Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Fair


It's all somewhat overwhelming
The mass of people jostling
for the same space as everyone else.

The smell of the schoolgirls
Who view this as a day out.
The smell of the boys
Who view this as a day off.

My ears are filled
with a thousand voices
but only one tongue do I hear.

They are here in uniform.
They are here with backpacks.
Crowding selected kiosks
offering goods at cut rate prices.
Crowding around available benches.
Congregating around structural supports.
Checking out the group of boys over there.
A group of girls over here.
And they are everywhere!

Garbage cans are emptied by disinterested workers
who see a glimpse of what may have been
on the faces of the laughing teenagers
Racing through aisles fueled by youth and raging hormones.

Shopping carts filled with packaged boxes
navigate along the Avenida Cuentistas
through the hordes from the loading docks
where other personnel grab five and a quick smoke.

This mass of humanity —
todo jovenes — all teenagers
are not buying clothes.
Are not in a mall.
Are being introduced
to what we know and love
— the written word.

They raise the roof of a morning poetry slam
— enthusiastically

My smile betrays that I am in my own private heaven
and the future of literature
is in the hands of this new generation.
I put down my pen and continue my search for Sor Juana.

This is the Guadalajara International Book Fair
November 29, 2012