It’s necessary to see, to use no material stranger, thus, if we want to speak of children burst open against the trees, it will be necessary to say it without excluding the blood that runs down the bark; it’s not worth the trouble to oust pain with ideas, better to catch the nervous swellings brought to the branches; not to put word and word where they’ll be led to arm an emptiness. It’s necessary to avoid substitutes; yes the meat burns, strength growls in each impact, shows the trajectory of each recoil, the red sap of the trees
The lines in that other book you read tell you that you aren’t safe, that you never were, that you never will be safe. Not the lulling flowers, nor the highest peaks, where flags wave in slightly foolish pride, nor the sea that’s all desire… nothing, nothing saves you. Don’t bother re-tuning to the news, but graffiti your room with something lovely or something dirty. but let it say something and mark the walls that you know so well. Turn the music up and decide to set fire to that book, get up and take the ashes to Kafka’s tomb.
This quiet animal looks a bit like me, in its pool of blood, almost floating in red, it has something of me in it. This animal that’s been crushed, that’s been given it hard, and no longer knows if it’s dog or chicken or plain martyr or what. It’s silence speaks only to asphalt, to those eyes that see it while doing nothing; to those who vomit when they see it. Something is here, something of my brightness in each particle that’s pummeled by passing wheels
This book is a failure… I feel it. Not even a post-Vallejo-esque attempt but simply a test, a luxury, a thing put up with. The light has gone out of these pages, they have carried on existing without grace. But who has the authority to say what poetry is? Who pulls me out of the idiotwreck? Who is able to weep with words to a herd of cattle? or be spliced into all those orgasmic groans that go on now? Who?
Here, expecting the earthworms in this land, surrounded by bones and consumed hide. I’ve amputated my language, the weak, sinuous muscle; my eyes melt into sightlessness but for three metres that separate out the dog shitting on the grass. I go where I’m not, I feel inaudible, wasted, buried in this silence thronged with worms. They who rise up and are consumed, they; the great occurrence, who travel through me, digging their tunnels.
Alan Mills is a Guatemalan poet. His books have been published in both Guatemala, Mexico and France. They are: ‘Los Nombres Ocultos’, ‘Poemas Sensibles’, ‘Marca de Agua’, ‘Testamentofuturo’, ‘Caja Negra XX 2012′. His ‘Escalera a Ninguna Parte’ was released this year on Catafixia in Guatemala. His book ‘Syncopes’ is available at the publisher Rouge Inside in French translation.
(I dedicate these poems to Michelle, my sister, a brilliant guatemalan woman)