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June 19, 2011 / johnoliversimon

Caminante 13

Ixbalamque, one of the Mayan hero twins, was a jaguar.

CAMINANTE 13

*

DOUBLE WHEELIE

Ixbalamqué could pop a double wheelie hanging
upside down. Every night I dream that you died.
Great waves come up and carry both of us away.
Dogs of the mountain gobble out our eyes.
My notebook lies in the rain half full,
half empty, at the bottom of the selva.
There is nobody like you, nobody like me.
The twins rush up out of darkness shouting for joy.

Chiapas
10/23-24/1995

Comentario: the Hero Twins, Hunahpú and Hunahpú, played ball against the gods in Xibalbá. They lost. They got their heads cut off and turned them into baseballs and stuck them on a tree. A girl, Ixquil, ate them. She had babies: Ixbalamqué and Hunahpú, the Hero Twins. They sacrificed, they hit the long ball, they had defensive magic. Using the advance scouting reports of animal helpers, especially mosquitoes, they smoked the Dark Lords. You remember the sequence from Game Six.

Overview:  I don’t remember if the you in this poem is Kia or Becky, or perhaps Tesla Rose, yet to be born. It never did stop raining those October days in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, catching perhaps the backlash of Hurricane Roxanne. The structure of this poem is down, down, down, down, down, and finally rushing back up. Pay attention to that kind of movement when you read poems. It’s how poems actually work, don’t you know.

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