Poem by Arturo Desimone

May 2012

“like a warrior” de man said

I was 9, 10, out floating
on the waves in
the plastic boat
Me and Iván Karanglo
The white boy blue-eyed
lived in a house made out of goat
dung and dead cacti
with two families;
Karanglo thought I was a millionaire,
kept taking my guilders—
Grandma Naomi gave me those—
to invest in the video arcade machines
in their pixellated violence

Floating, floating, we start arguing
about money, wealth and poverty
God and the World
I insisted I was not the richest
9-year-old man on earth
He tried to strangle me
I assaulted back howling,
we like two mating
conglá seasnakes or
Raton di Anochi collosal
fruit bats locked
in mortal combat
over the nocturnal dates

(Hector, Achilles
Cain and
I always want to be Cain
Silly Iván was Cain now)

It wasn’t my fault
the poor boy
was so poor
he ate conglas and the winged rats, the raton
with the whole famiyah, the family

We could no longer see
the frolicking
tourist big bellies on Divi Divi Beach
shining bright with bottled aloe
nor the big dolo penis lighthouse where
people go to sniff cocaine while star-gazing
up Orion’s skirts,
warn ships
that will be marooned anyway
Food for carnivorous Braincoral,
tempest or no tempest,
if they anchor
anywhere near here
He stood up raising the rubber-sheathed
oar to the smiling Sun
white coconut film in the creases
of his hairless armpits

I am always deeply annoyed
when the Sun smiles

“Cease your troubles!
No troubles in sunshine and
Momo Sea!”
we heard a voice thunder
from an old throat
It was too sincere, too
sun-dried with wisdom
and Royal palm-wine
to be the mocker Sun

It was the true ferryman
his hair full of Calabash
his body scarred with
the love of blades,
with tattoos
diseases he had picked up
in rainforests of Grenada,
during guerilla days,
the kiss-bite of a
Ba’dan winged Python
on his ankle
He tore us apart
stepping onto
our loosed barge
from his plastic kayak

“You think you
can survive this manner?
You think Momo, Jah
and Yeman-jah,
Lord Pachamama
like you boys quarreling
this way?”
He rowed us back to the shore
we had to lie down
catacomb docks overhead
“lie down low
like a warrior” the ferryman laughed

(I will spend
the sick keneppa berry
of eternity
studying his
illiterate heresy
I knew then
his gospel
and mixture of names
tasted like
Kadushi-cactus green needle
fortune-lit up with momo-sea-shine,
biting sweetly my tricep.


Arturo Desimone, born in 1984 in Oranjestad, Aruba, of immigrant parentage, is a writer of fiction, a poet, and a playwright. His poems have appeared in the literary quarterly Brown Critique and at the blog A Tunisian Girl. His visual artworks, comparable to hieroglyphs in nature, will soon be exhibited in Krakow, Poland, and in Paris. At the moment he is traveling and working on a novel, despite life in transference