Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We are a story never done


Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something. ~Pancho Villa

La Revolución

For Fidela Arroyo & Me On My Birthday

Open the door, she might have said. It might be Palm Sunday and who can say what was said on the last lips of anyone who wasn’t in your presence when they said it. Oh, my or Get me a drink of water, please, any one of such things said without fanfare accorded such luxury before turning toward so long a general eternity.


We have written of this before. It is like an old photo we take out on special occasions kept usually between pages of a book we haven’t read in a long, long time. Again we remind ourselves to read it someday when the sun’s hammock is placed just so beside a dirt porch in the mountains above Chihuahua, say a small village called San Pedro Madera, where a grandmother might live in the memory you keep of her. What was it she said at the very end from behind all those tubes and hoses, the whirring of her heart-throttled blood moving like the sweetest syrup in some dusty nieveria through spigots shaped in the heads of animals and milagros, each dispensing some disembodied dulcetta of afterlife?


It may have been something like, “Hay viene! Here comes Pancho Villa!” riding in as he did in the middle of the night, rousing everyone with a racket of reins and hooves and mad bandoliering ricocheting from hoisted bottles of pulque and the green bitters of trembling young cactus absenta torching their saddled whooping, burning their swooning steeds with a ferocity that whipped into town until it joined smoke with wood and found the true structure of revolution where nothing comes back the way it went, not her breathless six-year-old wonder at seeing such a thing, chiaroscuro men on horses, the cheering of the town people, her catching bloodfire without knowing what it was all about but that it was good, it was good; not the sombrero moon throwing itself into the ring like a lady’s scarf after the mounted lances have prodded the hilted stance that finds three feet of steel before it nor the dull stained horns that charge headlong into oblivion because there’s no use saving anything for some other time now, and she remembers, we remember, and we remember together that what is not said is what remains behind to remind us that we are a story that is never done being fully told.

Joseph Gallo
November 6, 2008



Blogger Cynthia parried...

Oh! What a stunning image.

November 30, 2008 12:19 PM  
Blogger Joseph Gallo parried...

Yes, that image is a photo I took (and did some Photoshop magic to) in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico by artist Sergio Bustamente.

Try this link:

It should afford you a starting point for this image and links to others. He's phenomenal. This is about the fourth or fifth image I've used in photos taken of his work when I was there in 2002. Thanks for visiting again, Cynthia, and happy holidays to you out there in New York!

November 30, 2008 5:48 PM  

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