Tag Archives: Latin American

The Statue

The city of Concepcion,

its physical parameters circum-

scribed by conjectural development,

its identity arrived at through

an intricate labyrinth of

historically determined steps;

At its heart the dominant

Plaza of the Conquistadors

abutted by an inspiring

Madre de Dios Cathedral,

lending a certain gravitas to

an otherwise lacklustre civic space;

And in the Plaza’s geometric centre,

a benignly neglected equestrian

statue of Concepcion’s Founder,

the breastplated and intensely proud

The Duke Juan Aguila-Alvarez;

the barely legible inscription

at the base of ” A.D.1543 ”

obscured by an injudicious

accretion of plentiful guano

nourishing for agrarian soil,

but not for civic masonry.

Your Last Peso

When your last peso has gone
the cantina will no longer welcome you,
when your last peso has gone
your hunger will return,
when your last peso has gone
your child will fall ill,
when your last peso has gone
your car will not start,
when your last peso has gone
the politician will no longer listen to you,
when your last peso has gone
the priest will no longer care for your soul,
when your last peso has gone
there will be no woman to comfort you,
when your last peso has gone
the only welcome you will receive
will be that of the pauper’s grave
and its disinterested embrace,

when your last peso has gone…

( one of my early performance pieces circa July 1999)

Hotel Nacional ( Rebooted January 7 2019 )

The Hotel Nacional,
glamorous epitome of the Jazz Age
now a faded dowager in
her declining years;
riddled with labyrinthine corridors
arteries where no lifeblood flows;
Room 4-2-6 where Dexter Stevenson
a contemporary of John Steinbeck’s
who disputed the authorship of “Cannery Row”
claiming a similar manuscript and title
lodged in Paris in ’39,now long ago;
Room 3-1-5 where Steinhoffer,
distinguished doctor of medicine
originally from Klagenfurt
glowers in exile and
cannot return home due to
some administrative requirement
that he be detained and questioned
about his work at Dachau in 1944;
Elsewhere,black and white
portraitures annotate walls
fading to a natural sepia,
there the one with Cary Grant
and Marlene Dietrich
on their way to Rio,
or was it Havana?
and there,sailor-hatted,bare chested
the great Hemingway himself,
though he never deigned
to shake Dexter Stevenson’s hand;
And in the rundown lobby,
a receptionist stares into space.