Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Alí Calderón

AND WE WENT UP THE ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN LONG STEPS OF THAT TEMPLE

And we went up the one hundred and fourteen long steps of that temple
The sharpness of their volcanic stone burnt our hands

There I saw the neighbouring towns
the market of aromatic pine-sticks and tigers
Tlatelolco
It was from the very high Plaza that we observed
the fresh-sweet water coming from Chapultepec
Iztapalapa Tlacopan Tepeaquilla everything dominated by our eyes

We turned our backs and saw
in constellations
blocks and bodies of their idols
bad shapes
all of them taller than a very tall man
and distorted
made out of mud dough and legumes mixed
with seed and blood of human hearts and spoils
such was the mess

In a small tower-apartment like a salon
two altars
two blocks
two tall bodies extremely detestable
one of them
                    Uichilobos
had his head and face so wide and warped eyes grisly
his body daubed with glue and roots and beads
blood and other excretions
and hanging from his plexus some faces
torn apart from their skulls
more than enough to circle an oak trunk
and gasping for the copal smoke
I had seen
all the walls of that shrine
flooded and packed with crusts
and plasma also on the floor that
a slaughterhouse doesn’t exceed such stench

And they had a drum there made of raw snake skin
that when they played
such was the sorrow of its beats
that hades got closer

They were taken by five
two by the legs two by the arms
one more by the head and another miserable bastard
with a stone knife in both hands slashed their chests
then with one hand through the wound
dragged their hearts out

the bodies loose in their dark miseries
disjointed were eaten by everybody
the basophils drank granate and bermellion
the faces purplish hundreds of gallons of a reddish flow
towards the plaza

and they threw the remains and other erythrocytes
steps down
                   they dressed up with the hides
stumps chunks live flesh lymphocytes

The satraps also spilled blood outside the temples
before the Uichilobos and the beheaded young men
wild spiky hair
disjointed blood clots thighs
forearms tibias and there’s the bone between grease
and flesh then masking tape
around sniffed noses and mouths and then hang them
from bridges
and the wind of dawns broke their jaws
wrapped in black bags
here they come the inspection posts
I’ve heard that they also spill millions of RBCs and
normochromatics
severed heads piled on
thorax which flesh trembles
at a simple finger touch
and there abdomens breasts frontal bones
eyes
armpits anuses pancreas gunned down
getting rotten in the mouths
of rats

Ladies of this land

EN WE BEKLOMMEN DE HONDERDVEERTIEN LANGE TREDEN VAN DIE PIRAMIDE

En we beklommen de honderdveertien lange treden van die piramide
De ruwe, zwart uitgeslagen stenen brandden onze handen

Daar aanschouwde ik nabije dorpen
de marktplaats van pijnboom en tijgers
Tlatelolco
Vanaf het pleintje heel hoog keken we uit
over de zoete waterstroom uit Chapultepec
Iztapalapa Tlacopan Tepeaquilla alles door onze ogen beheerst

We keerden ons af en aanschouwden
in constellaties
gedaanten en lichamen van hun goden
sinistere figuren
allen langer dan een grote man
en mismaakt
van klei en leem en peulvruchten
Gunstig gestemd met zaden en bloed uit harten menselijke resten
een dusdanig maalsel

In een torentje of huisje, een soort zaal
twee altaren
twee gedaanten
twee lange, toegetakelde lichamen
een ervan
                 Huitzilopochtli
Zijn gezicht en gelaat waren breed en zijn ogen misvormd afschuwwekkend
zijn lichaam besmeurd met stijfsel en wortels en parelgruis
bloed en andere uitgroeisels
nabij zijn zonnevlecht hingen enkele indianengezichten
van hun schedels gerukt
genoeg om een eik te doen buigen
en hijgend door de rook van de kopal
bezag ik
alle muren van dat afgodshuis
doordrenkt en korstig zwart
alsook plasma op de grond
stank en aanblik overtroffen die van een slachthuis

En er stond een trommel van rauw aspisleer
die als ze erop speelden
zulk een droef geluid gaf
dat de hel genaakte

Door vijf werden ze beetgepakt
twee bij de benen twee bij de armen
één bij het hoofd een ander pussend gezwel scheurde
hun borst met beide handen open vuursteen bij wijze van lans
en door de opening stak die zijn hand
en rukte het hart eruit

en het ontlede lichaam werd in duistere ellende
uiteengetrokken door allen gegeten
de basofielen dronken granaatrood en vermiljoen hun gezichten
purperkleurig honderden vaten wijnrood stroomden naar het plein

en de resten lieten ze wegrollen
andere erytrocy
                          kleedden zich in hun huiden
stompjes houwen rauw vlees lymfocyten

