from McTlán

Steven Alvarez


& when . arrived this güerita La Muerte
mauve hooves clacking on cobblestones
seized Chaley’s left arm & prophesied some strange space

“for when arrived at país / Nueva Yorb w. his Tío’s ashes in tinbox
“& w. highest aims in this world / to feel co-ways to alleviate
“legs of fatigue for eleven days of walking hours

“I am 174 cm tall . . .

“sí afrecso you w. massage I will darte so you obtain  
“sentirte papi disfrutalo I am warm .
“beautiful yr hearth for firing”

well & good sweet & yammy
& into his tattooed palm La Muerte pressed this bit
before patting his cheek repeating
“stonecactus fruit Chaley stonecactus”

gallo alto que ganó múltiples hoyos / pero w. este Pocho se encontró con un gallo feroz que picoteó su peine lo suficientemente seguro

La Muerte asked C “¿who ye be?”
& C sd to La Muerte “soy Chaley Chastitellez”
adjusting his calzones / shifting weight
from huarache to huarache
beyond them narrow trail w. barbed wire & nopal thickets
quiet / serene early morning mountain slope
darkness cool / air fresh after long night’s rain
& to that broad valley below eight barrios
each w. its own capilla & santo
so forget yr harina tortillas & beans comparable to plucking a handful of eyelashes & carne de caucho & get yr ham & whitebread—
hahm ‘n’ ecks—olé—                      
for here in McTlán / a place completely w.o consequence      ¿en serio?
faraway lands of tlapatl / datura stamonium nanacatl / teonanacatl / godflesh
bitter mushrooms which give fleshy visions bitter sight / washed down w. a cold pulqazo
w.o. consequence / Death already / then w.o. will McTlán being
complete w. all modern lucksuries
including plastics / oils / salves / jornaleros / privatized internment camps / walls & walls
& fine panLatinAmurkan hospitalities
oro overestimated here claro
yes but Chaley Chastitellez : puro
storyteller & La Muerte / La Pelona
can do nothing but . embrace
& . rubs . baldhead on . hombros
& there are great rejoicings
& sports for the next eight days / & visions

& vision
& then they went down to the mar de mierda
set shit to sail forth on the godly sea
forth Yucatán forth Isla Blanca forth
San Juan de Ulua 
burned some copal
& pinche Diaz sowed his pips
pues . knows too people
will say these old cuentos
have nothing to do w. history
tell no more—

& vision
but Tío already married La Marcaida / la güera
& as . ate more . grew thinner
& Chaley’s dead guilt sent . to this Pelona
to . underworld . descended / cast into water
into cueva from crag . . . in the distance
roars from Yanquigohome Stadium . . .
put yrself in those chords Chastitellez / into snare
let yrself  not escape / yr faults: deadly—vicious / ¡feroz!
mayhap ye’ve retracted . . . ¿or have ye
swallowed yr stench?—¿yr rottenness?
¿yr sickness? ¿yr faith? ugly putrescent
rotten put it this way / not of / ever of—

& vision
forth 500 years conqueror
“I never go back on my word” Chaley sd
to Xochitl: “¿what ye think I am ¿a slug?”
& as fog lifts eight pueblos merge
& city squeezed between mountains & sea—hugging McTlán edges of rocky island coast
smoke from setting to setting / obsidianflavored smoke . . .
imagine dead imagine

& vision
& green raw materials of social readymade here hey hey heya / sez some tourist
brushing Chaley’s shoulder shrugging as . passes & gentle cabronxs
from this yellow storefront asks if Chaley’s
looking for one maybe two quality McTlán handcrafted
embroidered goods made in Hacia oriente
yes longer . stands here in McTlán longer &
more eloquent . becomes maybe less ¿brutish?
& after all this ¿why? Chaley ¿why do ye want to imagine
that ye conduct yr own train of thought?

& vision
for bueno: te la crees muy muy cabrón
little Alaxsxa in yr stupid soul
shd shutup & lose yr gall
& open those crusty eyes
 & ¿why? b/c por qué bebé por qué
. ¿ought not?— ¿never?—
know / that . ¿cd never?—

& vision
& . doesn’t love
one ¿Xochitl?

& vision
. ¿namictlie? / entirely slack
& careless / likely to lose
everything down to those huevos
before coming to . huesos

& vision
la gran manzana
ni modo y
. más o menos
loves rain & .
¿wants? to be w. . . .

& vision
how . met . at WallMart | AZtlán
. shuckin pearls
from oysters
. made . laugh
w. his self-mexrecating jokes
KAY chisme
& if . cd if . ¿cd
take back? . past
love . antes
yr sweet conquistador pendejo
who colonized .
perfected products & services
changed & exchanged care at everfaster
rates / & the knowledge to design
& value care efficiently
again to market / & mark
& market care effectively
& to be becomingly true . . .
bohrdars we don’ need no stinkin vordhers
PERO . . .

vision vision incense / danza / tambor / vision

intense vision
a donde vas Tenochititlán a donde vas no puedo más ¡all common knowledge comin right on thru!
¡mande capitán! ¡en chingakay see! common knowledge diffused . . .

