cante chico/toque jondo [baile fuego/ceniza pa' ti]
[6 march 2010]

“Con toda palabra
Con toda sonrisa
Con toda mirada
Con toda caricia
Me acerco al fuego
Que todo lo quema
La luz de tu cara
La luz de tu cuerpo”

—Lhasa de Sela, “Con toda palabra”


We must be missing some pieces
We must be missing some pieces
We must be all of us
These images
Emerging gradually through
Aesthetics of fitting
Aesthetics of fitness
Pieces fitting in
To place
Images materialize
Your face
My face
Edges rubbed smooth, machined to fit
To fitness
To fittest
While outside the image, along the periphery
Field of vision:
Missing pieces
Missing links
Broken chains of evolutionary
Holes in the logic
Ad hominem plugs in dikes of fear
A tiny puncture
A spreading sliver
Ruptured cracks
Leaking ocean
Finger fitting
     —not quite—
Not quite a fitting end to this,
but—it will do
Image emerging/
A salty wash:


Several of them standing over fire in the night
The poet knows the source of this fire in the night
The poet knows the fire gods
I recognize you
I honor you
The histories here
The interactions of species that drive
     —they whisper—
A propulsive force
A relational force
The poet adapts to the species of fire
To scorpions and possums and panthers and bats
Thickens portions of the brain
The poet raises the threshold of pain
Approaches the fire and sings in the night
Approach this fire and dance and sing
Breathe in heat
The lungs, the heart
The blood
The feet
The poet’s blood a constant
A sometimes
A never
The poet sees the history of secret
The poet recognizes you, invisible gods,
Walking to the bus stop
Walking along concrete river beds
Sees you there in all your works
Breathes you in
Exhales your song
To create the world
To sing the world complete
Spiral dance of concrete and calloused feet
An incantation that chips
Steel and glass
     —palmas clap—
A million million tiny cracks
Hairlines splinter
Ruins spread
Decaying façade
     —a true fraud—
Invisible to these naked eyes—

But I feel the seams between each piece
The poet feels the seams there between each piece
Tapping feet
A blindness that sees
A voice, a silence that bleeds and seeks
A pressure point
A single touch
A complete collapse
     —another gap—
Each missing piece a shattering
A suturing to the bones of
All these breathing









image+text copyright ©2010 by Ruben R. Mendoza. All rights reserved.

contact: p.o. box 861843 • los angeles, ca 90086
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