cobla exchange, Elaine Stirling, for the love of Mexico, French medieval verse, fun and silly rhyming verse, humour, Law of Attraction, nagual, narrative poetry, Oaxaca, Occitan form poetry, partimen, poetic dialogue, rancheros, Tehuantepec, tenso
A Partimen with mature content: reader discretion advised
I met you on the streets of Oaxaca
at night, staggering home from a party
or fight, you were singing rancheros
with all of your might, and I feared
my chihuahua would die of sheer—
Frightened you were, my love, that
I agree, I affirm uncontestedly, but we
met on a boat in Tehuantepec. You
admired my muscles, the curve
of my peck—
No, no, no! A lady of virtue that
I surely am would never engage
in ogling a man, though as I recall
I was waving a fan in the heat
of the boat and your hand—
Two threes and a king
wouldn’t buy me a taco, but
you had this thing that you did
with your eyes, and my courage
she rose, and a thought came to
life in the crook of my thighs…
Go on, I’m listening.
…and I looked at the guys
who were looking at you—
And I knew when you won
with the crappiest hand I had
found me the one, a magical man
who could hold up his own in the
face of my wit on the boat,
the canal of Tehuantepec—
No, no, no! They never did
build the canal, I was wrong.
We met in Oaxaca, the streets
were quite empty, and your little
hua-hua despised my guitarra,
but I kept on singing ‘cause you
gave me power, and now we are—
Masterful, magic and wit, forever
inseparable, though I submit we
should quit this partimen and
find a cantina. It’s your turn to pay.
Walking the streets of Oaxaca
at night is not recommended,
but if you should find yourself
craving tamales, garnachas,
a nice chimichanga with no
other signs of a Mexican
hunger, then do check your
pockets and heart—not for
money, but things you believe
in. If love is not there or you’ve
squashed it with reason, look
around in the dark, in the shadows
you’ll find a handsome señor and
his foxy señora, their yappy
chihuahua who hates the
laments of ranchero guitarra.
They’ve come not to harm you
but show you a way to chase
the unwanted diablitos away
like this, sing with me…
Ay, ay, ay, ay, canta y no llores!
© Elaine Stirling, 2013
Image: streets of Oaxaca, Mexico,
Mikels Skele said:
Ay, cielito lindo!
It is, indeed, Mikels! A little tequila earworm for your day. 😉
Mikels Skele said:
An enchanting bit of verse Elaine, brought to life in a new world setting with a form from the old. The accommodating turn to agreement on both parts–the ” canta y no llores!” contrasts nicely with the “Ay, ay, ay, ay,” yapping of the dog.
Thanks, Russel. The Occitan poetic dialogue family of partimen, tensos, etc. has totally captured my attention…and that photo of Oaxaca melted my heart.
Love this. To meet a man who can hold his own in the face of my wit. haha. Funny how two people remember a meeting (and other things) so differently.
And that photo….!
Thank you, Mandy! I loved meeting these two characters. Their interplay felt like a dance that became more and more fun to write with each stanza. I eventually had to duck them into a cantina, just to get on with my day. 😉