Rodrigo Arenas (Santiago, 1976). BA in Economics and BA in Education. He has been a dj, radio show host and teacher. Former member of the creative writing workshop “Zona de Contacto”. His work has been published at several magazines and newspapers as El Mercurio, Fracturas, Verandi, and so on. Finalist in the Paula Magazine short stories contest and the Fundacion Balmaceda poerty contest. Currently, he is the editor of the Lifestyle and Trends Section at magazine. Sebastian Santander Lazo. (San Bernardo, Santiago, 1987) Librarian and Arts Manager. Studies in Contemporary Spanish-American Literature (Diamela Eltit). Former member of the creative writing workshops “Zona de Contacto” and "Poesía y Edición" (Raul Hernandez and Gladys Gonzalez) Since 2008 he organizes the book club “Club de Lectura y Diversidad Sexual” at Biblioteca Regional de Santiago de Santiago. Rights activist and artist.



Poems by Rodrigo Arenas Drawings by Sebastian Santander Lazo


© 2010 Rodrigo Arenas Ibacache y Sebastian Santander L. Registro Propiedad Intelectual Inscripción Nº 193.531 ISBN: 978-956-332-715-1 Diseño: Rodrigo Arenas Ibacache Dibujo de Portada y Contraportada: Sebastian Santander L Primera Edición: 30 ejemplares. Prohibida su reproducción total o parcial, para uso privado o colectivo, en cualquier medio impreso o electrónico de acuerdo a las leyes Nº 17.336 y 18.443 de 1985 (Propiedad intelectual) Impreso en Chile por IGD Impresores © 2010 Rodrigo Arenas Ibacache y Sebastian Santander L. Chilean Rights Register Nº 193.531 ISBN: 978-956-332-715-1 Design: Rodrigo Arenas Ibacache Front and Back Cover draws: Sebastian Santander L First Edition: 30 issues. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher, not be otherwise circulated in any form or binding or cover other than that in which published. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, business, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. Rights protected by Chilean Laws Nº 17.336 y 18.443 from 1985 Printed en Chile by IGD


For D.L.W.


chile An urban pronunciation of "child". Is pronounced like Child but without the D at the end. “I know somebody payin' chile support for one of his kids.” [From Urban Dictionary ( ]


INTRO I told you I warned you gave you this speech before the penguins were released and the guns and the hands and the fares and the streets and the friends and the dances and the trains and the holy wait and the vans and the cabs and the (new) Yankee Stadium and the green night who never ends and the flag and the bucks and the bye and the silence and the cigarettes and more cigarettes and the ands my country is a country of poets poets hiding among the cold orphans through an opaque glass jumping from the buildings because the sound of a lyre had become unstoppable turning on their lanterns while emerging from the ruins having little orgasms while working on a building exposing their lean chests and selling cheap vegetables fighting in barefoot grace against the earth, a dream, an enemy, and a paper ball even without a stage even without a witness do you want me to continue? may I give you a list? Florcita Sings


Clotario Struggles Divinísimo Scribe Vargas Strikes Stella Santa Balmaceda Sangre Lira Lihn in the kingdom of heaven and the rest that el Mapocho olvidó this is the country of the dove words as it was in the beginning both now and always and to the ages of ages amen (I told you I warned you my country is a country of poets so do not put the blame on me)


YIVUPBWAYA In the beginning when my blind new child used to felt the ground as an old friend, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a green wind started to swept over the face of the waters



FIRST STAGE Manhattan appeared behind the door and my hands went in panic cause my fatherless brown skin had bullied tremors and blind doves 27/F 9/11 bright lights and no eights both talked to me you’re just a ghost here you’re just another one wandering in the purgatory so go and move as in 1984 bite a burger train you credit buy the love t-shirt let the streets blind you get a cab without need say sorry sorry sorry just sorry all the time walk fast forget your mind drown in a coffee cup your painless deceased Manhattan has no doves no earthquakes no fairy tales drawn in green and red Manhattan has no scars no inside corners where to sit down no cheap vegetables and paper balls Manhattan is silent in the rush hour it’s a quiet princess a non smoking junkie a neverending day


ORACLE I touched carefully the skin of the streets that black velvet with chocolate scent I frotted every new street I faced while the wind sucked my nipples until they started to bleed I squeezed desperately my map with the secret hope of a green night I cum when my instinct became my compass and relaxed before I chose to start walking again Lincoln Tunnel turned me on Times Square turned me on Ellis Island turned me on Hudson River turned me on Port Authority turned me on and even Christopher St turned me on I was named the shame of the ghosts the dammed one someone put sunglasses over my eyebrows so I built a ditch following the paths of the wise ones and forgot the bright lights for a lifetime


