by Fer de la Cruz
They speak every language in the world in their cities
and they read all the literatures in their libraries.
Their visits to the moon don´t impress me much.
Their moonshine is out of this world,
sweet as the white corn they invented.
They harvest the best apples from their fields.
They have good wine and cheese, bourbon, and microbeer.
They have lawyers and doctors washing dishes
—those who don´t speak the language.
At home, dishwashers are illiterate.
They´re puritan as Muslims—many are Muslims, Buddhists, Catholic,
or even devout pagans—except for those who´re not.
They´re racist as everyone else,
but they´ll admit it. And many fight for equality,
collect signatures, change laws, and such…
True, they always have a war: some fight in it while others are against it.
Very unlike us, they trust their institutions.
I don´t picture them as subjects to a foreign monarch,
like Australians, Belizeans, or Canadians.
They value their own dynasties
but not more than backyard barbecue.
They have frybread, pita bread, tortillas, and samosas, falafels, empanadas…
They have all of us too—my uncles, aunts, and cousins who are American
and celebrate Thanksgiving, and hyphenate their names, which is also my name.
So I can´t say I don´t love them.
Now they´re aiming for Mars
which belongs to the universe and all.
Next, they´ll claim it as their own
like I´m claiming this piece of American Literature
as my own.
Trace of Mona Lisa
A smiley face next to the line I like.
This one came out with quite a smirk.
I read the line as I recall
the dwelling for my cat when I was, nine?
who redefines me
each time I feel his whiskers on my lap
as in a dream
or as your eyes tonight
or as this amber flame
containing the rejoicing of shooting stars.
O do I love this line!
which makes me wonder what my face looks like
this moment as I chant.
Heavenly Epic of Cats and Dogs
It´s raining cats and dogs.
The barking falls as thunder. The
cats´ eyes resemble lightning. And the
the cats flashing their paws as they
keep balance midair;
the dogs displaying their teeth
while spinning in the sky,
Chihuahuas and Great Danes
Each battle is won by cats;
aerodynamic instinct makes them experts
on hitting solid ground.
But those poor dogs, o dear!
I hope there really is
a heaven for them all.
Nothing is really happening.
That car did not go by
Nor did we hear the bell of the ice-cream vendor.
We don´t see façades in flowery colors.
Nobody is roasting beef
while listening to cumbia on the radio,
urgeing grackles to grack between the branches
that are not being shaken
by non-existing wind.
Even these tiny ants
are not making the ground move in the shade
that isn´t here. A-ah.
The only real thing is all around us,
among us, inside us,
before and after us,
if you´re a voice of faith.
to find it.
Fernando de la Cruz Herrera (Yucatán, México, 1971) holds an MA in Spanish from Ohio University and a BA in Philosophy. As an independent editor, writer, and cultural promoter, he has participated in cultural festivals, conferences, and book fairs in Mexico, Cuba, France, and the United States. His poems appeared in the books “Redentora la voz” (Ayuntamiento de Mérida, 2010), “Aliteletras. De la a a la que quieras” (Dante, 2011, in print), “Sabotaje a la che y otros poemas de martitologio” (2012, Instituto de Cultura de Yucatán, announced) and in the chapbook “Seven Songs of Silent, Singing Fireflies” (JKPublishing, 2008). He has received two national, one regional, and one state-wide poetry awards in Mexico. His main passions are poetry (which he often finds in theatre, music, film…), language teaching made fun, and the constant discovery of the flavors, shapes, and depths of human life / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fer recently won 1st prize in the Premio Regional de Poesia Jose Diaz Bolio, 2011, sponsored by Patronato Pro Historia Peninsular, $10,000 pesos, his second time. The first was in 2003.
And 2nd place in the Premio Estatal de Literatura Infantil Elvia Rodriguez Cirerol, 2011, sponsored by Instituto de Cultura de Yucatan, $5,000 pesos.
photo by Kristi Harms