& vision
goes into land of Dead—McTlán—
yr stench / rottenness reaching
entire world—¿& at that instant
on his chori? dead condom filled
w. black beetles / scratching / crawling
& . / La Muerte remains
panting . . . ¿ codicia? 
thirsting. . .
& hungry

& vision
“Mister / ye’re a goodboy
“but just of yr own volition
“ye defile yrself—dishonor yrself / dirty yrself
“cast yrself into plumpy excrement—into ¡filth!
“bc. ye have found pleasure in vice
“ergo as chori-penance do this:
“pass twice daily twigs
“thru yr earlobes
“once thru yr tongue
“esp. bc. of yr adultery
“bc. ye have hurt
“ye have harmed
“yr vecino
“w. yr lousy poetry”

La Muerte’s voice now sumtotal of contrary chords
—kisslurp / & suck that jugo—¡O!—music / music
sueñorita / ¡how . mutilates yr harmonies!

McTlán dos

reconstructed narrative from four notebooks dated April-July 1964 / MS Ketch’kaan Public
               Library holdings / Alaxsxa

no never knew that old man PANCHO Sr who fled
Sinaloa & su vida para viajar his new life solo
for him muy bueno for his wife & chamacos no not so much
but I cannot maynot speak of him as I knew him not
& ergo as man / Mexican / nor pater noster
I have only spiculations abt what & why he did
that big how of how he did
w/ his sallowcheeked absurd & tragic güeroface
his situation equally absurd & tragic

how he invented adventures for himself & made
a new life en Al Norte (always further northward) so as at least to live in some way
this güey / for ye know underground all
direct fruit of consciousness means inertia
or sitting w/ hands folded sitting squeezed
between absurdity & tragedy yet again & do something
or die / dare to narrate & wax poetic . . .

            & ungrateful biped / & ¿what’s
better? / do / do nothing / do nothing más
but glitter w/ inactivity / make yr poetry
sparkle w/ anti-depth / hollow lineages / live that / & visage
Pancho’s visage & his project of refashioning
his image / rebuilding his face / face / helio
rebuilding individual / untruth by reason
of fact /

nay cd never Pancho / play el sancho
dispense his chorizo making children up & down
both sides of that border / all around by Mexkeet bushes
Don Pancho conquered w/ his weasel
Don Ponch thought that all fun . . . 
                                                                 PApas con chorizo

some norther
& fatter / forgetful but faithful
nopales stamped on their foreheads
& their father vanished
in ways they never imagined
& only but imagined / & that’s dead
to imagine that / imagined nation
dead / imagine

but dead in Pocholandia w/
el susto pasado
another Don Fulanito
neo nonamed Mextizo
ill Pocho Pancho
no tiene la culpa el Posho sino quien lo hizo

cómo serás cabrón

believe: hay mucha movida en Al Norte

pues y chicanadas en canada

que cosa será la muerte

sí güey me picaba las abejas
pero me comí el panal

adentro los escuadrones                                  cabrónes
machetazos de a motones                                cabrónes
de frente / caribeneros                                     pendejos
en seguida los lanceros                                     pendejos

tuerto   tüe tüe   tuerto


cuando Pancho Chastitellez ya vio

que no se le concedía

el no demonstraba miedo

ante mejor sonreía

[surrounded w/ words that rained sounds like fire]

decían los Amurkanos—

qué Messycanos tan crueles

[they left all those craniums / hanging on the trellis]

pues ni modo y Francisco Pancho Chastitellez [el primero]

cuando llegó a su destino

dijo: “vengo en agonía

“pues hoy tengo que ser muerto

“dios así lo dispondría”

y: “válgame dios

“¿qué haré yo?”

y: “aDIOS / todos mis amigos

“me despido con dolor

“ya no vivan tan engreidos

“de este mundo engañador . . .

“aDIOS mi tierra afamada
“recintos donde viví

“aDIOS mi querida esposa

“yo me despido de ti”

            ¡ viva Mesico !

            ¡ o pueblos bendios de dios !

llora el mar y sus arenas
                                                                                    y el friofriolero va
lo que yo estoy padeciendo
                                                                pensando asee llorando asee por el camino
llora la pluma escribiendo

negras lágrimas de penas

la amo y malhaya mi vida

cuando la imagen que adoro

vio pasarme / triste lloro

sin dares por entendida—

                Pancho Chastitellez—born of white & yellow maize [dicen que]

                now dead in McTlán—dead—dead

but yea—composed that first POCHO CODEX

one formal narrative—fusing couples’ garments—

Pancho awoke to tie his shoelaces
to her own—¡get back sathan!

—grito’ed—jerked back—sunk—¿estás loca?

POCHO CODEX / unoriginal

cara / preface to Amurka already /

written . . . ¡Amurka! . . . brownish/whitish

smell of lands colonized / wealth / but dead now in McTlán / get that

& swollen by lands filled w/ unarmed / exploited calaveras—

            ¿de veras?

POCHO CODEX inscribed for POCHOS

                                                     pochteca / pochtecatl

for these pochos who don’t know know how their lineage passes al sur / whether their abuelos

in Makesicko “from Whom Their Pocho Fathers who Came from There Ascended” [sic]

they arrived / there / to AMURKA

some dignified capitalists / chosen / then dead back / back home to McTlán

FLOWER SONG from POCHO CODEX / ms 323232.4

ahua yyao ayya yye—

let us enjoy—
            a ohuaya

we aint twice on earth—

let us enjoy

& flowers aint taken from McTlán—only borrowed—

            in truth

we must go—

flower my song goodbye—

in truth: ohuaya—

O that pathos of ephemerality McTlán / McTlán

yn Chastitellez axictini

quinmahuiztilia iteohuan—

ica on huel huelitini

oquinxico in iyaohuan

ma nohuian yectenehualo

yn Chastitellez tlapaltic

ylhuiltic ymacehualtic

nohuian mauhcaittalo

huelitini in iteohuan

ca icxitlan quintlalique

yn nepapan yaohuan

yn huel oquicocolique