Thursday, May 19, 2011

Poetry is Dead For Javier Sicilia

The world is not worthy of words
they have been suffocated from the inside
as they suffocated you, as they tore apart your lungs ...
the pain does not leave me
all that remains is a world
through the silence of the righteous,
only through your silence and my silence, Juanelo.

Those words comprise the last poem that Javier Sicilia has written and will ever write.

The winner of Mexico's highest literary prize the Premio de Poesía Aguascalientes — for his book of poems Desert Triptych in 2009 has vowed that he will never write another poem. He read his last poem at a service for his 24 year-old son, Juan Christopher, an innocent victim of Mexico's war on drugs.

"Poetry doesn't exist in me anymore," he later said.

Since his son's death in March of this year, Javier Sicilia, an avowed anarchist has devoted all of his time and energies to end the senseless slaughter of more than 40 000 Mexicans since President Felipe Calderón began his crackdown.

Javier Sicilia is now at the forefront of a movement demanding change and has lead marches where the message has been, ¡Hasta la madre! or "enough is enough." One such march earlier this month attracted upward of 150 000 people demanding change.

This grassroots movement asks the government to provide more funding and access for youth groups and a renewed emphasis on fighting corruption within the ranks of the public service who administer justice. Strikingly, he has also called for the legalization of marijuana.

While we may mourn the loss of a poet's voice, we give praise to the voice of a people and Javier Sicilia speaks not just for the living but for his son who no longer can.

Neither will be silenced. Nor will the voice of a people.

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