Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Four themed poems by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

Four poems
by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal


At the heart of his monumental images
Indigenous laborers polish jades
In the sparkling sun

Bronze-skinned artisans
Wearing pink corn necklaces
Stand out in the "book of vision"

Green, black, and gold-feathered birds
Soar through azure skies
Forging the origin of songs

The scaffold long removed
The passion of the muralist remains
Here, holding us



This is my cave painting
For the world:
A mad man speaking
The truth about
The wilderness
In his mind,
Where ghosts speak
In familiar voices.
Shadows leap in
And out under
A moon about
To drop into the ocean.

No buffaloes,
No dinosaurs,
No emperors,

But cars,
Gas stations, and
Bombs in this cave.

Crows on wires
Leave their mark
On the roofs
Of Hummers.

Trying to get
These words down
Before sleep
Comes to my eyes.

In the morning
I will rise and
Speak to human beings
Whose reality
Is a devil's voice
Or God's voice,
Giving them messages
As they drool and tremble
From overmedication,
Their bowel and bladder
Bursting out of control.

This is my cave painting
For the world.
I would like to see
More from you.



I don't know you.
I don't want to
Answer any
Personal type
Of questions.

All you have to
Know is that my
Family has
Been stealing all
Of my money.

Why do you think
They have me in
This hospital.
They are greedy
Like America.

When I get out
Of this place I'm
Heading somewhere
Overseas. I'll
Go to a Greek

Island and spend
My last few years
There. I will raise
Goats and write the
Last great novel.

You tell my sons
And daughters not
To come around.
You tell my wife
To stay away.

I'm going to
Spend summers in
France and visit
The Louvre. I don't
Need medication.

Art will be what
Sustains me. I
Will make money
From my goats. Now
What do you want?



(Written for poet, Luis Omar Salinas, who did
not need paint to paint his canvases on the page)

Whimsical stars speak his name
In dreams of solitude.
I, too, lived in Mexico at age four
With the kindest abuelitos
In the universe.
They are gone now.
But they live in my heart forever
In that small town.
Pomegranate tree in the yard,
Avocado trees not far away,
The sugarcane trucks
Wheeled through the dusty streets.
Pepsi-Cola vendors went door to door.
El Ingenio across the street
From my home in Mexico.
The smoke rising through the sky
Like a black friendly ghost.
I, too, live in California.
Learned to speak in English
In first grade, became a poet.

Author bio:

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal's chapbook, Keepers Of Silence, came out on December 20, 2007, from Kendra Steiner Editions. Luis was born in Mexico. He works in the mental health field in Los Angeles, CA. His first book of poems, Raw Materials, was published by Pygmy Forest Press. His first chapbook, Without Peace, was published by Kendra Steiner Editions.

Editor's note: The Muralist was published in 2002 by LSR (Latino Stuff Review), which was dedicated to Nahuatl poetry and the Mexican muralist painters such as Diego Riviera and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

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