San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende
Roof rainbow...San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Friday, August 6, 2010


The sound of a piercing flute announces the knife sharpener on the street, walking quickly, so when you hear the flute have your knives ready, your door unlatched, if you want to catch him walking by so quickly. The sound of a clanging 'dinner bell' announces the garbage truck, sometimes with blaring ranchera music you can dance to the truck with...the garbage guy always greeting me, "Guera!" 'Light skinned one,' I don't mind as long I'm not called 'gringa'...'pocha' is okay, meaning loosely, 'One of us from el otro lado, the other side,' he yells it, "Guuuuueeeeerrrrraaaaa," making me laugh. But most days the beautifully smiling boy from across the street comes running to my door for the bag of garbage, his ten pesos. The music from the gas tank truck, always the same, for those needing new gas tanks- my gas tank's filled by a truck with a smiling green dragon on its side...the truck pulls up, one of the guys runs in my door greeting me, I greeting him, to the roof where my large gas tank is...the guys on the ground wait with the long, black gas hose, while the one on the roof brings out his long rope...the first time I asked what he was doing, he answered in Spanish, "Practicing my lasso with those doggies," laughing. The guy on the street ties the black gas hose to the lasso and the guy on the roof brings it up gas tank is filled while he jokes about lassoing chickens. Everything is done by hand in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico... my hand to his hand, my hand to her hand...'Gracias,' 'De nada'... Fresh vegetables grown on some magical garden, so beautiful, the kind you tend to find in the 'health food stores' in the US for at least four times the price...I pick lettuce, corn, tomatoes, the most lovely broccoli it seems to be laughing, perfect mushrooms, and hand it to the young guy selling it on the street...he places the change directly into my hands, smiling. The chicken broiler next door, broiling pollitos above a tended fire, small onions, jalepenos roasting below, que sabor, what flavor...she always places some onions, jalepenos in my bag of pollitos... everything is placed in a plastic bag, even the FRESH salsa that's for free, tied off in a knot, and nothing spills miraculously. Next door to that pollitos is the immense pot of tamales, layered, all the different flavors...pollito, pork, vegetables, mango, guava...into the plastic bag, her hand to my hand, someone was up all night making these freshest of tamales. Flowers in buckets at the door, choose some for the table, senora, and I do, his hands to my, yellow, violet, white roses...
When I'm in Los Angeles teaching, I always wander to the Venice Boardwalk where people are trying to make that 'hand to hand' connection...maybe a little nutty but I love it, that desire to connect humanly hand to hand...isn't this why we write, us writers/poets, to connect hand to hand with 'perfect strangers,' in our time, in all time. How could I live without el Rumi, Neruda, Plath, Lorca, Colette, Hesse, Lessing and so many (many) tell the stories, write the poemas, pass them on hand to hand, mind to mind, dream to dream, time to time, life to fearless in your trembling before this great task, we're all scared (sacred) before it, but the point is, the challenge is, to do it anyway, you have no choice, as the rose has no choice, but to bloom its RED SELF OPEN LAUGHING... write your 'shitty first draft' (Anne Lamott's chapter, 'Bird by Bird'), but let the red rose bloom, open...dream with eyes open... every childhood secret, dream...
I don't know how to
I don't know how to
be born-
I only
I only
I only
know how
to live-
flash of hummingbird wing,
yellow butterfly slowly,
rose laughing open red,
cactus thorn dancing,
sunlight in love,
moonlight in love,
starlight in love,
rainbow in love,
with earth with earth with earth,
children dreaming their secrets,
grown-ups trying to remember secrets,

the only secret,
the only magic,
the only key,
the only dream,

is to live to live to
live like the rose
laughing open, weeping
open, red.

Laughing, weeping, laughing, open, living always living, hand to hand, wherever you are, into the Sixth World...


  1. Great Blog! I would like to give you the Sunshine Award:

  2. Gracias, Viktoria, I try...while delivering the 'bad news' ayyyy.....

  3. This poem, RED, is the soultrack to my life right now. Tlazo, Alma.

  4. Mine as well, Juaquin, always....Tlazo...

  5. When I first moved here to San Miguel, there was a maybe 13 year old working the garbage truck...seeing him was hard, he was dirty, literally covered in black stuff from dealing with the garbage. I always tipped him something on the side, feeling badly that he wasn't in school (of course)- a Mexican friend said this boy was a hero to his family, he had a JOB, bringing home pesos to feed the family. I haven't seen him in over two years, maybe he found a way to get into school, I hope so...

  6. Tears and resonace in this writing. . .Red, rojo, sangre. . .and we are all dreamers together remembering ourselves; connected by this read thread del sangre. You have inspired me to share my own stories. . . Muchisimas Gracias. Besos y Abrazos.