Posted by: Rajesh Shukla | February 9, 2011


Califas was commissioned by filmmakers Philip and Amy Brookman
in 1987 for their film, My Other Self/Mi Otro Yo.


El Aztec Poet
began the conquest of Europzin
in 1492, an Aztec sailor
named Noctli Europzin Tezpoca
departed from the port of Minatitlan
with a small flotilla of wooden rafts.
3 months later
he discovered a new continent
& named it Europzin after himself.
in November 1512,
the omnipotent Aztecs
began the conquest of Europzin
in the name of thy father Tezcatlipoca
Lord of cross-cultural misconceptions?
. “I remember…”
said the drunken Aztec poet—
“when our continent
still had no name
& we had no foreign tongues
to lick the things of the world
the funky days
of my childhood are over
the crystal days
of my childhood were shattered
by their arrival.
Spanish, French, Anglo-Saxon,
notecuiyohuan!”—he screamed
while holding a bottle of Sauza
as a wireless mike—
“who called you by the way?
Cortez, Maximilian, Ronald the First,
did anyone ask you to come?”
El Chicano Shaman
it’s 1987
& the sky is clotted with blood
the migras keep thinking
they’re able to stop
the historical undercurrents
of a continent gone bananas,
may Tata God, elque embotella,
bless their unlimited stupidity,
[in chorus]
“unlimited the rivers of Brazil
unlimited the passion of my jaina
unlimited the sadness of the beast
suburbia, suburbia, suburbia…”

“I remember…”
—said Chicano shaman-en trance—
“when there was no South or North
but a continuous cardinal vertigo
& one could walk collaterally
toward any image or sound
but today
life is different, tlatoque,
the New York darlings
have monopolized
the right to perceive
today es dark & foggy
& Reagan is coughing backstage.”
Chicano shaman freezes
in the video screen
Chicano murals
are X-rays of his memory,
no one was there to imagine
that this land of encounters
called Califas
would be mortally sliced in half
Chicanes & Mexicanos
nos otros & otros
los amputados
mas alia
del what you say.

full poem on artindia


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