Issue 34 — 

Don Berger (ArLiJo #34)
David Dorantes


Don Berger




Featured on ArLiJo.com Issue No. 34
To Haiti

This poem was read at the We Love Haiti fundraiser at Montgomery College on February 15, 2010.


Haiti you’re the poorest but you are not the poorest
The amazing blue stripe on your flag I can’t name the color
And the remarkable red one that goes along with it
You are the first black republic
Founded in 1804
And you know this of course but I have to say it
Haiti, you’ve got your 27,750 square miles and some of the trees
are still up
Your French and your Creole are
I think about your coffee your sugar your sisal, mangoes, rice
Corn sorghum
Your improving literacy rate
Your total area
Your schools were there in place and will be
What’s that in your flag in the middle I’ll have to look it looks like
And is a tree with things under it
O I know and the words Union Makes Force
Your cement and textiles
166 years ago people started you
On the map you look like an open mouth
Or the tails of a comet
And you share an island
And the island’s name’s the beautiful Hispaniola
Like it was yesterday the girl who came out of the rubble after
twelve days
Golfe de la Gonave
In Saturday’s Post you’re only already on page 19
But there are two articles about you
And two maps as well
It says the chaos has dissipated
And something about your people getting along
There’s a table of pills and ointments
Beside the Grand Rue
Someone is trying to sell
Claudy Esperance
Will find food for his wife and three kids
World-wide they’ve pledged $2 billion dollars
About 200,000 killed and 300,000 injured
A day of mourning in front of the collapsed National Palace
O but tent cities with enough shelter by May 1
A man’s asked if his people are starving and can’t get food
As shown by the news media and he says No that’s not true
Your first big rain fell Thursday
But the trucks and buses moved along the street the Grand Rue
A small pile of batteries and electrical sockets
Joseph Villanord
Who was on the second floor of his building
But you rode down with the crumbling walls
And found yourself settling on top of the rubble
A silent but eloquent unfocussed gaze
As Frantzo you are bundling together concrete reinforcement rods
With the hope of using them to replace your family’s home
You’re a young man on a rooftop
Pushing chunks of concrete off a ledge
The Boulangerie Sant Marc 1929
Where your merchants used to discuss business over a piece of
cake and a cup of coffee
And your name’s pronounced three ways
I know you know this too
In the Greater Antilean archipelago
Land of high mountains as your name goes
From the Taino or Amerindian
On top of this
French as the only country with French
As the language in the Americas
Other than Canada
I want to see your cave paintings in several locations
That’ve become national symbols
And the site of Xaragua’s former capital
That Columbus landed on
Who your princess Queen Anacoana fought
Spain took your gold
The French pirate Jean Lafitte was born in you
With your now 9 million people 9 million 35 thousand
Five hundred and 36
You had 30,000 in 1763 while Canada had only 60,000
James Audubon was born in you
I think
And the founder of Chicago
Your slaves fought in heavy majority in 1791 on the northern
plains
Polish soldiers ultimately fought with your rebels
The only nation born of a slave revolt
Dessalines Emperor for life
Quashed was the idea of Napoleon
I like your 1700 kilometers of roads that were made usable
And your 189 bridges built
And drinking water brought to your main cities
In 1923 you helped feed Ghana
You of the third largest island
Your lowlands, your two plains, the Massif du Nord
And fourteen universities 15,200 primary schools
And most, listening, hearing and listening,
Your complex ever-changing
Music vodou ceremonial Rara parading troubadour ballads,
Compas
Compas or Kompa from Africa and ballroom underpinning of
Tipico, meringue
Hip hop your castle inscribed a World Heritage
You offer peppers and other strong flavorings
Seasoned liberally and i.e. Levantine from Arab migration
Often red snapper
And your beans and rice
Several differing ways there is protein there
There is mais moulu
Or pigeon peas
And as you know oregano garbanzo and red peppers
So in the crowd pressing toward the stage
On the Champ de Mars
“Now I know my life is safe,” you through some of your faces sing
On Friday “no matter what happens tomorrow”
So listen, Haiti, on Sunday you weren’t in the paper
Anymore but then I found you on CNN
They were pulling your beautiful artworks out of the rubble
Which were in good shape I should add
And Frank Louissaint was painting again

Copyright © 2010 by Don Berger.

 

 

David Dorantes



Featured on ArLiJo.com


Poemas en forma haiku en español


Sufro las dunas
no sé qué hago solo
en el destierro


Los patos ya van
hacia la flama del sur
trisca de lagos


Fuera del mundo
trago tierra, hormigas
zafio tornado


En la soledad
hay cielo e infierno
¿cómo vendrá hoy?


Sobre el trigo
y en el amanecer
reposan nubes


En su camino
vive un siglo frágil
cada hormiga


El mar de Cádiz
manto de relámpagos
catre en vilo


Este paisaje
de montañas mojadas
es nuestro carmen


Copyright © 2010 by David Dorantes.


Biografía:
David Dorantes (Guadalajara, México, 16 de Diciembre de 1967)

A los 10 años, descubrió que tenía dos vocaciones que eran una sola: observar y caminar. Por lo tanto decidió emprender el oficio de trashumante urbano sin rumbo, pese a la oposición familiar. Descubrió poco a poco todos los rincones secretos de su ciudad que no aparecían en ninguna guía de turistas. Mientras alternaba su oficio como observador urbano comenzó escribir en cuadernos las imágenes que la ciudad le regalaba. Un día notó que tenía muchos cuadernos y que la ciudad no tenía más rincones ocultos. Así que se fue a buscar otros secretos urbanos…

En Puebla Cozumel, San José, Belice, Tegucigalpa, Managua, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Ciudad de México, San Pedro Sula, Panamá City, Hojas del Toro, Madrid, París, La Paz, Santiago, Zarautz, Lisboa, Praga, Bruselas, Edimburgo, Londres, Santo Domingo y Marruecos fue mimo callejero, vendedor de pantalones, fotógrafo ambulante, actor, pintor de casas a domicilio, vendedor de discos piratas, voceador, cantinero, timador de turistas, jugador de fútbol en un equipo semiprofesional, guitarrista de tres acordes en un trío, lavador de carros, mesero, lavaplatos y cantante pésimo. Un día reparó que ya tenía muchos cuadernos guardados en su mochila y regresó a su casa y a su barrio….

Sus amigos y familiares, al verlo volver, le dijeron que lo malo de que se hubiera ido es que se hubiera regresado. Ante tan cálida bienvenida luego de cinco años de ausencia pensó que lo mejor sería sentar cabeza. Se matriculó como estudiante en las escuelas de Filosofía, Música, Literatura y Teatro. Aprendió mucho, pero no todo en las aulas, y por eso no terminó ninguna carrera….

Un día, sin saber nada de periodismo, se hizo periodista por azar. Lleva casi 20 años en el oficio y la verdad es que, salvo el salario, no se puede quejar. Ha sido reportero y columnista en los diarios mexicanos Paréntesis, Diario Peninsular, Siglo 21, Público, Cambio y Primera Plana. En el año 2000 ganó el Premio Emisario de Periodismo…

Desde el año 2002 vive en Houston en donde ha trabajado como valet parking, mesero, repartidor de pizzas y telefonista en una pizzería. Estudio literatura en la Texas Southern University y tampoco terminó. Desde hace dos años trabaja como reportero de entretenimiento en los semanarios La Vibra, hoy desaparecida, y La Voz, ambos del Houston Chronicle. Mantiene como puede el blog “La Butaca” en www.chron.com y hoy es su primera lectura de poesía en toda su vida….

Espera, sinceramente, no decepcionarlos…