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for Rodrigo Flores and his compinches
Have you recently had a headache? Have you felt a sudden pain in your head when you walk? Have your brains been throbbing? I don’t know why you don’t lift your head when you walk. I don’t know why you don’t look up. Don’t you see that, over there? A riot is happening, way up there, there are digital angels or prototypes of modern men, there are christs flying on their crosses or pink-winged airplanes, way up there, there is the prelude of falling, a prelude of pieces to come, there are messages that say to you: “look good, use cologne,” there is bird music, don’t you hear it? Don’t you hear that yellow song? There is no hunger, way up there, there are stones flying, why don’t you look up? When you walk in your bulky suit, with your tight tie, why don’t you lift your head, why don’t you veer from your path? Don’t you see those flags? Don’t you hear that hymn? The voices that tell you: just up to here? The voices that tell you: just up to here, that’s enough? Don’t you hear the prelude? There are destroyed carapaces, way up there, there are moldy cries, up there, there is a mob of steps that don’t stop, that will not stop, and will continue, while you don’t lift your head and look, do you see that over there? Do you hear that screeching?
Something’s coming, I know that something is coming. Perhaps a storm or a class of birdmen with cassocks, but something, a fistful of fists, a grain of salt on the tongue, is going to come. I don’t know what, but something is coming. I don’t know what it is, but something, something from the depths of the deep, a hurricane of marmots, a gang of winged tigers, a bird that vomits bombs, something, to a lesser or greater degree, a butterfly, a strike, or maybe the metro.
Until you lift your head this isn’t going to stop. It’s not going to stop. Marianita was five years old when her father, one Isidro, killed her by introducing an ice pick several times into her rectum. This is not going to stop. Until you lift your head and look up, this frenetic music won’t stop. This dance with our mouths open and drooling isn’t going to stop. This isn’t going to stop. “We’re drug dealers,” Juan said to the Blonde so she would notice him and he could ask her to dance, what Juan didn’t know was that the Blonde was the girlfriend of a hired assassin. Juan’s mother tells us: “He had nothing to do with drug dealing, he was finishing his preparation for university,” while they place a small medal of the virgin on his back and close the coffin. While they place it, while you place yourself, while we place ourselves, while we smoke or inhale, this isn’t going to stop. As long as the virgencita doesn’t get a date with the psychologist, this isn’t going to stop. Until you lift your head, this isn’t going to stop. And I kiss her on the mouth and tell her let’s fuck, but she says no. The chick backed out, but she’ll definitely give in. This isn’t going to stop. We keep standing there like idiots. We don’t talk to the girls because it scares us, and those girls over there keep looking at us. “Talk to them, bastard,” “are you fucking kidding, not me, you go,” “fucking fag, just talk to them,” “no way, fuck off.” While you don’t lift your head, this isn’t going to stop. While you keep walking and you don’t see the digital men in the sky, while you don’t undo whatever is knotting your throat, this music, this squinting, isn’t going to stop. Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, July 11th. Two men were assassinated in a nightclub known as “Cabaret.” The music you get is that which everyone, everyone, except you, dances to. This isn’t going to stop. “The truth is I’m in love.” “But that’s fucking awesome, right?” “Well it’s just that I like Adriana too.” “You’re worth shit.” You’re worth a kilo of rice and beans, you’re worth a dip in the Pánuco river, it’s worth the panic and the party, right, see you at 6, right? Right. What it costs to keep going after listening to all this noise. What it costs to keep going without raising your head. This isn’t going to stop. Until you raise your rosy little head, this won’t stop. Until you rise up and look at the angels with golden cocks, this isn’t going to stop. This isn’t going to stop. Can you see there are some hills in front? What? There’s what? Some hills, isn’t there? In the hills, in the mountains, on the avenue, in your house. This isn’t going to stop. Alejandra: 55 34 25 55 43 Daniel: 55 19 15 12 84 Mom: 8 12 75 80. 09 12 2010. 07 14 2011, 12 419, 12 419, 35,000, 35,000, 35,000, 72. This isn’t going to stop. Until you raise your head and see christ’s blue puke, this isn’t going to stop. It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations. This isn’t going to stop.
These excerpts are part of Polanco’s longer poem “Multitasking,” which appeared in his collection Ruido (Bonobos, 2012).
Alejandro Albarrán Polanco was born in Mexico City in 1985. He has published three collections of poetry, Ruido (Bonobos, 2012), Tengo un pulmón que no es el cielo (FETA, La Ceibita, 2014), and Persona fea y ridícula (FETA, 2017). He is a founding editor of the press Canón Accidental, co-director of the radio program Radio Rara, and is also a musician and conceptual artist who works with textual, visual, and sound poetry. His performances, installations, and artist’s books have been featured in numerous contemporary art exhibitions.
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