Mexico, 10 Hours from Anywhere (a Montage)


In the middle of nowhere,

a dusty taco stand.

The hush of high desert chaparral,

the silhouette of a field hand

near where Cassady walked his last tie,

in the place where American cars go to die.

Rusted sculptures in vast lots,

trash rot borders,

pristine expanses

vultures descend on dead dog carcasses,

pastoral expressions of the lurid and strange.

Low range storm clouds stacked against San Miguel,

10 hours from anywhere, it rests on an epicenter of quartz.


On a tin roof in a thunderstorm.

Modern signal fires in the distance of night sky,

vertical bolts and slanting rain.

Faces watch from under the arcaded frame.

Features illuminated in the interval of flashes,

police cars and further lightning.

Mariachi smoking in corners

with no one to play for,

moments congeal

like wax sculptures in cathedral candles

sealed under statuary.

The pews speak of vacancy,

while walls hold all the reverence and sorrow.


Through the highlands you follow

the satchel gathering,

wheels awash over roads,

between these arroyos

weave witness to a primitive sacrament.

Ramshackle transport to a tiny miracle,

the bus, like a slow procession.

Is it a funeral or a wedding?

All is seen in this setting,

hills green from seasonal rain,

the kind that sweeps tiny towns away,

leaving makeshift alters in their wake

like scars on the fertile landscape

carved into the curves of what nature misshapes.

The voluptuous land lay in waiting

for an azul sky to transform to an ancient lake,

for a barren land to become fields for maize.


Another morning disoriented.

It could be anywhere but it is Mexico.

See the dilapidated bell tower in the distance,

smell the fumes, hear exuberant tunes

from persistent stereos,

Mexico, a cheap hotel where anything goes.

Roaming the debauched streets

undistinguished from the other gringoes.

Going from town to town,

restaurant to bar, cab to club

to rub shoulders with your illusions.

Cash in a money belt, looking for a good deal.

What goes on here?

In this black market, meat market of the surreal?

Mexico, from the cracks in the wall of a dingy room,

you see whatever you choose,

a muddy river, Our Lady of Guadalupe.

One last impression

before your senses regroup.

Turning home, your mind muddled

but content, that is enough for now.


2 thoughts on “Mexico, 10 Hours from Anywhere (a Montage)

  1. nicktakis2012 says:

    Cool…. the essence of Mexico…. great way to conjure up a picture of a place I never visited but only heard about…. thinking of you and Dad on this trip… such a great experience for you both. It could be anywhere? … just the way you feel I guess. gringo loved the feel of the rain on the tin roof with the people staring out , seeing their faces with the flash of light. thanks again. it ‘s an awesome poem Mom

    Date: Sun, 7 Jul 2013 18:47:17 +0000 To:

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