Friday, September 16, 2011

Artaud in Mexico

Wearing his coyote death mask,
he tells the clueless Tarahumara
Rimbaud never met a French poet he
didn't disdain.
Eats peyote by the handful
from a painted gourd,
intuits the last words Sam Peckinpah
spoke to God,
reads A Season in Hell
by firelight
next to a graveyard
with its
fanciful colored metal crosses
and plastic
chants: one must be absolutely
as the incantatory clouds climb like
smoking gun blossoms high over
Sierra Madre.

The Indians have mercy on this
tattered schizoid soul, install his
junkie ass upright on a drunken mule
for the long road home.
They recognize a kindred spirit
when they see one,
his garish, provocative nature not
at all at odds with
the fellaheen.

They dig his otherworldliness,
his seer's heart.

-John Macker

Las Conchas

This is the summer of drought.
The playas dried up like cracked words on the lips,
the heat wore steel-toed boots,
the wind pillaged sacred Chicoma Mountain
in dry wrathful blasts. The
snake-tongued flames drifted north on
Santa Clara land. A
cool fire they say,
slow to crawl lone wolf
low to the ground, not hot
like Cerro Grande was:
insatiable, a terrorist. How do you say
in Tewa,
the hell hound is on our trail?
how do you pray away these
orchids of smoke?

The spirits
of the dead drift from grave to
Indian grave ahead of the fire,
some of them grieve for rain,
some are armed and dancing,
some stay safely underground,
cooled by the timber still
white moon.

-John Macker