Ghosts of Comala

(Columna Música, 2013)

Ghosts of Comala

(Columna Música, 2013)

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i came to comala
‘cause i was told
that here lived my father,
whom i had never known.
my mother stifling, in her deathbed,
said, “my son, go there,
to get what we’ve always deserved”.

midsummer heat,
far , i saw the town.
“if you’re leaving, it’s way up,
if you arrive,it’s way down”.
why is it so sad all around?
“these are the times, sir,
are you sure you’re going there?”

under the sun,
the plain was a lake.
before the horizon,
the air was grey
“who is your father?”
i told him the name.
“i’m also his son”-
he quietly said.

some crows cawed
across the sky.
we left the hill behind
going down all the time.
“do you know him?”
i asked feeling clumsy
“he’s pure rancor”
and he lashed the donkey.

i felt my mother’s portrait
in my chest,
warming my heart
she didn’t rest,
then the muleteer pointed
at a low ridge,
“that’s the half moon,
where our father lived”.

we had almost arrived.
i just breathed my breath.
the town seemed abandoned,
made of death.
“it’s not just what it seems,
sir, you have to know,
that our father died many years ago”.

The pale hostess

it was the time when children should be playing on the streets,
washerwomen carrying their dry sheets,
but in the silent town i just heard my footsteps on the cobblestone,
my hollow footsteps,
my hollow footsteps,
spreading their echo
when the sun was almost gone.

a trembling mouth told me she lived near the bridge,
with her junk, her broken furniture, at the fringe.
“i was waiting for you, i’ve prepared a room.
your mother’s just told me you’d come soon.
but now just rest,
you might be tired,
you, the one who should have been my son”.

“your mother and me, once we were so close,
we swore we’d die together to avoid the woes,
but she hasn’t waited, she has a lead over me,
now she has a clearer vision about eternity”

so she talked ‘til we lost sight of the afternoon,
about my mother and her singular honey moon,
how she took her place when she was torn,
one year before i was born.
then she looked like gone,
and talking to another guest, she said,
“you’re so alone –
when are you going to rest?”

Riderless horse

tomorrow, at morning
your father will bend in his pain.
now go and rest,
thank you for this final farewell.

you say that the haze was so deep that you got lost
you say that a town disappeared; you are exhausted.

“they will all say i’m crazy,
even me, i know it has no sense.
i remember i was riding my horse,
jumping over the fence.”

no, you’re not crazy, don’t get confused, you’ve just passed away.
they‘ve always said that that horse would kill you some day.

he walked beside the pale moon, round the mill – he was afraid
it was still too soon, too soon to accept, you‘veslipped off the edge, you’re now with the dead.

a horse crossed comala,
at gallop, runaway, by the street.
his legs were bended, he was scared,
empty saddle, incomplete.

many were sighing, as others were crying, ‘neath the saddened tree
as the wandering soul was loafing about, with its sincere plea.

in that summer blue sky, many people saw shooting stars, like fireworks,
and it was bright, late at night, and they heard aloof, resounding the hoofs of the riderless horse.

Redemption fee

here, there’s no mercy for women, no mercy for men,
it’s an arid lonely limbo, it’s a crazy den.
in despair i feel
the weight of my guilt,
drop by drop i’m losing all my blood.

skulls try to shake off all the sand with dislocated jaws,
and in their looks a question, a search of flaws,
an eternal slave
asking for a grave,
waiting for a peace that never comes.

there’s a shadow crouched down,
there, between the wardrobe and the old chair
waiting for the chance to brush me with its hands
and throw me downstairs.

i shiver
it’s so cold that i can’t even light a candle,
to make sure that i’m wrong, again,
alone again,
and all my fear’s in vain.

once i felt able to judge and able to decide
heaven’s doors are closed for those who commit suicide
and every sin
had a voice within
that tells the price of the appropriate fine.

the bread is stale and from the nails bitter wine flows.
the items and the incense are something without sense,
and so my clothes.

i’m crying
almost everything is lost and lost forever
and there’s no valid plea,
and no redemption fee
to change my destiny.


raindrops, from the tiles, fall in the yard,
on a laurel leaf, where the hidden lark
waits for the sun as i wait for you.

i’m safe in the barn with the frightened hens
with the same dream that never ends,
the dream of you, your fresh smell,
that talks of innocence and cleanliness.

i was thinking of you, of the green hill,
when we played with the kites near the mill,
when love had no need of words,
laughing with the wind, holding the cords,
your lips, wet, kissed by the dew,
i was thinking of us, i was thinking of you.

Right side in the war

i knocked with the butt of my whip,
i thought there was no one at home,
when he finally came to the patio,
he told me not to forget the don,

we were in the horse corral
under the sun,
who did the boy think he was
to treat me like that, as if i were a child,
never his father talked to me like this,
i was pleased and angry,
I was angry and pleased

“i don’t care about how much we owe,
i care about who to.
by the way, there will be no fences,
we have a town to subdue.”

a list of names with a cross,
houses and lands
harvests and cattle and wives,
and on my way home
i wondered where,
where in the hell
did the boy learn those tricks?
he was quick, he was ruthless,
he was ruthless and quick.

it was easy to gull that woman,
blush came to her face,
she believed she had been chosen
by her beauty, by her grace.

she said something about
her and the moon,
she said it was awfully soon,
and i left her place,
she was on her knees,
begging for eight days
outstretched arms,
only for eight days, only for eight days.

two days before the wedding,
we hung a man in a room,
usufruct was the charge,
evil was the truth.

and then, to do without a key,
we built a wall
where the door used to be.
then i went back
beside my landlord,
there i felt safe,
there i was secure,
i was on the right side in the war.

