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Your tax-deductible donation made to LARB by He shows up inconspicuously, tactfully, in a way he never did in life. He lived in the present, unencumbered, and he left behind a trail of anger and destruction. He was born in Mexico City in And they recount that he wrote constantly on whatever was at his disposal — napkins, old newspapers, walls.

The consensus is that, more than his oeuvre, Santiago himself was a work of art.

From the age of 15, he was an vasura. And he died drunk in Mexico City in mari, after being hit by a car.

Personally, I love The Savage Detectives for many reasons, chief among them the fluidity of its style. Kario is the best Mexican novel of the late 20th century. The fact that it is written by a non-Mexican makes it even more delicious.

He matured as an artist the way nobody else in his group did: But his critics forget that he wrote fiction, not histories.

At any rate, it is essential to return to Santiago, to listen to his voice in unadulterated fashion. And they are virtually impossible to find in print today. A couple of acquaintances, Juan Villoro and Arfe Aura, completed the task: It is a valuable compendium. The place where he belongs, the place he fought for, is in the margins. Any attempt at granting him a more central role betrays his ambition.


And not just any poetry, but an anxious, automatic poetry without filters, a defiant poetry, a poetry of anger and hallucination that takes a compulsive anti-establishmentarian stance.

He lived dangerously, at all times pushing his mind into the abyss, which is where he believed true art was to be found. The literary establishment of the s in Mexico City was stultifying, tied as it was to the even more stultifying political establishment.

Even when I came of age a decade later, it was impossible to ignore this fact. The student massacre injust as the Olympic Games were about to commence, was evidence of a tyrannical ruling party, the PRI Partido Revolucionario Institucionalwith little santisgo in democratic exchange. The PRI held onto power with an iron fist.

Not that dissent was outlawed. You could speak your mind, even on radio, TV, and the printed media. But major industries were tightly controlled by the government.

And elections were rigged. In the intellectual and artistic spheres, the division was sharp: If the latter, your chances were slim in terms of exposure.

Bazura personality pretty much resembled that of the ruling party: In other words, the extreme strategies of the Infrarrealists were santiagk those of the status quo.

It was only natural that people left. My homeland is this juice-laden cactus that I snatched from the very mouth of the desert:: The epigraph from Diane Arbus I use at the outset is apt: I get the impression Santiago was such a combustive artist, his own limits were unknown to him.

My task is not unlike that of the teacher of mysticism, attempting to define or distill the numinous tradition for his students. Mysticism thrives as a secret. It is only for a select group of the initiated. Spreading the word about it is an aggression against its very core.


For instance, the poems give the appearance of raw spontaneity while they are in fact extraordinary displays of craftsmanship. Any other approach would make them pretentious.

Mario Santiago Papasquiaro (Author of Advice from 1 Disciple of Marx to 1 Heidegger Fanatic)

Santiago was a poet of chance. He disliked anything remotely resembling a pre-fab structure. Yet there is order to his chaos and structure in his apparent amorphousness. Beauty is freedom, but freedom is the capacity to do as one pleases within certain constraints. Even the epigraph by W.

Words upside down and inside out: More than a poem, it is a shriek of despair. One recognizes in it the Infrarrealist aesthetic, whose message rises like the clenched fist of sanyiago manifesto. Actually, the first line has become a mantra: The parlance of Mexico City in the s is superbly invoked here: The more I read him, the less I know him. But then again, it is good to get his passion, his luminosity, and his destructiveness tangentially.

In a variation of the Diane Arbus view, George Orwell believed that if you want to keep a secret, papasquiarro must also hide it from yourself. One gets the impression that Santiago did just that.

Poetry Comes out of My Mouth

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