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By Antonio Cisneros from “Como Una Higuera en un Campo de Golf,” Lima 1972, translated by Enrique R. Lamadrid
ChismeArte Magazine No. 6, Open, 1980, p. 30


Editorial and Table of Contents
ChismeArte Magazine No. 6, Open, 1980, p. 5

Antonio Cisneros, poeta Peruano

By Enrique R. Lamadrid

Credit: ChismeArte Magazine No. 6

ANTONIO CISNEROS, recognized as one of the major poets in Latin American Poetry, was born December 27, 1942 in Lima, Perú.

Cisneros first gained fame with COMENTARIOS REALES, winner of Peru’s National poetry prize in 1965. CANTO CEREMONIAL CONTRA UN OSO HORMIGUERO won him the prestigious First Prize for Poetry in the Cuban Casa de las Americas competition of 1968.

“A Denunciation of elephants…” is a poetic construct of random quotes snipped from over 50 years of newspaper and literary documents which Cisneros states, “I have simply put in order according to my own suspicions…”

In April of 1979 we were fortunate enough to receive three poems recorded by Cisneros for radio broadcast on a live KPFK program titled NICARAGUA: LUCHA DE LAS AMERICAS.

Enrique R. Lamadrid is a poet-translator-instructor from Nuevo Mexico who’s exile in the damp Pacific Northwest has come to a merciful end in Espanola, N.M.


by Antonio Cisneros from COMO UNA HIGUERA EN UN CAMPO DE GOLF, Lima, 1972. translated by Enrique R. Lamadrid

Credit: ChismeArte Magazine No. 6

I love this country, he said, one may find their nourishment obedience, chickens for four cents, women for a dollar and ‘yahsir Boss’ for not much more” — Paul Niger

On go the feet of the elephants
sinking in the water to cross the river,
their buttocks sway more swollen than a
pregnant cow in its ninth month. Their
hides are not only resistant to heat and
rain but also indicate the wisdom of the
old and how wise their children are
bound to be.
Bertoldt Brecht had a great love for them
and saw them in the depths of
some zoo not long before he died:
and he gave them an almond and wrote.
But it was the King of the Jungle, Bwana
Tarzan, who lived among them and
came to speak their tongue
and so the elephants—the children and
the old ones—learned English.
All of our safaris are guided by bilingual
persons. And our beautiful
camps are situated in the most
picturesque spots so that you and
your family will experience the
intensity of jungle life. In the
reserve you will enjoy a cup of tea
while the Majestic elephants pass by in
the distance.
I like them also—I saw one in the Great
Circus of the Human Eagles that
pissed on the box of the mayor of Lima,
such wisdom.
The tall-and-rather-fat-almond-eating-animal
is literary—but not completely.
Swans—birds in general—have already lost
their prestige, horses and wolves
are vulgar—”obvious symbols” says Bowl,
lions, eagles, falcons, unicorn are
scarcely national coats of arms besides
being inedible,
spiders and flies are no more revolting
than the green worms of the black-
berry leaf,
otters aren’t worth much nor the joy of
life nor beavers or that good appetite,
the bands of giraffes and gazelles were killed
by Beatty, the plains of bison
were killed by Buffalo Bill and
signify nothing.
From this carnage the elephant is saved.
And it was thanks to the faithful pachyderm
that Tarzan could climb out and so
escape with his life.
It is true there was a time in which
cartographers, curiosity seekers and
traders were swift men,
and they gave their names to the waten
before they fell into the hands of
Lake Rudolf, Lake Victoria-and they left
the land with its own name,.
not without changing them with their
But after these people, there was no longer
any difference between lightning,
riflemen, traders,
and the cartographers and the other trackers
hardly even got themselves a
monument in London-if they hadn’t
already gotten in on the booty.
And the Savages immediately saw their palisades
torn asunder by dozens of maddened
elephants under the orders of Tantor.
The soldiers finished off the survivors,
sparing only a few chiefs who would be
of some use. Captain Campbell couldn’t
find the words to thank the Ape Man for
his life and victory. When he raised his
head it was too late. Over a Green Hill
Tarzan and the elephant went off into
the distance.
And so, as many lands as there were stars
were subjugated, taxed, partitioned,
And later with time and its waters (the U.N.,
guerrilla wars: Commonwealth)
taxed, partitioned, redivided, returning
them their names and flags.·
But that was all. Even still the elephants
are ready for whatever may be nece11ary:
a consumer’s market against racing cars.
The safari tents are hermetic, with showers,
mosquito Nets and fans.
There is no tomb for Lumumba, not even a sign.


