*impressions of life in the the notorious opium dens set up and ran by
Chinese nationals in "Sal si Puedes" Panama city in the
1950's, namely the "Candy shop" and the notorious
"shooting star" also called Blumenstein's paradise. This
section of Panama city was patrolled by U.S. military police and was
off limits to U.S. servicemen, never the less it was visited and
supported by Americans in mufti
p.s. on a not of interest, these places were visited by local artists who later became addicted never to resume and follow their art.
This poem translated into english came to mind:
Based on the famous poems by Alfredo Arteaga's "rebirth" /how can I ever forget this place?
"Nosotros descendimos hasta
el rio impasable, buscando la senal: una isla
en las montanas, en las nubes
claras de aguilas, la serpiente
depena, el nopal antipoda.
A una isla mixtitlan, a la isla mixtitlan,
dimos el nombre
From Aztlan, the word made motion,
tentli, yollotl, yolotia,
to eagle, to snake, to cactus,
Old man, conquistador,
Bavieca, Tizon and Colada,
father of Coyote, Chanizo,
Sambaigo and Combujo, /towns/
father of Lobo, el Barquino,
of Mulato, father of Mestizo.
"From the darkest corners of Europe's cold black waters
to Tepeyac, Flower of the Mountain,
where sad children shall kneel
before us. In the name of Our Lady
of the Thorns, we shall baptize a
Juan-Diego Oxomoco, a Marina Nightear,
baptize a Maria Castellano Cortes.
a Rodrigo Rio-Bravo"
And west, dark
woman and pearls. "Esplandian!"
Plus Ultra, Esplandian"
Old worlds made blood,
old words made
Many mothers, a father who loosed dogs one sad night,
feathers from the quetzal, a
a blackbird who now coos in Spanish.
From the high plateau, from a
gulf town, across desert to one
river, half water, half metal. A mesh of steel and spray, only
threaded by the mad, Railroads
to the MADNESS, HIGHWAYS TO THE
CITIES OF THE MAD, and a boat.
In my dream a beautiful maiden approaches the fence, she offers mezcal,
there is something
dead in the Chamuco, we
drink from the common bottle,
our skins are the same
color, in the darkness
agave and meesquite
Lone star, bear flag,
Sea to shining ore.
To San Antonio, Santa Fe,
Monterey. To Tijuana or Juarez
Saturday night, border
Chapultepec: young girls
descent, unfurl to drunken
gringos, young heroicas, "Viva
el pinche DOLAR, "Chapultepec,
Grasshopper hill: a park
devoted to the pleasure of
marines, devoted to
Grasshoppers. Three brown
girls of age stroll by, their color
Long live the land
by Alfredo Arteaga