Whiskey against the Rage Machine

*

every weekend, the sparse fauna of a frigid town steps on the night’s pelt. then, the downtown bars open and plug in that false sense of danger with which we give ourselves electric shocks to wake from contemplating an empty week. it’s a sad town. the streets are not the same, but it’s the same grief that goes filtering through the windows of houses of people you only see three times a year. there the ungrammatical rhetoric of housewives bustling about at 7am, when i go to work. there the monosyllabic verbosity of the uniform wearing guys from the candy factory. there are no jokes. based on mutual agreement, we’ve set up a memorial to good humor in the cemetery’s center, almost in ruins, and change its flowers every morning. a marble angel with a broken arm signs as a witness via facebook. and every weekend night, a few of us exchange a sadness of dust and sun for one of alcohol and meat. it is our imagination that sparks, weak and fleeting, to repeat ourselves in our own misery, more livened up than five hours ago, when it was four on a saturday afternoon. i comment to someone that a few days ago i read in the paper that studies show that imagination makes people sadder. i don’t remember the response. maybe they too are asking themselves why then is this so sad. we dance in circles, we sing along to what the dj plays, in the same order as last night. the same people drink in single chairs, as if each drinker, male and female, served a predetermined function for which there’s no need to show face. i only wish for everything. the chorus repeats itself again and again. my kingdom is a kingdom of complaints. i could stay fascinated listening to the bartender speak of middle class condemnation until early morning. you take me by the arm and we go out to the street. we take the car for the three blocks separating us from the next bar. all to remember that juanpa, a not so bad poet, the type around here, said that these bodies of ours are a product of narcotic instability and silence. i don’t know why but i think he was referring to another city, because that empire of silence and pleasure is not visible anywhere. in another poem he talks about a party that occurs between two drunks in an apartment. that sounds more like it. to that sensation of not even having a false past (a time better spent) to grasp on to. the wish, then, is my refuge, love. i sleep on the tables and smile when i see my friends come inside. also a long time ago (on a platform like the web the instantaneous reigns; any text outside of that ontology belongs to the caverns) someone wrote that only in the mysterious equations of love does a true logical reason exist. it took me two hours to find that post clicking “archived articles” again and again. right now, in front of the bar of a bar at midnight, i have a conversation with that person, such a miracle in this town. you and i converse in a place where nothing is old, nothing is future and nothing is now.

Bios

Wingston González

Wingston González (b. Livingston, Guatemala, 1986) is a textual producer and member of the collective/literary show “La Retaguardia,” produced by Eduardo Juárez. In addition to poetry, he has worked in the fields of dance, visual arts, music, and artistic action. His published work includes: No Budu Please (Ugly Duckling Presse; tr. by Urayoán Noel), Los magos del crepúsculo [y blues otra vez] (Cultura), CafeínaMC: segunda parte, la fiesta y sus habitantes (Catafixia), CafeínaMC: primera parte, la anunciación de la fiesta  (Folia), san juan – la esperanza (Literal; Germinal), Miss muñecas vudu (Germinal), Espuma sobre las piedras (Catafixia; in collaboration with choreography by Alejandra Garavito), traslaciones (Cultura; winner of the 2015 Luis Cardoza y Aragón Mesoamerican poetry prize), ¡Hola Gravedad! (hochroth; tr. by Timo Berger into German), and Nuevo Manual de Procedimientos para una Educación Sentimental 1 (YAXS; with illustrations by Bernabé Arévalo).

Priscilla Posada

Priscilla Posada is a writer living in New York. Her translations of Pablo Katchadjian’s novels What to Do and Thanks have been published by Dalkey Archive Press. Excerpts of her work can be found in STILL 6 and Fanzine. She can be reached at pposada22@gmail.com.

Copyright (c) Wingston González, 2011. English translation copyright (c) Priscilla Posada, 2019.