Monday, November 9, 2009

Marcelo Lucero, Mi Hermano, en una Tierra de Nombres*

A Poem by Michael O'Neill:

Marcelo Lucero, Mi Hermano, en una Tierra de Nombres*

d. Nov. 8, 2008


. . . Y ya

cae sombra en el alma.

Oye, hermano, no tardes en salir.

Bueno... Puede inquietarse mamá.

    --Cesar Vallejo, A Miguel. Mi Hermano


. . . There is a line   You must not cross nor ever trust beyond it  

Spry cordage of your bodies to caresses  

Too lichen-faithful from too wide a breast.  

The bottom of the sea is cruel.

 --Hart Crane, Voyages


The sidewalk drinks blood. Alone,

feet of concrete tangos with a lean blade.

The darting jerk of slicked down air pants

a parting, in a darkness nearly midnight,

descend the eyelids' closing curtains,

and will shroud us too at our exit.

  Killers, stage left to Montauk; dying,

  stage right, the Andes rises, applauds.


11:55 Montauk train in Patchogue stops,

whistles end of the line, arrives nameless,

exactly on time one day as will ours,

not on a Cesar's rainy Thursday in Paris,

but on a Monday someday, maybe Tuesday

will be that good news day as Lady

Day sang for our lives too, her sobs

heard still, coffin ships sinking off her

face. Sparse memory, on our lips,


today a name, Marcelo of the Andes,

Lucero, shining light on the tracks.

Luis Ramirez too, O Shenandoah,

rolling river, how could summer boys

in sport, kick football to goalposts,

across the rolling river, he loved

your daughter, far away, across

the wide Missouri, to farthest songs

of Mexico, far beyond, for all others,

 the many lives cut short as a dot,


for fear that stalked finally struck,

Names dissolve on floors of seas,

no farewells, coffin ships still depart

from shores, from our lips whispering

your names. Immigrants of the deep,

the states of need united still haunt.


The 11:55 Montauk train on track

laid by horny immigrants of drunken

nights and calloused days, forebears

of far flung treasure, of all their fight,

all the blows, all the names hurled,

spit flung from Know Nothings' no,

but who once had songs and feasts

and sex and mouths and tongues

alive with names for lives to come,


ours inconceived, and unimagined life

we took up to grow into without trace

of their hardships, their cares, their last

day without thought of shadow's time,

long forgotten their struggle, their work;

their tear-and-sweat stained shirts rotted,

their songs of exile lie dismembered,


yet immigrant heartbreak's everywhere,

seen on lots, on streets, at 7-Elevens,

all around us, in our face, in our hair

just as it was our fathers' fathers kisses,

caresses left behind in a stone shanty,

worse for life’s wrecks we keep hidden

crossing borders at night, we're apart,

all the shuddering regrets we board,


embarrassments eating living flesh

Thickly hacked, corrupted, disgraced,

tracks parallel each congestive failure,

tracks of our veins, needle of rain.

We are in the dreams of Gualaceo

where the Andes begin, we climb,

limb by limb, heart for heart,

black stone upon white stone,

sharp stone and crown of thorn,


its stabbing ends the blows,

the beating ends the bleeding,

until heart's hole grows worm-filled,

leaves fallen and turned rust red

leaves its final exhalation on earth.

the Milky Way unauthorized, light

in darkness, migrates through named 

laws of the universe, save one:

    life was like no other.



Michael O'Neill  

   Long Island Immigrant Solidarity   


    *A Few Names:

Marcelo Lucero, 37, (Lucero, in Spanish means the evening’s sky’s light) from Gualaceo, Ecuador, was walking with a friend next to the Patchogue train station when attacked by teenagers looking for “beaners”and died at 11:55 on the evening on Nov. 8, 2008.


Luis Ramirez, father of 2 American children with his fiancé, attacked by 5 high school boys July 14, 2008, in Shenandoah, PA. An all white jury exonerated them of murder.


Wilter Sanchez, savagely beaten and then ran over by assailants, January 21, 2009, in N.J


Brisenia Flores 9 yr-old, in cold blood killed, along side her father, May 30, 2009. 3 patriotic Minutemen now in custody.


José Sucuzhañay, killed, Dec. 9, 2008, walking down the street, hand in hand with his brother, Romel, by assailants calling them names, slurs for gay Latinos.


Manny Mayi, 18 yr old boy, killed March 29, 1991, a Queens College honor student, chased for 16 blocks by a gang of 10 white youth yelling racist slurs and beaten to death. Police refused to call it as a hate crime. Still, not one arrest made.


And too many not named.

| Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Marcelo Lucero, Mi Hermano, en una Tierra de Nombres* :