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  Four Poems

 Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal



I am happy to have discovered the work of poet Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal.  I had occasion to exchange email with Luis and he sent me a copy of his book, Raw Materials.  Luis was born in Mexico and lives in California where he works in the mental health field.  His poems are about madness, cultural displacement, justice and injustice.

These poems previously appeared in Fearless, The American Dissident, and The New American Imagist.


Signed, "Citizen"

The psychiatrist doesn't seem happy.
I fear he's the depressed one.

The psychiatrist isn't very sociable.
I fear he's the one that's guarded.

The psychiatrist isn't helping me at all.
I believe he's not very good.

The psychiatrist isn't very persuasive.
I believe he's the confused one.

My sins are cleansed by the blood of Christ.
The psychiatrist doesn't confide

Or confess the Lord.  I can see it in his eyes.
Please, forgive him before he sees God's wrath.



It is a slow death
It begins at grade school
The vocal chords twist
In unusual ways
With practice it gets easier
The accent changes
You could hear it
You used to say "Meester"
but now it is "Mister"
Twenty years of refining
The sound of the words
And still I can't say "shoes"
I say "chus"
And I'm elated
Because it never lets me
Forget my past
The place where I came from


Enemies of the Word

After Cuauhtencoztli

I suffer
Feeling my words
Won't be real
Long after I'm gone

Nothing will survive
These men
Enemies of the word

Will bury
What they can't sell
Oh, my friends
Let's sing and die




Nos quieren sin boca
Sin voz, sin cabeza
Nos quieren sin ojos
Sin vista, sin cerebro
Nos quiren desnudos
Sin pene, sin alma
Nos quieren muy lejos
De la mesa, con hambre
Nos quieren muertos
Sin caja, sin velorio
Nos quieren olvidados



They want us without mouths
Without a voice, without a head
They want us without eyes
Without sight, without a brain
They want us naked
Without balls, without a soul
They want us out of the way
Far from the table, far from home
They want us dead
Without a coffin, without a funeral
They want us forgotten




Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal was born in Cuernavaca, Morelos (Mexico). He lives in California and works in Los Angeles.  His writing has appeared in Fearless, The American Dissident, and The New American Imagist, Cedar Hill Review, Blue Collar Review, Chrysanthemum, Iodine, Arsenic Lobster, and in many other magazines.









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