CHAWANYA so I went to a club in the hearth of the city the real core and the shyness was cradled by a nice dirty oracle emerged from the ruins checked the no smoking board checked the no shaking board and soon little by little my skin turned black got my teen days back my body hair was vanished I started to lose the chrysalis of the ghost in this little high school I was just another one who shared that sweet pink anxiety and the word bullying disappeared the number 8 disappeared the ghost also disappeared a flag was rescued from the mud and was written into the skin of my palms the music kept on playing on and on and on I was so pretty at last lost in ebony at last I watched Missy Daily dancing with himself I watched the local huachos with his dark turned on no tremors outside no tremors inside sunglasses went to garbage and the little big dream of a few one was at last the creamy dream of a lot a lot of ones who didn’t know how deeply I started to love their Etoro bones their blatino souls their nuyorican quiet hearts FOREVER and a taxi was a bed a trick was the trick my mouth became adult a folk emerged from the 88 ruins but then I saw into the red that a comeback started to resemble a junkie man so I ran away waiting for the mandatory aftershocks and the stage of the club changed FOREVER as it was in the beginning both now and always and to the ages of ages amen


HELLO hello hi there like a thief in the dark a jumpin’ lovely boy with this dyed beautiful head offered me three green eyes through the darkness of the night hello hi there hello mucho gusto merci how are you you remain me of an actor your name everyone was silent at the bar and I said yes to the green eyes through the tough darkness of the neverending night


LANGUAGE what’s your passion you asked mr. what’s your passion my passion is writing, I said my passion is dancing, you said but your waist was slashed and my fingertips collapsed it was a long long time ago when the ground crushed and the dancer was fired from the heights of one island but the dream of Zamenhof was born Tower of Babel went back to life the ruins became goat milk and the floating dust resembled Inca’s gold a dove started to dream about penguins two islands discovered their bare flesh green and brown in the aftershocks tongues shook hands again and the stage of that bar changed FOREVER


DANCE WIV ME you asked me a dance but I don’t dance I just tremor I lost the beat I had reflex spasms 8.8 dust arrived and some jumped when the sound of a lyre become unstoppable but a flag was rescued from the mud and was tattooed with care in the core of my palms and we both kept on dancin’ until the barman turned off the lights Missy Daily was following the beats among empty glasses and silent drunks the minted air of Chelsea said hello but a subway station shouted goodbye that could have been just another night any given Friday night in any island of the world in any neighborhood for any bird for any color for any pair of casual lovers but I had already taken my first dance lesson and you managed to create a timeless holy wait


TAKE ME HOME “I was not sure if you would like me to enter under your roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” (Spiritual Communion Catholic Practice - Remixed) you americans you don’t know how we the chileans are chile is the country of the dove words of the tears of the unconscious and the laughs of the slaves of the timeless hoax and the stubborn buildings so you ought to know that my answer was always yes it took you a long time to shout what you wanted to you weren’t shy when you said hello but in the subway you were just a wuss where was you, the unbeatable firefighter the wise clerk the self made man? even Saint Rosa Parks your nevertired guardian was shamed while standing in a side of your bed actually I’m trying to explain you what an astonished Chilean guy expects from a Bronx’s hard thug boy he looks for a savage lovely wet tender gangsta love child not for the one that hides his scars under a pile of shaking phrases and holding me in the subway station you finally said it right


then two hands started to rebuild the sacred island paths even if it was too early at night I began to cuddle Bronx with my bleeding peeling hands


$ 50 CAB FARE $50 cab fare who cared? I should have paid eight millions but I think I’ll pay with the Olives’ cup for myself anyway I hold the grail because of the new quietness that sails into your eyes and due to the infinite dark emerging from your hands $50 cab fare who cared? the time is now love amen


KALAVE and I begin to paint your scars in green and brown while your hands start to stop the tsunamis and tremors of my brown plundered skin I leave my bullied childish bones sailing into the land of your Bx Siddhārtha blood that mixes with my savage songs pachamama anthems Etoro sounds rebuilding my fingers and asphalting my palms bringing back to life your forgotten cradle and your undanceable waist as It should have been from the beginning of times both now and always and to the ages of ages amen


YOU NY NY Bronx so, I shout at last this is Amerika BX NY is the LOVE that comes from above as the light of god over the suffering souls of my damaged skin BX used to be the streets You walked everyday singin’ Your gospels in jungle sounds but now that my barefoot bleeding feet are able to speak in brown in green they are leaving writing in the avenue Your name in red and my head is healed by Your Etoro hands after 88 quakes in the middle of the darkest night BX is the land(on) of the last dreams Saint Simon Bolivar and Archangel Martin Luther King they kiss each other with no shoes the dreams of the green penguins and the land that demands white milk Jose Manuel Balmaceda and the orphan that was never alone Saint Sebastian fertile ground black and brown never Prince just the two longest rivers surrounding their islands the ground remains maiden with all the stillness I need You You You


it’s You all the time all day the green night penguins in the sky and the earth stands quiet all my life everything I did everything the people gave 2 me led me here 2 Your coach made of the wood of 1810 angels that will take care of You and Your mess and Your hymns and Your blessed soul even in the blindest day amen



