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Thread: Cuauhtémoc's Feet

  1. #1
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
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    May 2009

    Cuauhtémoc's Feet

    These feet from Tenochtitlan
    Of the defeated god of the lake,
    Have the tendons and veins
    Of a warrior, the swooping eagle
    From the heaven of five suns
    Descending with folded wings
    Weaving the air like baskets
    With beaks sharper than razors
    And feathers as thick as leather,
    With talons dissecting the sky
    To free the moons, the stars,
    The seasons, the July rain,
    Chopping the cotton clouds
    Into crystals and gusts of wind,
    And plummeting like a dagger
    Or a kite that breaks its thread.

    My feet walk for endless miles
    In the streets, on asphalt roads,
    In the alleys, on painted sidewalks,
    blocks of cement, parched earth,
    To live among predators and prey,
    Beasts, gluttons, hungry carnivores,
    To suffer among naked children
    Brown and half-dead in the sun,
    Among beggars and bleeding women
    Whose eternal pain feels the same,
    Among the old, the limbless invalid
    Who hit and blind each other’s eyes,
    Who cut and broil their deaf ears,
    Who pull and swallow their tongues
    At the altar of sacrificed hearts
    Left to dry and their blood, to drain.

    They trudge in the dry valleys,
    The death mountains, and the dead hills,
    In the desert of cactus and skeletons,
    In the bordered hell of moving cameras,
    Stray bullets, and electric barb wires,
    In the midst of sinners preaching
    Charity and stories about angels
    And saints self-anointed to punish,
    In the guise of sacred blessings
    With holy water, incense, and myrrh,
    The burnt skin of these same feet
    Whose royal bones and serpent blood
    Cortes set ablaze a long time ago
    To boil and burst before confession
    Because nuggets of gold were corn
    And the bloody cross was sword.
    Last edited by miyako73; 04-30-2012 at 05:36 PM.
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  2. #2
    Registered User Hawkman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Do you think anyone can actually manage to say this all in one breath? I suffered from anoxia just reading it Honestly, I feel it would benefit from a full stop or two. There is great imagery here, but perhaps a bit too much. The seemingly endless succession of subordinate clauses makes one forget what the opening statement actually was, before reaching the conclusion. Could definitely do with a bit of a prune, and a bit more structure, thus allowing the poem to breathe. Try splitting all that wonderful exposition into individual sections, if you get my drift.

    Live and be well - H

  3. #3
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Hawk, I posted the longer version. Thanks for the advice. I forgot readers need to breathe.
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Blog Entries
    Readers of poetry should take breaths after a line, no? That's why Walt Whitman can be so tiring when read.

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