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Mexican Poetry: César Cañedo


Mexican Poetry: César Cañedo

Círculo de poesía November 20, 2017

Presentamos, en versión de Will Stockton, dos poemas de César Cañedo, quien recientemente publicó en Valparaíso México su libro Inversa memoria. César Cañedo es uno de los más destacados poetas mexicanos de su generación.




I Speak


I was born without an ear

and my grandfather’s hands

presenting me to the world deformed

and my mother saying, We have to fix it!

and my father saying, I’ll pay for it!

and my grandmother, alone, How beautiful!

and that deficient child grew up to write

poetry deficient.


Here is my sulfuric canticle:


Mercy came from my ass

and lit up the night

in which my body


my love


my face


incarnated the body complete


in which kindergarten insults

and the queer expression of Jesus

battered in compassion

like Dumbo at the circus

Come see the spider woman!

Come see the human wreck!

Come see the neighborhood fag!

Come see the hunchback!

stich a skin of fear

nightmare of ridicule

flower of revulsion

three-pointed star

a sashay

plucked from heaven, from perfect

symmetry, from the Greek

monument, without edges

with pieces cut

into lines always faithful

as a copy of the incomplete

as the Lord says

you were cuir before you were queer

before I knew you

gnarled from natural selection

from the lineage of the men who bury you

in long hair to hide your faults.


Poetry opened to me like the lotus

flower in which I felt unoriginal

unstamped with made in Olympus©

because it would be too much

for me with all my scars

to seek heaven

in the absolute of an ass that doesn’t fart,

in the constellations of the Ocolome night

in the Río Fuerte, which is always the same

river because the dam never opens

and I begin to speak with the voice of imposters

slivers of others’ lines

of Dario, of Novo, of Bohórquez,

of dry entrails, of winter cornfield,

of the sad princess of lips of a clitoris

of strawberry, of the shepherd boy who came, came,

of the martial who ran, ran,

of the shitty and sweet tenderness

of my favorite homemade dildo

and in the middle of us

my mother smelling of Dior

and I don’t know what else

that no that no

Noah Noah

shall we go?


There are so many metaphors in the world

that I should recycle.

I make such perfect birds

simple jobs

and sell them at the fair.

You bring money?

One peso for something baroque

five for a sonnet

three for ten special on Vallejos

the César who won me

the right to be César

César with my face

and my poems and my men

whom I also don’t recycle.


They taught me as a child

that a rib, a chewy piece of cartilage

(more Genesis than it sounds)

could be an ear that doesn’t hear

and I don’t appreciate the irony

of stuffing myself with pubic hair

and the fastidious construction of a smile

that betrays its secret

like my syllables:

verses born of my ass

that come to give in the giving

plaisir from the petit mort jotuá.


If one day you weren’t a daisy

what would you be?

A butterfly.

Everything between the bugs

and the flesh

and the drum.

If one does not understand me

they can fly to Sinaloa

where they break men

where I was born broken

and decomposed

amidst the silence of drug dealing

that lulls children to sleep.


Gulping poetry

like cum

with flicks of my red tongue

one afternoon delivers

another morning

to so much love

on the back

and blankets my fears

and all my broken faces

so my face twists the verse

and my contorted smile

is that pearl that grows from loss

of scraping the pain of so many jokes

of dreaming to be a poet

and to be dead

and to find joy there.




Next Station




From this temple of Aztec incense

burnt tire of orange centipede

final car of a male sacrifice

in this inverted hunt for the origin

where the last shall be first to come

I have come with a new offering

the cash of one

who expects the same here

as on television.


You, no, you got fat.

You look like a fairy.

The pockmarked never sell.

You have the face of a prostitute.

And you have what I lack

between the legs

the beauty of the offer and the demand

that in each station

each new shop window,

you play your luck.

Five peso entrance

into a scene of supporting actors.


In the next, perhaps, someone appears

who explains The Truman Show to me

in the quick slide of anonymous sex,

sex twisted through the sex of men.


In this way, the kingdom of silt surrenders.




But now, in the corner,

buried away in their discount love,

two older men share

in seventy or so dead dreams.

They are the proud Hydra interlaced

In the memory of time’s terror.


As Gorgon, their gaze freezes more

than the statue of salt you expected.


They are the witnesses of the pandemic,

the fear, the rejection,

and they are here together, erect.

Giving each other what remains

of a dignity despoiled and death and salt.

They learned to cruise without maps, bareback,

touching their cocks as a sign of invitation

with no more radar than institution, without Manhunt.

They distill the patient certainty that there is no tomorrow,

no better future,

for men like them who seek to be sanctified in the light of men.


A hand strokes grey hair

the star of David.


What does it matter that you are young?

These men are your horror and your reminiscence.

These men are your Remember, Queen!

Their hour will be the now for everyone in this station,

a future quite rosy and quite fucked.

You will grow old, like them.

You will get a rash on your balls, like them.

You will get crabs, like them.

But you will marry, unlike them,

who found their profit in promiscuity.





You check the cost

of your clothes

and with your finger tap

the teasing ping on your smartphone

so that virtual and live

you can find a man hirsute and soaked

who dilutes the salt of the future

and gives you hope in each thrust

so that you are reduced to pure orgasm

so that you think with your ass and do not feel

that the night is not a night if you are alone.





Tú rú rú. Correspondencia con if it’s Garibaldi

you do not want to know.



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