De satrapen vergoten ook buiten de tempels bloed
voor Huitzilopochtli en afgehakte
tere mannenhoofden met borstelig haar
ontbonden bloedklonterdijen
lauwwarme onderarmen waar bot uitsteekt tussen vet
en vlees dan isolatietape
eromheen doorgesnoven neuzen monden en aan een paar bruggen
hangen ze hen op
hun kaken gebroken door de vroege ochtendwind
ingepakt in zwarte zakken
daar komen de controleposten
Mij kwam ter ore dat miljoenen rode bloedcellen
en normochromische wegvloeien uit
de afgehakte hoofden die zich stapelen
op thoraxen waar het vlees van loslaat
bij enkel een schampen van vingers
en daar buiken borsten voorhoofdsbeenderen
ogen
stukgeschoten oksels anussen alvleesklieren
rottend op de lippen
van ratten

Heerseressen van dit land

E subimos las ciento y catorce gradas longas de aquel cú
Sus piedras ennegrecidas nos quemaron las manos de tan ásperas

Vide allí los pueblos comarcanos
el tianguiz de ocote y tigres
Tlatelulco
Fue desde la placeta que arriba muy se face que oteamos
el agua dulce que se viene de Chapultepec
Iztapalapa Tlacopan Tepeaquilla todo señoreado por nos ojos

Tornamos las espaldas e vimos
a constelación
bultos y cuerpos de sus ídolos
malas figuras
todos de muy mayor estatura que un gran hombre
y contrahechos
de arcilla y masa y de legumbres
amánsalas con semillas y sangres de cuores despojos humanos
ansí tal farina

En una torrecilla y apartamiento a manera de sala
dos altares
dos bultos
dos altos cuerpos harto astrosos
uno dellos
                 Uichilobos
Tenía la su cara y rostro muy ancho y los ojos disformes espantables
untado el cuerpo de engrudo y raíces y aljófares
sangre y otras varias excrecencias
y colgantes ceñidas al plexo unas caras de indio
arrancadas a sus cráneos
tantas para abangar un roble
y acezando por los humos del sahumerio
hube visto
todas las paredes de aquel adoratorio
tan bañado y negro de costras
y plasma asimismo en el suelo
que un rastro no exardece tal hedor e catadura

Y allí tenían un atabor de cuero crúdel áspid
que cuando le tañían
tal era la tristura de sus tumbos
los infiernos se allegaban

Tomábanlos cinco
dos por las piernas dos por los brazos
uno más por la cabeza y otro postema y landre rajábales
con ambas manos pedernal a modo de lanzón los pechos
y por aquella abertura metíale la mano
y le sacaba el corazón

y el cuerpo desasido en oscura laceria
descoyuntado era comido de todos
y los basófilos tomados granate y bermellón los rostros
purpurecidos cientos de azumbres de aloque caudal hasta la plaza

y echaban los restos a rodar
y otros eritroci
                        vestían sus pellejos
los muñones los tajos carne viva linfocitos

Derramaban también sangre los sátrapas fuera de los cúes
frente al Uichilobos y en degüello
tiernas cabezas de hombres hirsuta pelambrera
desmembrados los coágulos muslos
y antebrazos tibias allí asoma el hueso entre la grasa
y la carne después aislante cinta
les rodea narices esnifadas bocas y de unos puentes entonces
lo ponen a colgar
y el viento de las madrugadas desbravó sus fauces
envueltas en bolsas negras
allí vienen los retenes
Oydo he decir que millones de hematíes
y también normocromáticos derraman
las testas cercenadas que se apilan
sobre tórax cuya carne se remueve
al contacto sólo de los dedos
y allí abdómenes mamas huesos frontales
ojos
axilas anos páncreas rafagueados
pudriéndose en los belfos
de las ratas

Señoras de esta tierra
Close

AND WE WENT UP THE ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN LONG STEPS OF THAT TEMPLE

And we went up the one hundred and fourteen long steps of that temple
The sharpness of their volcanic stone burnt our hands

There I saw the neighbouring towns
the market of aromatic pine-sticks and tigers
Tlatelolco
It was from the very high Plaza that we observed
the fresh-sweet water coming from Chapultepec
Iztapalapa Tlacopan Tepeaquilla everything dominated by our eyes

