Doc Drumheller has worked in award winning groups for theater and music and has published 10 collections of poetry. His poems have been translated into more than 20 languages, and he has performed widely overseas and throughout NZ. He lives in Oxford, where he edits and publishes the literary journal Catalyst.
These poems were composed during a poetry tour that began in Mexico, the United States and would end in El Salvador. I wrote both of these poems during the day of the dead celebrations in Guanajuato, and Mexico City.
In Guanajuato my friend tells me:
we are all just characters in a dream.
Cervantes’ vision comes to life at dusk
Don Quixote’s horse bucks in the moonlight.
Pipila lives to fight another day
as his shadow casts over the city.
The dead come back to life marching in parades
while the living wear masks of presidents.
Devils and angels lurk down alleyways
where two lovers kissed and fell to the earth.
La Luchadores pose flexing their muscles
while Catrina dances the fandango.
In the evening we take off our masks
dreaming like mummies for eternity.
The Patriot Act
The Mexican Flag waves proudly above
Avenida de la Republica.
Green like guacamole, red like salsa,
white like sour cream spread on tortillas.
The same flag is depicted differently
painted as a mural by a street artist.
Green like the colour of one dollar bills
surrounded by plastic GI Joe soldiers.
White as a razor blade covered in cocaine
red like blood that quenches the desert’s thirst
Over the border the flag is a weapon
green as a cactus coloured with envy.
White like the gringos drunk on tequila
red as the anger of irrational fear.