Credit: ChismeArte Magazine No. 6

Our focus in this issue of XhismeArte is distinctly Latin American.

While this new year appears to return us to the cold war, with every political and military maneuver by the super powers bringing us closer to the possibility of world war, the leadership responsibility of Latin America and the developing world becomes greater and greater. The attention given by our national media, shifting from tacit neglect to nearsighted close-ups. sensational headlines of newly discovered countries, gives us the image of the Third World as one governed by chaos, irrationality and backwardness. There is an informational void that needs to be filled by some sense of historical perspective, whether in the case of Iran or El Salvador.

The concerns and needs of the developing nations, including those of Latin America, are not secondary to the”vital interests” of the super powers. Hunger, disease. racial and class oppression are definite vestiges of colonial and neocolonial domination, and the lack of national formation in some of these countries is a constant invitation to outside intervention. This is true in Iran where the U.S. competes to regain control of Iran’s oil resources.

The works of the Peruvian poet Antonio Cisneros poignantly previsage the new problems left behind by retreating forms of imperial domination in the 20th century. Declarations of national independence do not automatically imply popular support or revolutionary transformation. Bonapartistcoups, whether in Bolivia or Ethiopia, do not take the place of a truly organic revolutionary process, however well-intentioned they may be.

Against this turmoil, Nicaragua appears as a civilized and sobering alternative. Nicaragua reclaims, especially after the reactionary coup in Chile, the momentum of Latin America’s most profound period of change since the movements of national independence at the turn of the 17th century. Nicaragua’s continuing success must be measured by the amplitude and organization of its popular support, which perhaps is the best protection against neo-colonial intervention. It is in the interest of Nicaragua and the developing nations of the Third World to relentlessly pursue social and economic solutions, while at the same time being ready to defend their sovereignty. The developing world must see itself as an independent force that refuses to become obfuscated by the polemics of the super powers. The world movement toward peace and nuclear disarmament must not be jeopardized by the continued militarization of the Third World, by the sale of nuclear technology, and by Carter’s attempts to win approval of the MX missile program and reinstate draft registration.

In the past XhismeArte has been a mish-mash of information, photos and arte without a clearly defined editorial format. XhismeArte is in fact a n w magazine arriving at new definitions and perceptions, redesigned to meet present needs. We’d like to keep it moving in this direction.

In terms of finances, our economic picture has changed substantially. Thanks to grants awarded to us by the California Arts Council, we have been able to set up the Latino Writers Workshop and begin collecting material for our upcoming special issue, Homenaje a la ciudad de Los Angeles, 1781-1981: The Latino Experience of L.A. We must also extend special thanks to the Los Angeles Municipal Arts Program for the grant they awarded to us that makes this issue possible. Your next issue of XhismeArte will be ready this July and is dedicated to Frida Kahlo; with design and content assumed by Concilio member, Galeria de la Raza of San Francisco’s Mission District. With your continued support XhismeArte will continue with greater regularity and consistency.


Credit: ChismeArte Magazine No. 6

LITERARY EDITOR: Victor Manuel Valle
ART DIRECTOR: Guillermo A. Bejarano
COPY EDITOR: Susan Montaño

XHISME-ARTE: NUMBER SIX. published by the CONCILIO OE ARTE POPULAR Publication stall located at 814 S Spring Street, Suite 2-A, Los Angeles, Callfornia 90014. Phone number: (213) 829-5570 Copyright February 1980. XHISME-ARTE. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Application to mail at Second Class Postage Rate is pending at Los Angeles, California. POSTMASTER: send address changes to P.O. Box 30138, Los Angeles, California 90030. Return Postage Guaranteed. Single copy price is $2.00 plus $.50 to cover mailing and postage. To subscribe for four (4) issues: $10.00 (USA, Canada, Mexico); $15.00 (foreign). Your subscrlotlon will automatically put you or your organization on an active mailing list. If you have subscribed and have not received past issues, please write us. Numbers Two and Three out of print. All subscriptions will receive a price discount toward special issues:: HOMENAJE A LA CIUDAD DE LOS ANGELES, 1781-1981. Please send check or money orders payable to XhismeArte, P.O. Box 30138, Los Angeles, CA 90030.