THE MORNING AFTER rebuilding continues four strange pieces of bread the remains of the butter of the week three boiled eggs a couple of glasses with green tea a pair of turntables for pleasure some e-mails to check trousers to wear again cold water on the face a subway station on the west an invitation 2 Your show and I’ll see U late before another cigarette my exodus starts amen


WALKING OVER SAND the whole evening I sing my songs 2U in green with a choir of penguins under the desert sun with no tremors I sing I sing as a bullyied kid I sing as a caring land I sing as a huacho I sing as a new father I sing as a prayer 2 god while having dinner with some friends for the last time I sing as Allende before the night of the 17 quakes and the 88 tremors I sing as an old slave who watches his daughter gone with no goodbye maybe it’s not right but my heart cries now so I sing in silence it’s me who is moving now but it’s too late oh, my gosh! I need to get a taxi cab


LOVE I and I arrive 2 the venue silent brown extremely barefoot seat down in a corner have a shy and quiet time while the tribe shake their hands released from slavery again but You come with a kiss a simple natural kiss another kiss for the (hi)story of two islands a kiss it’s just a kiss a kiss that changes the world a kiss and the building machines make the greener noises and a frenetic dance takes the dead rocks away no questions no stranger no ghost no bull no temblor just names and faces just kisses and friends We dance there’s no sky neither earth We all dance in this tiny place


and this is the moment when I realize that I am in the promised land



WANDERING las calles del Bronx / las calles de Estación Central they hold Our kisses and silly hugs the garbage is the star of this neverending night the chill is our palace with no Princes, just Us and we let Our body to run as a river wrapped by the minted wind and warmed by the neon lights We walk wiff no destiny no stray no time just a dance but We move not earth no fares old ladies smile while they stare at us the cats give Us the freedom of an indifferent sight the world around Us is black two islands are the grass of the new abolition speech history rests in peace a dove opens her eyes in Broadway Avenue / in Alameda Bernardo O’Higgins the blood from my brown feet write Our name in green the streets ain’t no shakin’ and the penguins fly no earth no stray no time no fares just the beat of one heart


Ours hours Ours hours and hours Us U.S. As Tuyyo Tuyo cause Cafuso Lobo Marabou Garífuna achieved to divide the waters and let Us keep on movin’ the horizon ain’t here no more all We need it’s just a dirty long street an smile and an indifferent sight


THE NIGHT lost in Harlem lost in Our chest lost in the green lost into penguins lost in the desert lost in the jungle We are a teen surviving into the bogus river that won’t never stops but the holy inefficiency of TransNewYork seems to be helping Our green My Own amuv don’t You need to stop the bogus river U just need to become Etoro again


WISH I COULD STOP HERE the world around Us is tough it laughs of Our amuv paths tries 2 stop Us in the middle of an empty iced street cuz’ maybe don’t they still get it that a kiss is just a kiss is a simple kiss could be Your kiss a kiss is soft my kiss is hard a kiss can eat and breath and cry dis is a kiss that changed da world rite now ayo spick ayo coon ayo move u feet a piece appears az a sunshine but i’ll go wherever we want 2 wherever Our name deserves to be written so don’t b afraid I be savin’ U 2 save Us right now Jose Manuel Balmaceda and Allende as it should have been from da beginning of times both now and always an’ ta the ages of ages amen



LAST KI$$ da wind of da subway train it’s da setting 2 da last moment of amuv lips come together cocks wannabe together again too but You left da Etoro back 2 da closet “u got my email, u can send me some music” it’s your will U foul MoFo, son o’ da bitch, conchatumadre, puto de mierda i warned You how we the Chileans are… can’t nobody beat Us now


LUV II lone in da train some penguins join me da sunlight appeared in scene da nite is a ghost da subway is shakin’ da tribe is scarce da gold has been loot my feet bleedin’ rivers Your waist hesitates i’m into silence no cum 2 give no words no dove no gospel no dance no fly no jungle just the remains of black brown green but befo da door close U turned back a sight an’ that’s the time when i realized dat I found da promised land



AFTA/WORDZ everybody iz talkin’ about me in dis town he’s gone crazy they’re sayin’ but da town iz done thonx an’ a trip was gone thonx now i got no tribe got no penguins got no dances got no green got no word got no hood got no islands got no scars got no nite got no jungle my feet iz destroyed but they can still draw Your eyes on da screebs of Bx / Estación Central thonx without U i are lost just beggin’ as an ghost o’ my homies’ cribs without U i just runnin’ away from quakes


THONX Sebastian Santander and Victor Rocha @ Barrio Brasil, SCL Eliana Ibacache Trigo and Juan Carlos Castillo Ibacache @ Elmwood Park, NJ Michael Ramon @ Harlem, NY Jorge Alliende @ Providencia, SCL Paula Bassano @ Providencia, SCL


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