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Antonin Artaud en México

Where there is no light, except the light—dull

As thumbtacks—within gallery space. For the preservation.

Luz mexicana, motivated through punctures, minute like

Maggot grooves aglow. An ambient radiant Chasm. A gradient Chasm.

That is the local flavor. That is the folklore.

La aldea, la hacienda, el cerro, el barranco. The barranco

Into which you might have a mind to hurl yourself, should

Things go south. Pardon the pun. That is just the consequence

Of a life in thrall to the ideal. It is right and fit

To sustain, when one is able, the life in thrall

To the ideal. You wither; you slump; the dust dresses you.

And the maggot-writhing will come with the fall,

And the ideal fall down within the walls of the aldea. The three—

The light, the ideal, the aldea—in theory, are never nearly so distant.

Several, or Fourfold

To fathom, one would have to.

And trail the consequence to its spring.

The finches there surrounding aerialize

A teeter-totter in the canopy. Free theater.

A Todesfugue in E minor. This I see

Teases out my polyphasic breed of

Mem’ry. A parasol atwirl. Several friendly faces

On a carousel. Of loved ones. That is, loved

Faces. Bunches. To fathom one, you have to

Fathom them all. Or somewhere thereabouts.

Close to it. So I strip and take a dip,

That is to say, I go to swim, as surely

As I can’t, in the deeps of unfathomable

Prompts: A voice… A flinch… A phew.

Luna Park

Things, you see, are done in customary fashion around here.

I would take definite joy in joining your band, only I command

No instrument; would treasure filling the opening for your circus ensemble,

Only I can’t control my limbs. (Perhaps that is all the same?)

The one thing we enjoy here, univocally, is being free—free

To douse this baleful apparatus in the customary flammables.

The authorities are historically quick to subdue

My startles to quiet. And I, for that courtesy,

Feel not at all timid about flicking them a squealy smile.

A fair bauble of gratitude for the favor of relieving me.

I am so heavily appropriate. Every Wednesday I’m relieved,

I receive a gift of some sort. For never do I thieve.

Never would I dream! Never would I leave.


David Alejandro Hernandez is an undocumented writer, originally born in Guadalajara, Mexico, but raised in Northern California. He holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and Washington University in Saint Louis. Between 2018 and 2019, he served as Senior Fellow in Poetry at Washington University in Saint Louis. Writing recently appears or is forthcoming in Oversound, NDR: New Delta Review, DIALOGIST, Burning House Press, TYPO, Apartment Poetry, Fence, and in collaboration with Saint Louis' 100 Boots Poetry Series at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. This autumn, David will begin the doctoral program with the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.


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