READ LOCAL First represents Utah’s most comprehensive collection of celebrated and promising writers of fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, and memoir. This month we bring you Hector Ahumada, a Chilean poet and naturalized citizen who has lived in Salt Lake City for nearly forty years. “Poetry belongs to all genders,” says Hector, a participant in the reading series staged by City Arts.
The six poems below come from the chapbook, poems by Hector, published by the Wanting to Die Poetry Club, to which 15 Bytes express gratitude for this re-publication of Hector’s work. The poem, “To My Trip Companion Khalil,” originally appeared in The Highland Travelers, Elik Press.
A Materialist Tale – Anti-poem
To corrupted thinkers
Once upon a time, there was a poet
who wanted to know.
The answer to the old question
of what is the relation of politic to philosophy.
But his granddaughter pursued him
to question something else by saying:
“Abuelo-grandpa, the meaning of my existence is to love my father and mother,
and the purpose of my life is to eat
And you “abuelo” are my chocolate provider.
The relationship of philosophy and politics,
is to render the truth of politics
with the truth of artistic creations.
Can you repeat that please,
but allow me to finish my energy drink first?
This is not Poetry; this is an indoctrination into a new way of thinking.
I have to warn you that I have a PhD
in Floral Arrangements.
That I read all the latest USA Laureate poets, including Felipe Herrera.
Once upon a time, it was not true
that any opinion is worth
as much as any other opinion.
That Plato discussed with young people
how to distinguish between correct
and mistaken opinions.
Once upon a time,
democracy was in trouble in USA.
And the absolute truth was in silence
The academic poets essential concern
was their unpaid educational loans.
And cash compensation was available
to the persons exposed to Anti-poetry.
To poetic fiction
Let’s assume that the man is asleep in delusion,
hunted by useless habits of daily chores.
Consumed by his thoughts and desires,
the man does not want to wake up.
His false pride imprisons his soul.
The man earns his living, eats one or two times a day
and amuses himself with his cell phone.
The meaning of his existence is to google
and the purpose of his life is to delete.
He remains in deep passion with his material world.
He forgot the old purpose of his life,
and the symbolic dimension of his social existence.
The economic activities of his life,
has produced enormous amount of wealth.
He think that the image of G-d is the image of humanity,
but, it is something too hard to believe.
He knows that he is not the judge of mankind.
He believe that his radical protestant skepticism
will absolve him in this life or in a life to come.
The man is disinterested in the rest of humanity.
The music of violins and cellos.
The aroma of coffee and cheesecake.
The consciousness, sub-consciousness.
The moral and ethic of my parents.
The photographer, his wife
and the editor of a local newspaper.
An old man carrying a green bag.
The young woman with a nose ring.
The decay of democracy.
The material abundance of capitalism.
The yoga, meditation and therapies.
The estimated two billion neurons
of my brain.
The cybernetic scams
and multiple conspiracies.
The six hundred and thirteen
commandments of the Jews.
The ten evil things of the Buddhists.
The chess players.
The breasts of a woman
under a green blouse.
The irrational-rational expectations
The painful gifts of Nature.
The indifference and rejection of old people.
The emails, texts and phone calls
empty of meaning.
The language, the thoughts and words.
The images, symbols and meaning.
The empty chairs and leftovers on tables.
The music of a piano, the poem.
To Syrian girls
Her name was Sara.
She was thirteen year old.
A missile exploded in her room.
What traditional pattern should I use to write this poem?
What poetic expressions should I use
to give coherence and continuity to this event?
The girl’s dead body was trapped
under cement and brick fragments.
While her home was consumed by the fire.
The poets of the modern world had sung against:
Nazism, Communism, Capitalism and dehumanization.
Their authentic and sincere voices have not ignored:
injustice, genocide and occupation.
The body of the girl was just a mass of burned flesh and bones.
Perhaps is the time to create new poetic expressions
to denounce the ideologies of the creators of wars.
Her name was Sara, she was thirteen year old,
and I found no Poetry for her.
To My Trip Companion Khalil
Although father and son,
we are so different.
At the core of our souls
he is one, and I the other one.
We speak the same languages.
I have no ambitions,
but the intense desire to write.
He seldom reads my poems.
He is my beloved one.
We do not pray together.
We sit on the opposite
ends of the garden.
In an every day acceptance
with tolerance in time,
we perceive the same differently
We are united by love.
Song to my Robotic Lover
To Anglo-Saxon Intellectuals
Let me touch your nipples,
while you talk to me about:
unconsciousness, the ego,
addiction, libido and death.
Let me blow my warm breath
over your pubic hair,
while you read me about:
stream of consciousness,
and the obscure academic jargon.
Pour me another glass
of postmodern ideas
and capitalistic desires.
Use silence to manipulate
my dogmatic expression of discontent.
Give me more
than the softness of your thighs
and your academic accomplishments.
Perhaps, one day you will understand
that, I am not the one who you think
And you are not the one who I think
I came from water, I am and I am not,
and I am going to dust and worms.
Let me penetrate you,
while you whisper into my left ear:
politics, ethic, metaphysics,
investment loans and profit.
While you reveal to me
the meta-language of the intellectuals
and I stop feeling this sick compulsion
to justify my thinking.
Imperialism and its effects
on the rest of this planet.
The idea that that USA, England,
Germany and Scandinavian nations
can enjoy the wealth of this earth
with greed, hate and delusion
is presented in academic realms
as The Will of some Unknown Entity.
The attractive Delicatessen attendant
brings me the bill.
I see fields of yellow, white and red tulips,
wind-mills, a trail and boats in a sea channel.
A battalion of German soldiers
marching under a cloudy Autumn sky.
Fragment of a Postmodern Ecclesiastes – Anti-poem
There is a time for almost everything.
A time to laugh, a time to cry.
A time for beef, a time for lamb.
A time to make mistakes, a time to apologize.
A time to believe, a time to disbelieve.
A time to be smart, a time to be dumb.
A time to look, a time to close the eyes.
A time to eat, a time to lose weight.
A time to accept, a time to criticize.
A time to sleep, a time to be awake.
A time to love, a time to hate.
A time to resent, a time to forgive.
A time to be yourself, a time to be someone else.
A time to recognize your ignorance, a time to ask for help.
A time to be animal, a time to be rational.
A time to have sex with another, a time to masturbate.
A time to tell the truth, a time to keep your mouth shut.
A time to understand life, a time to run around like a chicken with no
There is a time and a place for almost everything.
Please do not make me repeat the anti-poem again.
For more by Hector, visit: http://www.poethector.com.