Ni Olvido Si Perdon

“Ni Olvido Si Perdon”
Thanks, Gracias
from the little notebook I carried with me jotting down our secrets & inspirations,
from nogales to oaxaca & back again
by overland Mexican bus,
dubbed American action &
talking animal movies on board.
For my big bulging army backpack
over shoulder walking walking your handmade cobblestoned streets
and you still ask me where I’m from
wish me well
though I am from, born, in the u.s. of A which makes guns to bring you down,
but jobs to bring you up
or grind you down,
but not really thankfully,
not really hospitably,
not really wanting to hear your whole story.
Thanks for feral dogs and children
walking the streets, free,
I walk with them, you, to my next destination.
Thanks for bunk beds and hammocks & hanging beds
for 5 bucks a night.
For drinking beer in the street,
Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
at all hours of the day and night & morning;
even for the truck loaded with oranges,
announcing for all @ 7 a.m.
“senores y senoras!”
“eat your oranges! they are good for you!”
or some such.
Gracias for papayas wrapped in newspapers
bought from backs of trucks or
from overloaded backbreaking wheelbarrows,
Only 10 pesos each, that’s 75 cents! y dulce.
For Maria’s cookies, but no peanut butter.
huge speedbumps that pick-up trucks almost lose their bumpers upon, rattle over;
for the circus in the Mazunte town square,
fantastically 30 feet high, tethered by straps tied to trees,
supporting Argentinian trapeeze artists,
spectators sitting in white plastic chairs collected from local restaurants, loaded into helpful pick-up trucks.
For backyard temescal shamans
and front porch diners.
Clayudas! Clayudas:
Large tortillas folded over &
stuffed with stringy cheese frijole nopale whatnot.
Mole! Mole:
chocolate spicy goodness.
& Japanese traveller friend Tsutom to share it with & Krishna chants on Mexican naked beach & ping pong @ dive bar with sand floor, warped table.
Gracias por todos!
Gracias for
Even when I drive the occasional hard bargain,
though not for sport,
but necessity.
For pulque in Oaxaca @ corner market-
best damn drink I ever had,
served by the same indigena
who also scooped something else
from another gourd that
had me drunk all afternoon.
Drunk by the old indigenous woman!
To all the indigena who toil,
carrying wares on backs & heads to market,
selling bags of roasted peanuts with garlic,
toasted crunchy red grasshoppers I shall try once.
Yes, they of/from the Earth who have eyes of love and life
etched on their old world faces.
For buses that go everywhere, all the time.
For people riding standing up in the backs of pick-ups,
always room for 1 more & their belongings, spilling over & almost out of
self same pick-ups.
For the drunks lying in the streets,
snoozing last night off,
blind cd sellers on the subway playing their crackling new age metal mariachi etc. music
from bulging backpacks;
for grandma on same subway
scrunching her nose @ badly sung Creedence covers;
for the blue swine flu masks, masking pandemics;
the maimed guitarist singer
singing sad sad songs trying
to separate us from our hard earned pesos,
Being hypnotized by warm waves I have never seen nor ridden better
To the grandma who was out in the
big surf with the rest of la familia,
laughing and loving life with the
7 year old grandkid,
all getting pounded together by las ollas grandes,
with me,
the whole family,
the youngest asking for pointers from me.
For the young princesses of the beach out
selling mom’s lemon cakes by the slice:
gourmet, cheap.
We are being catered to like some
fancy dancy resort up the coast i cannot afford
nor want to attend.
For stringy Oaxacan cheese & fine art Oaxacan paintings, 1 of 2 gay men praying to Virgen of Guadalupe in bedroom by neatly made bed, matching green pillows;
For Oaxaca Banana Magic Hostels,
a Tom Waitsish fantastical gritty hip loser winner hostel where dreams could find intoxication,
Basque roomies,
drunken yet hip proprietors;
cool Oaxacan graffiti:
“ni olvidos ni perdon!”
“Never forget nor forgive!”
(October 2, 1968, day of Mexico City Olympic protestor murders.)
!viva APPO!
Todos! Todos! Todos!
Mexico City!
For paying when you get there,
when you are done eating.
something called trust.
Not giving a fuck, but caring.
for fantastical circuses in town squares, again.
for Irish hospitality in Mexico City,
for breaking all the rules that don’t exist,
for commandos doing their silly dangerous
daytime @ the beach routine,
guns drawn, fingers poised on shiny American machine guns.
for the fish boats that crash! to shore
on same beaches
on rollers made of tree branches,
bringing boatloads of fish, sharks, swordfish
that people gawk at, poke, buy.
