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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Calaveras Poetry for Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)


Calaveras (literally, sugar skulls,) are traditional satirical Mexican poems published on and around the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). The celebration of the day of the dead predates the independence of the countries in North America. Something native here, this idea of the dead living amongst the human. B-waaaaaahhh. Below you can read a calavera in Spanish about Donald Trump, everyone's favorite meerkat. Feel free to add your calavera here!

The Calaca of a Vaquera
(The Skeleton of the Cowgirl)


Not a tequila swilling,
sombrero wearing,
bandelero brandishing,
pistol-poppin dama,

but something pre-Columbian,
both creator and destroyer.
A molcajete grinding,
horseback riding Calaca.

Hot the pepper,
cool the salt,
when she licks the dust
from your bones.
©  Maria Garcia Teutsch


Calavera for Thelonious Monk

Play asymmetrical swing
with hands
hep to the jive.
Cherubim don't let fly
Maybe Bird and Dizzy
Can take it high.

River Atwood Tabor


Below you can read a calavera in Spanish with a loose English translation. It’s from here. It’s making fun of that pro-choice, tree hugging candidate we all know and love, (that's also a joke, remember when we wrote stuff and made fun of each other?) yeah, that's a calavera.

Donald Trump te lo aseguro
Le dijo la calavera
Que no vas a hacer el muro
Porque una hirviente caldera
Rebosante de cianuro
En el infierno te espera.
Y por lo tanto, te auguro,
Que todo buen mexicano
Predecirá tu futuro
Que allá en un lugar lejano
Por tu discurso tan duro
Se te va a podrir el: anillo periférico.

Donald Trump I assure you
He told the skull
You will not make the wall
Because a seething cauldron
Brimming with cyanide
In hell awaits.
And therefore, I predict,
Every good Mexican
It will predict your future
That there in a faraway place
For your speech so hard
You're going to rot on: beltway.


Calavera for Kauai

The ancients speak through Pele’s children,
scarlet roosters who reprimand pushy Nene geese,
chase tiny mourning doves into hibiscus groves.
The jagged silhouette of a sleeping giant
lifts volcanic hills, sprouts ghostly plumeria.
Steep Na Pali coastline protects royal bones.
Kauai sneezes silver rain,
scatters battalions of wandering banyan.
Poetry spills from belligerent clouds.

Jennifer Lagier-Fellguth


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