it is this ghost called fathering, son 
georgette vallejo
On this day, lungs like bellows, lungs like
liberated and collective factories,
on this deserted day, both cyclist and labourer
equally privileged and redundant,
on this still superstitious day, liberally crow
and mist,
the cold empties, still, in its direction.

Such is a box for this head, black as a mirror.
That blocklike head bewildered
to feel this thing like all wreckage
in some house
to feel any murderous stone, any at all, stone
or category,
in this direction now called day

then what happened, they ask, whose arms are
unfurled like commands?

On this day, windlike, without a solitary
insurrection, without adding additional genocide,
without no farther beating, no extra murder, no less
food that none
in some house:   “holy mother of god!”

On this overfull day in its dawning, its material
and theoretical feeling,
head like light, head black, antithetical as light,
empty, after work which is no work,
after dark, with this windlike quiet, this almost
almost naked in  some house,
where this labourer and shovel overfill, again
- then this stone must be called pain,
both in its feeling and unfeeling roars,
in this direction now called day.

 Simply, and so it is our human condition
where we stand on our heads
coming from yesterday and leaving already
for tomorrow.

On that corrupt day, specific  in its breaking, its
felling, practically like a tree,

on this no more dreamlike day in its broken glass,
on this shred of day, day surplus no more than any other,
in some guarded house where nothing happens and
our rifles are unloaded, where all is unreachable
where all aches reek of the past,
on this day politically inaugurated in each moment
with everything muted and solid, with everything
in waste like a book, bourgeois and rotten,
colonial and imperial as  a radio,
chemical, dissected, fabric, artificial,

Then all pain must be human and desolate
in its unspoken knowing,
in our geographical and military direction.

Now here, senora, is  a gull split open
in the first light already polluted like
an officeblock.

On this houselike and imprisoned day, heart
negative towards this stateless Beirut, this ruinlike me
in his past becoming, both and equally cave and inaudible.
Democratically palestinian, peasant, provisional
and MAN, erected daily like a grudge, ropelike, weather beaten
and MAN, (his world corroded with iron and muscle,
to have to eat this shame once, and daily!)
sleeps her bishoplike sleep, glorious and wonderful
and on its head, democrat, communist, terrorist,
and 200 yards away them crops prosper in our withering
like this soviet fuchsia (who me would scream at, silentlike)
in this grim burrow, in this box of wreckages,
to have waited so long for this inexplicable direction,
to be guided in all our erasing like a map:
such is our family:
(this box, my deprived son, is called a BANK
and abstract in any slavery like other metaphors and nooses.
Here is where your hungry nose points,
like christmas!)

On our concrete and uprising day, lungs like bellows
in this strange recognition, with their mouths gagged,
on this other day, and this struggling day, optimistically
irish, and workingman and international
(peruvian in poverty for a  song!)
the walls are thin with his scraping
with the cawing of inedible gulls and the canning of

Stare at it: it cannot enter where there are no more doors,
neither bank nor stock exchange, nor international monetary fund,
it cannot own what it already owns,
futile, furious, dispossessed.
As if the world was not quite right.

All pain must be cold and light, personal,
toiling, expressive, exploited
(both siege and slum under their canning
and its epitaphs!)
(toiling and futile in this sandpit called “work”
rolling like a bell in our future silences,
singing in cracks in this choir called “culture”
hands all fingerless like “philosophy”)

this lightness must be human, and historical and abstract
and unborn, daily,
here after all toil and collective in its futures,
here historical like this house with its dismantling
girders, its public dust,
its landlord and spies,
and this history, like all concepts also a first
cause (in all our revolving doubt)
and it is pain and simply
like a wall being
painted in stones.

And so the walls work, son,
and the floorboards work,
and the darkness like a name, settles on your head.

It is these answers that bail the cold to the street
(and you too will work like a prisoner,
either running from the axe or into this dark light called war)
much like my grandfathers’ corpse,
both sailors and servants,

it is their answer who calls now like an employer
who trudges and is heavy and is tomorrow
and everywhere already today, fearful, in its insight,
this our most difficult task
in this glass lie like a statesman.

It is this fullness of nothing, oppressed,
that grows like a cancer,
to be here, like a dancer with no feet,
to be free already in this burst lung,
to be so empty burdened with rights,
to be empty like an applause,
such combat!

To be loaded in plastic and textbook,
to starve, simply, like a wife,
to be full like  a pin,

it is this godlike priestfilled
fullness that drowns these prisoners

it is my father who nails
his shovel to my head (simply and painlessly
like an education)
with his fear of books
who comes, as good as an other
to ghost these uprising arms
with each others desperate

séamas carraher

Published, Pemmican 2011, Pemmican Press (Site closed).

César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza (March 16, 1892 – April 15, 1938)
By Juan Domingo Córdoba [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Georgette Marie Philippart Travers (Paris, 7 January 1908 - Lima, 1984)
 By Miguel Pachas Almeyda Libro Georgette Vallejo al fin de la batalla (Archivo Max Silva Tuesta). (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

El poeta César Vallejo en Niza - 1929
By Trabajo propio. Reproducción de una fotografía de autor desconocido. (Archivo de la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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