Mambos Religiosos

Max Lichtenstein

The silence of the walls
so much to hear
and nothing to say

You arrived late with those sweets
I already gave lunch away
nothing for the poor
everything for the rich

Smoke rising in my body
money wasted on pornography
just one more woman and that's it

I only fall in love once
not enough youth to spend
just a ton of coins
shining in the silence of the wall

Protesting as I Can, on Monday I Begin the Diet

Fuck everything from Garcia Marquez to the nueva trova. To wit: I found
Dylan thanks to Pavement. Masturbate all the time, everywhere you can. In
any bathroom you find. But always leave them clean.

It's not my fault your idol wasn't born in your country.

Hate cellphones, buzzers, intercoms. Never travel. Go out with girls from
your city and listen to your aunt who recommends giving it your heart and soul.

Always wear black suits. Listen to the Beatles but pronounce it with a
smart Santa Fe accent, "the Be-atuls." Walk and drink water. Give up on Tarantino.

Scorn the old and honk at them from your car. Shame Bolaño got popular.
Put a price on your ass for a night at a trendy party packed with tweakers.
Sell art. Get boring.

25 and not a clue. Try on different religions for size and wash up in
Cordoba convinced UFOs exist. Resentful. Read the Da Vinci Code (everybody's doing it).

Drink warm beer in plazas. Talk with taxi drivers. Don't end up dead by the
age of 27. Hang on just a little longer. Go vegetarian for a month and
donate some small change to Greenpeace.

Set yourself on fire and look for the closest shop selling Coca-Cola to put it
out. Never go to Bolivia but yes to Morocco, (and the corresponding ugly
caftan comes home with you). Look for a hero, an icon, something... (the
Virgin of Guadalupe never goes out of style)

(Bonus Track: buy Elton John albums. Smile like Sharon Stone. Homage.
Let life flow, said a friend. Growing up with the greats is so important.)

Christmas Song for Sad People

empty houses and plastic cars
your world crashes against nothing
so goes

santa i asked for more love
not for you to hit on my sister

santa i asked for more love
not for you to sell my dad a car

Christmas red & green as a soccer game
on television

The Stairway Doesn't Go to Heaven

The pamphlet's promised gold            never arrives   One has to
lie in the paper to find the perfect lover          Did you believe
that beer?        We might not all make it together
That scares me           Let's not all think together       It scares
me more         I swim in self deception          And surf cheap tricks
to not muddle further...           That miracle is never going
to happen and that      is the worst sin of a miracle.

translated from the Spanish by Cordelia Brodsky