We turned our backs and saw
in constellations
blocks and bodies of their idols
bad shapes
all of them taller than a very tall man
and distorted
made out of mud dough and legumes mixed
with seed and blood of human hearts and spoils
such was the mess

In a small tower-apartment like a salon
two altars
two blocks
two tall bodies extremely detestable
one of them
                    Uichilobos
had his head and face so wide and warped eyes grisly
his body daubed with glue and roots and beads
blood and other excretions
and hanging from his plexus some faces
torn apart from their skulls
more than enough to circle an oak trunk
and gasping for the copal smoke
I had seen
all the walls of that shrine
flooded and packed with crusts
and plasma also on the floor that
a slaughterhouse doesn’t exceed such stench

And they had a drum there made of raw snake skin
that when they played
such was the sorrow of its beats
that hades got closer

They were taken by five
two by the legs two by the arms
one more by the head and another miserable bastard
with a stone knife in both hands slashed their chests
then with one hand through the wound
dragged their hearts out

the bodies loose in their dark miseries
disjointed were eaten by everybody
the basophils drank granate and bermellion
the faces purplish hundreds of gallons of a reddish flow
towards the plaza

and they threw the remains and other erythrocytes
steps down
                   they dressed up with the hides
stumps chunks live flesh lymphocytes

The satraps also spilled blood outside the temples
before the Uichilobos and the beheaded young men
wild spiky hair
disjointed blood clots thighs
forearms tibias and there’s the bone between grease
and flesh then masking tape
around sniffed noses and mouths and then hang them
from bridges
and the wind of dawns broke their jaws
wrapped in black bags
here they come the inspection posts
I’ve heard that they also spill millions of RBCs and
normochromatics
severed heads piled on
thorax which flesh trembles
at a simple finger touch
and there abdomens breasts frontal bones
eyes
armpits anuses pancreas gunned down
getting rotten in the mouths
of rats

Ladies of this land

AND WE WENT UP THE ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN LONG STEPS OF THAT TEMPLE

And we went up the one hundred and fourteen long steps of that temple
The sharpness of their volcanic stone burnt our hands

There I saw the neighbouring towns
the market of aromatic pine-sticks and tigers
Tlatelolco
It was from the very high Plaza that we observed
the fresh-sweet water coming from Chapultepec
Iztapalapa Tlacopan Tepeaquilla everything dominated by our eyes

We turned our backs and saw
in constellations
blocks and bodies of their idols
bad shapes
all of them taller than a very tall man
and distorted
made out of mud dough and legumes mixed
with seed and blood of human hearts and spoils
such was the mess

In a small tower-apartment like a salon
two altars
two blocks
two tall bodies extremely detestable
one of them
                    Uichilobos
had his head and face so wide and warped eyes grisly
his body daubed with glue and roots and beads
blood and other excretions
and hanging from his plexus some faces
torn apart from their skulls
more than enough to circle an oak trunk
and gasping for the copal smoke
I had seen
all the walls of that shrine
flooded and packed with crusts
and plasma also on the floor that
a slaughterhouse doesn’t exceed such stench

And they had a drum there made of raw snake skin
that when they played
such was the sorrow of its beats
that hades got closer

They were taken by five
two by the legs two by the arms
one more by the head and another miserable bastard
with a stone knife in both hands slashed their chests
then with one hand through the wound
dragged their hearts out

the bodies loose in their dark miseries
disjointed were eaten by everybody
the basophils drank granate and bermellion
the faces purplish hundreds of gallons of a reddish flow
towards the plaza

and they threw the remains and other erythrocytes
steps down
                   they dressed up with the hides
stumps chunks live flesh lymphocytes

The satraps also spilled blood outside the temples
before the Uichilobos and the beheaded young men
wild spiky hair
disjointed blood clots thighs
forearms tibias and there’s the bone between grease
and flesh then masking tape
around sniffed noses and mouths and then hang them
from bridges
and the wind of dawns broke their jaws
wrapped in black bags
here they come the inspection posts
I’ve heard that they also spill millions of RBCs and
normochromatics
severed heads piled on
thorax which flesh trembles
at a simple finger touch
and there abdomens breasts frontal bones
eyes
armpits anuses pancreas gunned down
getting rotten in the mouths
of rats

Ladies of this land
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Prins Bernhard cultuurfonds
Lira fonds
Partners
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