Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

I Remember Coyoacan

"I remember Coyoacan," Jay told the interviewer,
sitting under mahogany-and-cane fan blades on the veranda.
Leaning back, legs crossed,
He smiled easily and added, 
"He didn't believe in me, Trotsky. Too bad.

"The palms were dripping that day, but the rain had let up.
Mercader set his raincoat on the table
with the ice axe under it.
Trotsky was reading.
When he looked down, Mercader withdrew his weapon,
swung and sculpted  a new Winter into Trotsky's mind."

Jay shrugged, as if to say what can you do?
"The guards rushed in of course, and beat that man like a pinata.
Each fist was an eloquent argument,
each kick a blow for the worker."
He waved His hand dismissively.
"It was too late of course. Mexico is devout, but unforgiving.

"Trotsky knew he was dying, and said so. 
An aide brought a basin for any final ideas,
and someone put on a phonograph record of Russian dances.
Across the room, Trotsky could see where Death had scrawled
Te veo pronto
on the mirror above the sink in red lipstick.

"He never asked for me, and died the next day."
The interviewer followed Jay's gaze to the flower garden--
dahlias, the Mexican national bloom. 
"The Aztecs used to eat them," he told the interviewer.
The scribe wrote this down on his pad from the hotel,
with "Bienvenida a Coyoacan" 
in bold script across the top like a leaflet or a prayer card.

for Dverse Poetics: In the light of other days.

Leon Trotsky, living in exile in Mexico, was assassinated in 1940 by Ramon Mercader, using an ice axe. Trostsky lingered for a day before passing. He was an avowed atheist.

Te veo pronto = see you soon


  1. Superb stuff, really enjoyed the way this was told , clever, sardonic, lively, realistic, quickwitted, fascinating, and chuckled seeing it logged in the memory prompt.

    1. I just wanted to add how wonderful the 2nd reading was, this poem is really masterful. I am not entirely sure I have read much better poetry, and none quite so entertaining.

    2. Thank you ever so much for letting me know you enjoyed it!

  2. Shall we ever encounter another blossom that shouts "nolo contendre!"? I doubt it. Packed with a recollection almost as brilliant as its plumage. I hope they don't put it in tequila.

  3. So strong Shay, vivid, shocking even — but damned well written. Wonder if dahlias are hallucinogenic?

  4. What a wonderful historic memory relived for all of us. Very well done!

  5. So good:
    “swung and sculpted a new Winter into Trotsky's mind”
    “Each fist was an eloquent argument”

  6. 'swung and sculpted a new Winter into Trotsky's mind.' - that's visceral: or should I say, cerebral? You really brought the horrors of a lingering and violent death to life.

    1. "or should I say, cerebral?" Oh that's good! :-)

  7. I really liked the voice in this - conversational, with flourishes. I can really imagine the scene, the fan turning, the heat.

  8. Shay - this is such a beautifully rendered history lesson! I love it :)

    -David [ben Alexander]

  9. this was such a marvellous read - it flows from beginning to end and conjures a that literally frozen moment in time when an animal eats its own young! the mirror message is an added touch of brilliance

    1. I actually started with the mirror thing and worked from there.

  10. There are some killer-cold lines in this--"..An aide brought a basin for any final ideas,.." especially. You manage to create a totally believable scene in a way that is essentially surreal. The plaintiff "he never asked for me," the dahlias, and the deity's reference to the Aztecs, works in like a thread of bright color in an otherwise plain garment. Not that there is anything plain here, everything coruscates with a dry wit and a murderous eye. AFA the fate of Leon, revolutionaries seldom die of old age, do they? Excellent stuff, Shay.

    1. Thanks as always, my BFF. I really kinda liked that "basin" line myself. And no, revolutionaries seldom die peacefully in their beds, do they?

  11. I can feel the wind from the fan and smell the rain. Amazing as always Shay.

  12. I was engrossed from beginning to end. Engrossed and fully speculative. Trotsky? Mexico? Rain, a scribe and a basin for final ideas? Narrator, what more do you wish to tell us?

  13. You had me at “Trotsky.” I’ve read that history a couple of times in other places –Mercader, the ice ax – and I don’t think any of them “sculpted a new Winter into Trotsky's mind.” You written the definitive version. I need to send this to some people.


Spirit, what do you wish to tell us?