For true believers
parading the streets on posada,
ceremonially seeking shelter,
as I do literally,
in their land,
as jesus joseph & mary did,
a stranger in their midst.
they do know jesus!
this is the christmas spirit I hoped to find
outside american shopping malls
& holiday rush hour traffic.
Yes, & to all the Virgins & their outlandish outfits: Soledad, Guadalupe, etc.
the days in their honor,
the fireworks & 13 piece bands celebrating
their piousness, devotion, sacrifice;
The images of Jesus miraculously appearing on tunics, billboards, etc.
Miracles large and small everywhere,
everyone waiting for the miraculous,
fishing fortunes from Gold sparkly guy’s
“Tu Destino”
gold sparkly shoebox
in mexico city zocalo
for a peso or tres,
hoping for a gold sparkly future.
And for the saints, all the saints
helping me on my way in polished beautiful stone churches,
discovering that my saint is Jude:
patron saint of hopeless causes,
displacing/joining my former St. Dymphna,
she of the wandering and insane.
All the virgins!
All the Saints!
All the Churches, sidewalks, streets
made of stone
made by hand
made with love
scrubbed daily,
cleansing my thoughts as I sit there catholically
early each and every morning,
almost each and every morning,
waiting imploring God to come in to
our believing hearts,
women crawling on knees,
only knees,
using no arms,
to this same altar we lay our dreams.
Waiting, hoping-
the same word in spanish:
The unpronounceable favorite places:
Tlaquepaque, Chapultepec, the city next to ours on the oaxaca coast I never made it to, etc. etc.
Gracias. Gracias. Gracias.
to The yipping dogs,
piles of garbage,
the shitty norteno or ranchero or some such whatever it is called music playing
Always! Always! Always! Always!
The laundry lines,
the holes in sidewalks you could fall into and never climb out of:
Big holes, by big curbs, this obstacle course called a Sidewalk.
to squeaky clean bus stations,
public restrooms for 3 pesos:
you can throw the complimentary shit rag
in the garbage, thank you.
The scrapes on Mexican women’s cars,
the patched together clothing,
The old men and young boys trudging wheelbarrows filled with ________.
to being the only gringo on the boat to
the island near Patzcuaro,
the only one wearing glasses.
the only one.
Now, this sleepless night filled
with the thumpa thumpa thumpa thumpa
of rave music that refuses to go away
nor be beaten down
by cranky neighbors nor armed thugs
that do not complain
about this noise noise noise noise
1 2 3 4!
Uno dos tres cuatro!
The masked military boarding buses,
roaming beaches, accosting tourists,
hoping we carry mota & bribes on dark streets,
they: guns drawn, fingers poised, faces masked.
No thanks, thank you.
The imagined murderous uncovered swine flu hackings on
buses and subways.
The loogies on the sidewalks.
Did I mention the parting shots of
my own bout of Venga de Moctezuma in Zacatecas,
me thinking it a bout of anxiety
about leaving your fair land
until my belches tasted of sulfur?
of course
Mexico City subway rush hour pickpocket stealing away my hopes to extend my vacation, on credit?
Gracias, no gracias.
Yes & to sensationalist pictures of
assassinated bodies & busty gals
covers of newspapers & magazines
at news stands,
while the real news goes unwritten,
but everybody knows whats what
through that ancient forgotten medium: mouth.
Si Si, did I mention the international tourists @
small beach towns &
I can still afford to eat
& live here &
go out @ night & forget why I came?
Now i did.
& Heading to Northward, to the pointy Chihuahua boots,
rico Sauvé hats,
and yes the bus driver
sleeping under the bus in
the luggage compartment,
as the other driver makes passes on windy vomitting mountain roads, blind corners, lights off to see oncoming traffic.
Gracias, even if you did almost kill me.
Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
More More More More
Uno dos tres cuatro!
Thumpa Thumpa Thumpa Thumpa!
Again 2 3 4!
Again 2 3 4!
Insert sounds of ranchero music, dogs, etc etc here.
That slowly makes one social or insane,
but never raising one’s voice
in protest,
unless collective, in unison
against government armies stealing your freedom
and money and pretty much whatever they want because they have guns and you don’t/can’t.
All together now:
One two three four!
Uno dos tres cuatro!
Noise noise noise noise!
Noise noise noise noise!
That this trip is sadly over &
I return to Here/U.S. of A.,
a better man for my (mis)adventures to mex,
back to u.s.:
·cleanest bathrooms this side of Heaven!
·New Starts
· fairy tale endings
·large impossible dreams
·California wilderness
· California amigos
a little more Mexican,
a little more humble,
to the Mexico of small difficult dreams made by hand con carino.
I shall not forget thee,
but shall forgive,
if you me.
One last time,
one for the road:


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