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days of flowers an album

poems by  ernesto priego

Con flores escribes... ­Nezahualcóyotl (1402­1472)

Tengo la boca llena de tierra. ­Juan Rulfo (1917­1986)

This one goes out to the one I love.


One day you slowly wake up the body still covered by night & nothing happens nothing is remembered, her name out of your mind. You touch your chest and feel something that had not been there. Maybe a pin, a little miracle

hanging from a  dusty church wall. Your heart, cheap metal, red ribbon, in place of a vanished memory. You touch the skin around nipples and feel some kind of trace. One day all names will become silhouettes, the footprints of hunted animals.

The scene reminds me of Chehov's Nina leaning her head against his breast and sobbing, quietly, a presentiment, "my heart's been aching terribly today." She's thinner & & her eyes are bigger: I was afraid that you might hate me. I stood under

your window like a beggar: do you hear the wind? Never mind...

She lied to herself even when she looked herself into his mirror. Even in the very final moment she kept denying she really felt desire and passion and anxiety and pain was not even really felt it was something else, not love,

all her life was lived pretending there was nothing but loneliness and egotism and abandonment and being hurt. She did not even stop once to think what had happened there in that second of her life. All she knew was to hurt.

Antes de morir miróse al espejo

He saw himself in the mirror

como quien sabe que nunca volverá.

like knowing he'd never come back.

He saw himself in the mirror like knowing he'd never come back.

Antes de morir miróse al espejo como quien sabe que nunca volverá.

Everything came full circle when I realized there was no way out. The woman and her dog stayed calmly where they were, not blinking. Buildings casted shadows longer than veins: I stood over a wooden pedestal debris of unheard omens and despair.

Listen to the animal breath deeply. The eyes are blue and sharp. Like broken pieces of thick glass.

( La muerte: una especie de sordera. )

Imagined voices fill the empty room. A head is a resonance box. The chest works in similar ways. The end would bounce like bass. Beams of light in dark dancefloors. The crash, the needle picked up.

Nostalgia: the pain for an original death. Some threats resemble smiles.

The last day of my life

This last day could be seen

would have to be sunny &

in the eyes of the sleeping

full of memories of wine &

animal breathing heavily as she sleeps.

kisses and time flowing easily &

It wasn't the phone but dog's

lemontrees dropping fruits ready to be

snoring knowing what we dare not.

squeezed bitterly & tequila, running gold,

This was the last vital moments

the blood of my veins beside.

& still every idea merged &

to continue was my only thought.

After being hit it came to me the garden memory of two cats defying each other growling in anguish watching each other fixedly & angrily  when a butterfly flew over them and both cats lost their sight into the air and the wings making them forget about each other.

This had truly happened here, once.

Beneath the wheel a wolf­like dog snarled with a legendary sad smile. The bed creaked with old backaches and the books under the pillows smelled of drooling and steamy sweats. She thought of velvet yellow moons and fake eyes made of glass.

The neighbor's werewolf shooshed the cats as they played with the flowers. The garden remained wet and green.

The sky reflected the dog's eyes as he stared from the windshield. It did not bark at me. The wind carried a woman's name.

This was the day I'd die. I decided to wait, weary, patient. The city sighed under petroleum seas. She couldn't see behind the wheel.


And she wonders, if she slept all the mornings of her life waking up late at five pm, when everything's closing and work's off, would she dream with another life, one where reality would quickly  disappear at the blink of an eye, going to bed, tucking dreams in,

every problem ever drowning in blankets, a mattress big as the sea, and life's troubles fading to black? And she thought: all of this is actually happening, the same way 3s fall even if nobody listens.

(The dream opened up like parentheses), an appositive in a short phrase. The girls slept in prison­like barracks, their body their only valuable posession. The nuns would give them bedclothes and thought that was Catholic good. One night she used the blanket

to tie a  knot tightly around her neck, her white skin quiet like the fear of her sleep.  (She gasped like wind shaking barley in an Irish field, the Sun caressing at last her tired feet).

The bed leaves wrinkled lines white the human border of dead people over the pavement of cotton, soft, cold yet warm, empty vessel, shell. The bed remains a crime scene I can still trace your smell. Here you lied, heavy with sleep. The bed's tattoo is your shape.

As if you had decided finally.


In the end, all that's left is the sound of cars murmuring names of people no longer here.

At the Scala a man died at 345 am for unknown reasons. The doors here opened & closed violently, slammed down, heavy fire exits letting me know when they left. People  feel trapped and often leave at  night never to come home.

The next morning a police line a flower pot as a sign

Windshield glass broken pieces and blood

Before dying it is said Memory

over the road people scream ­siren­

brings back all you once loved.

She didn't live to see this

I have seen dragonflies fly, in­love,

but her skin would shiver, pale

mad with passion, freezing the moment,

her neck fractured by soft cotton.

becoming one with a loving other.

She hung herself after much thought,

I wish I  had that dragonfly's

just woke up and did it. Outside, the city cries

memory span, to forget you now, before finally dying and seeing  you

"Let me tell you a true

A special disposition an atypical posture

story", she said, having another shot.

a walking style, sound of steps,

"The man found the other man

the curves of joints and surfaces,

in the toilet: a fortune teller,

the glow of eyes and smiles.

drunk as well, touched his arms.

The teeth reflected what would come:

Not blind, but closing his eyes,

He saw this in a dream: the leaf fell: a robin wept.

the man of the shaved head said: 'it must hurt, being uneven'".

