Mario Santiago Papasquiaro: 'Already Far from the Road'

Translation from Spanish by Cole Heinowitz

                                                 To the memory of Infraín                                                       

                                                   Vibrations - whips
                                           1 sound comes from the shadow
                                                  quickly forms 1 sphere
                                                            1 farm
                                                            1 group
                                                          1 armada
                                                1 universe of Universe 

                                                                  Henri Michaux

Some grubby pants & death in the chest
              Right on man!
I’ll see you there by the wall
/ just past the loading zone /
winds crystallizing on the left
fins of the dust : your fins
1 oasis harpooning the dryness in us
In the daughter of your eye / the graveyard
 : Mezcalito casting posies :
Earth & its opposite : deer silent as the noises at their weddings
You shouldn’t go / but you should go 

(In this shadow this strange fruit nestles
that’s the heart of the amphibious & precocious infrarealist becoming)
Sons of Pablo de Rokha are we
Before writing this / we were already flying
Then the continuum of the written was less patrolled
Breath danced on the tip of the tongue
We transformed caressing the ayayay of every wound
          We’re poets
          Cymbals of the black sun
          that magnetizes us
Neither lumpens nor proletarians
The wage-earning demigod
not 1 pen bursts in our abysses
 : The infra-dawns in the spider’s House of Usher :
Sweet clitoris plays paddle ball / embarks as for the 5 mountains in 2 lutes
At tender gallop & flowing mane
          Rubayat is in love
Our tongue has been barbed
It’s watermelon / dripping deep-laughing vagrant
Adventure that’s torn open our abrasions
What we’ve been we are in the crescendoing of echoes
          For such shoulders : such thighs
          For those ankles / those steps
Lessons of cleansing by the scalpel
...Gray is the Theory...
Red the fuzz of Cannabis / The Wireless
The fight? / Against the power of phara$aical $ign$
                      (Mask vs Longhair)
10 years later we’re still being tribal
                      / lubricous wherever /
In Jalapa : Minneapolis : Iquitos : Ivry-sur-Seine : Gerona :
                      Glen & Canyon
Dogs inhabited by voices of the desert
Aztec priests blinded by the flame by the song of the body
& the flame of the body that’s the song
                      Reality sandwiches!
The compost of language doesn’t germinate
if it isn’t in deeds already poverty incarnate
The Marabu triumph in Nahuatl lands
—How much for the singing rabbit? / With wings?
—Happy Un-Birthday
Infrarealism isn’t some scouring-word
Our nights have anthologized us
Every texticle in its place / that could likely be our nomad’s miracle
It’s Zero Hour again
Jesús Luis scratches Songs for Thugs in its light
There are stars like there are desires
there are abysses & there are roads
The piranhas of the day before yesterday
are iguanas of the future
Waves : waves : waves of thirst
—What’d those tv employees say about us?
/ sons of the happy service & prosperous benefits /
—Oh Holy Satanic Laughter
—Billy Burroughs doesn’t even know?
              The lowlife jumps for joy
              / They’re fireflies in the dawn /
—Would that be 1 Sirian haiku?
1 water poet in the sierras?
Delirium’s orgasm?
   Edgar Allan & Black Sabbath’s little sister
      dickfaces & fucktrarians
        what a lot of trenches
          plowed in the guts of the guts 

          I touch wind
: turgid chance :
Our root’s talking
/ not the laundering of Power & its ticket-booths
its taxes : its punishments : cynical grins : its wheezing of vanities /
Let Tin-Tan burn his zoot suit
The roads are full of other beings
          / not the cubicle or charge /
Remember body how much you lived
     How much gospel of the open heavens
          / Subterraneously : sovereignly /
Because it won’t be the fear of any fear
  that makes us set at half mast
  the igneous geyser of our indignation
& this numeral 13 says it well:
Mexican poetry is divided in 2
Mexican poetry & infrarealism
          / 1 Tula River to stir up / 

[TRANSLATOR'S NOTE.  In 1975, the Mexican poet Mario Santiago Papasquiaro (1953-1998) and Roberto Bolaño co-founded Infrarrealism, a poetry movement that drew inspiration from Dadaism, Surrealism, Stridentism, the Beats, and the contemporary Peruvian movement Hora Zero. Their project, at its core, was to explode literary, social, and political conventions through a radical reconception of the poetic imagination and the poetic life. As Bolaño put it in the “Infrarrealist Manifesto:” “The true imagination is the one that dynamites, elucidates, injects emerald microbes into other imaginations…Perception opens by way of an ethic-aesthetic taken to the extreme.” Bolaño’s novels (especially The Savage Detectives, in which Santiago appears as Ulises Lima) are now well known in the U.S. and stand as a profound testament to the extraordinary daring and energy of Infrarrealism. But Santiago’s large and astonishingly powerful body of work has yet to receive the recognition it deserves outside the Spanish-speaking world. To date, only Santiago’s first major poem, Consejos de 1 discípulo de Marx a 1 fanático de Heidegger (1975), has been translated into English. The poem presented here, “Already Far from the Road,” was originally published in the collection Beso eterno (Al Este del paraíso, 1995), and gives English readers their first taste of Santiago’s later work.  -- Cole Heinowitz]