dreams swirling in my head.

This morning, I found that message and Ferguson came rushing in. And I listened to the radio reports. Read the online news. 

And then went back to a book of poems I've been reading. Shane McCrae's book of poetry, Blood.

And something about spending time with his words brought back the enormity of the situation. The fact that, as I read in a friend's post online, it's not the riots that are the great risk or the greatest threat, it's the possibility of more Darren Wilsons.

You stab a man you      break his skull

you want that man to see you

That man won't know he's      / Nothing

if he can't look you in the eye

Reading online of Wilson's testimony: this demon he imagined had been unleashed upon him. The desperation and the mania Wilson imagined in the body, the face, the arms of Michael Brown. The depth of white fear. The shocking, irrepressible white ability to imagine and re-imagine the possibility of danger in a black body.

McCrae has a poem in the voice of a free black soldier during the Civil War era. This voice says:

One day we stopped a train took    Yankee / Money

I held my rifle on a Yankee

soldier he    just looked at me so scared

Like he never knew / What a rifle was

until he saw one in my hands

It seems Wilson was afraid because—as officers always say in these murder cases—he thought he saw Brown reach for his waistband. Even the possibility of a gun in a black hand is overwhelming. The possibility makes for a reasonable fear in the eyes of that grand jury. The possibility is enough to make murder justifiable in the eyes of the law.

The videos I saw online have interviews with witnesses to the murder. They talk about the injustice represented by the amount of time Brown's body spent on the ground. How could they leave his body there so long. How could they not cover his body with something. There were children around, they say. One woman said the blood was red at first. Then, the blood stayed there so long on the pavement that it turned black.

And blood sprayed from the artery

A rose

like if the Lord had stopped

making in the middle of mak-

ing red


and never made their boundaries


As Autumn Knight says in this video: Hard times everywhere.

Autumn Knight: in-situ artist in –residence (006) 2014 from PeopleStaring on Vimeo.


Black lives matter. And Black art matters. And helps.
I was harming others with my lack of mindfulness, and when I realized how much, I was horrified. 

- Carolyn Zaikowski from Meditation, Mindfulness, and Writing: A Conversation at Entropy
Something about posting on this blog feels so much better than posting on the Feisbúc. On FB, I get anxious about the immediacy of the response (this text illustrates this feeling). If I post something, it emotionally weighs on my whole day. I wonder how it is being received, who is reading it, what they think. I start frantically checking the FB to see how what I wrote is being received or not received. I get anxious and stuck. Here, I post something and it disappears (like most thoughts do anyway). And then randomly, someone will say, Oh, I love your blog in a general kind of way and their comment adds flame to the fire.