He picked up a broken leaf

also, it can  be eyes, long

from the wet pavement nothing special yellowish

black leg stockings for cold winters

It meant fading and time passing

the floor was an autumn tapistry

it had been stepped on surely

names written on a leaf constellation

now it looked almost, say, grateful.

weak rain, same wind: a woman

Before getting home it flew and fell on the wet ground, again.

It often happens that a name reminds me of days of flowers.

It was a day for waiting. Picture an astronaut, suddenly left behind by the mothership, floating in darkness, hungry and thirsty, stranded in space. It was a  day for mourning, before he knew what would come. Picture a snail, carrying such weight,

trying to get to another snail, standing silent many meters from him. It was a day for sending undecipherable messages in old rum bottles, the unchartered territories of the sea the site of darkness within him, the chest a treasure, a map,

the rusty key forgotten at the bottom of the sea.

On second thought, maybe the slamming of fire doors is all about being  finally heard, a tragic attempt at being meaningful even with noise, at night, before the last goodbye.

The difference between farse and tragedy

Bedposts work like  a wooden cross

was not completely clear to  her.

punishment for sinners tied down bound

She thought time would teach him:

bonds between two hurt & passionate

Time, instead, revolved in concentric circles.

lovers like animals tied down caged

Like a stone, thrown into water.


Sometimes night arrives earlier than expected & trees dance slowly & sadly to the wind from a river not very far from this house. Sometimes murmurs tell stories of drunkards & lost teens begging for beer & the occasional sleeping dog lying

while the wind laughs at them & the trees slowly dance away. The night comes earlier this time, & the storyteller has another drink.

A monastery: a good idea.

Four days had completely disappeared

If he, who got the music,

from his mind. Then he noticed

shaved his head, constrained

August had also vainshed into blankness.

his exuberant passion why not us, but mere mortals? Otherwise he would die, without ever knowing the true meaning of faith.

There was a pulse, a beat, not the tick of the clocks nor the waves of the sea but a sound, maybe a breath, slightly perceptible, also easy to ignore.

Still, there. Listen.

It was like trying to hold water with his hands: time ran and there was nothing to do about it. Hissing, then, would be, humming, maybe, because dragonflies and hummingbirds have something in common, don't they, and hallways keep flooded by light

and the emptiness of pure sound, uninterrupted by the presence of beings. Time, like water, running through his fingers. Earth, like powder, estiércol, flower pot, filling someone's mouth.

The cars had stopped passing by and the murmur of the river was almost audible. The whistling wind wasn't whistling anymore and the creaking door wasn't creaking anymore because the whistling had stopped. The fog, it seemed, had  also receded, the neighbor's music

wasn't music and now the river didn't let him sleep. The city flowed like time when you're old. The rocking chair was creaking and he saw himself whistling. A glass of  single­malt on his hand.

Time had passed without a sound. The sun burns again, like a messiah, but its light isn't felt. Instead, the white blanket of sorrow, the winter of the bard's discontent. Now  the roads are without leaves and naked branches pierce the sky.

The wind feels like Japanese knives under cold water. Still, women names are murmured in every single corner.

And then, out of January blues, the beginning of a new month: everyone calls in a sickie.

Days seem longer, for different reasons.

I left you at the station

There's an echo: we have been

this place

here before, never the same way.


will never be

You left your boots, of all that you could have left here. 'Tis strange, to feel the sadness, and still be unable to erase the smile you left on me.

Curves. It is a question of light, isn't it, the world wasn't round until a man fell in love with a girl

And so the day begins: interrupted by dreams, daylight slowly filtered through lazy bones and aching shoulder­blades. What's a month if not breath, a pause, a mid­day nap. So Winter days come to end while temperatures still freeze lives against their will.

Leaves are not seen any more, but they will surely come again. I lack fur to hide in caves, but I'm primitive enough to invent fire as if nothing had ever happened.

The poems in this album were originally posted on   http://      from   June  2006 to June 2007.  The hay(na)ku form was orignally conceputalized by  Eileen R. Tabios.  For more information about this  poetic form, please visit  This is a signed and numbered edition of 54 unique  copies,   the   cover   featuring   an   original   Mexican  lotería   game   card.   This   chapbook   should   not   be  distributed without said original card attached to the  cover or in any other form without written consent of  the author.  This chapbook is an Expresso Doble Production, Mexico City/London. Copyright 2007 by Ernesto Priego This copy is  number ______of 54.

“Though some of his concerns are expressed  theoretically, or what looks like theoretically,  I’d say that at heart Priego is a love poet [...]  There’s no question that Priego and hay(na)ku  were meant for each other.” ­John Bloomberg­Rissman, author, World Zero

“Poetry is Priego's lingua franca. His language  is largely ordinary and conversational. which  is sneaky, because his words reveal such depth  and perception. hay(na)ku's pace works  perfectly with his thoughtfulness.”  

­Allen Bramhall, author, Simple Theory

Ernesto Priego was born in Mexico City. He is the  author of the first single­author hay(na)ku collection, “This guy could possibly become one of  Not Even Dogs (Meritage Press, 2006) and of “...And  Mexico's most interesting writers.” the Wind Did Blow...”  a Tiny Book handwritten by  ­Heriberto Yépez, author, Wars, Threesomes, Drafts   Eileen Tabios (Meritage Press, 2007). He blogs at  and Mothers     He currently lives in North London. 

Profile for Ernesto Priego

Days of Flowers  

A hay(na)ku chapbook.

Days of Flowers  

A hay(na)ku chapbook.