Two Texts by Johan Mijail

Beggar of the Caribbean

What happened was there was already an island. I built an island. Everyone who left also built their own island and then trouble started. Everyone who had a desire to remember or to invent did not think about the trouble they were starting. Now we wander around the world with so many islands that we do not settle in the original and now it will sink. Mine was hidden inside lots of lights; afterwards it was alone and left on its cloud. Then the task began: to be an island. To get lost in the third world between a sea and an ocean which is not an easy task; lost between being a mirror or just another avenue; another passerby; another citizen; another sick person. To be everything at once: not an easy task. Sometimes it is good to be alone and reflect on the underdevelopment that lies between all these elevated highways and luxury apartments, between avenues with names of heroes written in English, minimizing, minimizing everything, as though we were still subhumans before the nobility. If you see a smile, do not believe it to be real because it is a farce. Joy is not the same as happiness. What are you doing now? What are you afraid of? We should be thinking about anything other than all-inclusive resort offers or sales where two for one prevails: you buy something and you get something else for the low price of nothing. To be an island is a geographical condition; to be an island is an ideology and a rickety boat; it’s a means of transportation where we–almost always–end up dying.

It Is Hard to Be A Dolphin in These Times

There are other things I search. The sea is too far. The sea does not exist, it flies. The world welcomed me. From a motel with my lover; my lover is a light coming from above, coming from the top. And the light is taller than all the obelisks of Santo Domingo. Charting the path toward my desire to be a dolphin where there is no sea. Where–although it is Caribbean–there are no palm trees but rather people spewing sponges where I will go later to rest and take my nap. Everyone who thinks I’m hallucinating will drop like an airplane on September 11th. That’s where panic will ejaculate on the dust’s ass. Because now the dust and the screams have an ass and a back; and the onion lamps will also fall to face my trance. I will place a boat, a haven for those who believed in me. And the unbelievers will burn with the garbage and its ghosts of red chalk. All dead. The deaf, the blind, the hustlers: ALL. They will burn at the same time and I will add more wood while laughing; while enjoying and seeing their bodies decompressed on the ground and, this by the way, is not a trance. It is destiny. What I had dictated in the books (with small letters) so that only a few would see it. Don’t cry, I already told you.

Bios

Johan Mijail

Johan Mijail (b. 1990, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is a poet, journalist, and performance artist currently living in Chile. Mijail’s work centers on the construction of the transfeminist and decolonial imaginary. He is the author of two books: Metaficción (2011) and Pordioseros del Caribe (2014), and writes a monthly column for the Chilean independent news site El Desconcierto.cl. His work has appeared in publications from Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. In 2015, he was the recipient of a Beca Migrante, a grant from the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Chile. In July 2016, Mijail participated in the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics’ 10th Encuentro: eXcéntrico: dissidence, sovereignties, performance, held in Chile.

Amaury Rodriguez

Amaury Rodriguez (b. 1976, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is a translator and independent researcher. In 2015, he co-edited with Raj Chetty a special issue of The Black Scholar journal dedicated to the Dominican Republic.

Pordioseros del Caribe. Copyright (c) Johan Mijail, 2014. English translation copyright (c) Amaury Rodriguez, 2016.