The woman made of mud


Are you alive?


The last thing i ever saw

the heat woke me up before
the hint of the midnight hour,
and the sweat wrapped me up
in my ill despair.

it caught me as a sharp thud,
and that woman made of mud
was falling into pieces
in the filthy pond.

i dove in her spittle and
i heard the dull rattle of her dying breath,
like a silent wail of guilt, loath and death.

i got up to reach the door,
but i looked back just once more
and the snoring of her corpse
began to soar.

i got out to find the street,
in search of some air to breathe,
but there was no air in that clumsy night.

i covered my mouth with my
hands to hold back the air,
but it seeped through my fingers
like a useless prayer.

and then, in a distant place,
i felt i was leaving such a mediocre trace
that i was the last one who would thread those ways.

i remember deep whirling clouds,
my warm blood, my flesh so raw,
and it was the last thing i ever saw.

Child of wood

you pay dear for hope:
illusions are made to crack.
growing old is the price you have to pay for living,

now, i’m dead and i notice
i’ve had no time to think,
i’ve never even had time to keep the nest that god gave to me.

my baby is in his sleep.
he’s dead, he has no need.

dragging days, people looking at me,
in suspicion, my eyes were trying to find some guilt,

who is hiding him, who hides my child?
there’s been a dream, there’s been a nightmare,
i‘ve had him in

my arms, i’ve kissed his cheeks,
i’ve felt his heart in my fingertips,
i took him anywhere, his eyes that got me stood,
he, my child of wood.

i saw my son among the angels in the place
where it’s supposed we’re made to rest.

and when i asked, someone said i was always wrong,
he sent me back down here,
that’s why i’m wandering along,

i wait to die again.
but there’s no hope, it would have no sense.

The wasted bed

there was a long time before dawn,
fat stars scattered through the sky,
the moon had shown briefly,
it had risen for a little while.

it had been one of those sad moons
that none looks at,
that don’t make any confused bird trill,
it discreetly hid behind the hill.

far away,
in the deepest dark,
i could hear the cowbells
stop and start,
stop and start.

i was trying to sleep
when i heard a knocking in the wall
three taps, made with the knuckles,
i just held my breath and thought about saints,

then again, the same noise,
i peered out the window and
i saw the shadow of a man,
trying to come into the room

“i know you’re there,
open the door.”
my heart beneath my ribs
leapt like a toad.
It leapt like a toad

then i heard his heels clicking loudly
as he used to do when he was angry,
his steps faded in the night,
in the bellowing of the cattle,

so the next night,
to avoid angering the ghost again,
i left the door ajar
and went to bed naked to make things easy for my lord,

but those days are gone,
and those nights are gone,
and i’ve waited for a chance
that’s never returned,

now i hear their moans
from my wasted bed
and i know my bigger wisdom
is going to come when i be dead.

Los cristeros


A lightness before death


The daughter of a miner


she’s the daughter of a miner,
she’s the only one i’ve loved,
in the dark, the golden shiner,
during thirty years, the thought.

and i had to kill her father
to take in her fragile heart
to me, it was a little bother,
but she’s still falling apart.

she’s speaks alone
in her bed, her tomb,
as i try to cry
in my broken throne.

she’s missing someone
dead long ago,
and her voice is a wail,
when the light is low,
but she’s all i love,
she’s my crazy love,
she’s my crazy love.

now my hours groan and wander,
crawling sadly on a land
that today I still squander,
a ground made of quicksand.

she’s the daughter of a miner,
she’s the sickness of my life,
i gave all i had to find her
she, my dying beloved wife.

The wrong fair


at dawn, people were awakened
by the peal of bells from the belfry
It was the morning of december eight,
it wasn’t cold, though it was grey.
The peal had began with the largest bell
and so people thought they were ringing for mass
The jam came into the church
and still at noon they could hear the sound of the brass.

The bells kept ringing on and on,
People didn’t know it was for a dead woman,
and from many other towns they came around
in crowds with musicians, even a circus,
with whirligig and flying chair
like onlookers in a wrong fair,
and when the bells fell silent,
there were cockfights
and lotteries for the throng,
the fiesta went along.

And from the half moon,
where there was a funeral
they could see fireworks from the village.
The landlord said no word,
he buried his bride,
he crossed his arms
and then the village died.

Heap of stones


over there, he sat down
to look the town beyond the trees,
he tried to move his left hand
but it just fell upon his knees.
one more deathly piece.

they all follow the same road,
they all go, like you are gone.
today my eyes are tired.
but once i told you to come home,
where the walls kept me alone.

big moon shining
washing your face
you, soft, you.
your mouth was wet,
at night, swimming,
you, so soft, you.

trying to sit up he
fell once more upon his arm,
the flesh against the backbone.
this time i won’t come to no harm.
this is my death, at last.

the sun shone over
things to give them
back their old shape.
warming his corpse,
his memories, his thoughts,
cold in his nape.

in a few hours,
my killer will come back ,
and i will have to listen,
in the hour of my final wrack,
his voice will never die.

someone knocked
upon his shoulder,
it made him react.
“it’s me, my lord,
i just come to
bring you your lunch.”

then he answered,
“i’m on my way,”
as he leant on her old shoulders,
he gave two steps
pleading within
he said no word,
and he crumbled like
a heap of stones.

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