Dolores Dorantes

Translated by Robin Myers



This is I. This is he.

This is the miserable one, son of the miserable men and miserable woman. Son of your water and fire. I came from you, from nothingness, for one of your old poems, I came. I came from the imagination to return it to you and to carve your name, in stone, like all the others poets of this wasteland. I asked a mule about its father and it said to me:

My uncle is a horse. Then it disappeared.


I asked a girl about her father. She became shy and said: Perhaps it is you, and then she slipped into the fog.

I asked a lark that was whispering to its mother about its mother. It approached and said: Perhaps she is you, so please carry me. And it slept in my hand.

I asked my self: Who am I?

The nocturnal echo around me respond: Who am I?

This is I. This is he.

This is all of my imagination.

But expressing emotion, they say, is not one of the attributes of exile


Mahmoud Darwish




DESCOMUNAL. F. Extraordinaire, Énorme, Monstreux. —E. Extraordinary, Monstrous, Enormous, Colossal. —G. Ausserordentlich. —It. Enorme, Smisurato. —P. Descommunal. (from des and comunal). /adj. Extraordinary, monstrous, enormous.

DESCOMUNALEZA. (from des and comunlaeza). n. ant. Excommunication.

DESCOMUNALMENTE. adv. m. Very far from the ordinary.

DESCONCEPTO. (from des and concepto). n. Discredit.

DESCONCEPTUAR. (from des and conceptuar).

tr. To discredit. Used also as a reflexive verb.

“In sum, the logical/intellectual layer of educational environment design is focused on defining, with greater or lesser precision, the instructions, the logistics, and the intelligence that permits infrastructure to be used toward the objectives of the educational system. This is the layer that ought to successfully consider, design, and implement tactics and strategies in translating the objectives of the classical educational system within an environment like the internet.”






Lack of human emotions. Reveals. She has a good career: escaping. The career of good impressions. Good impressions: brand-copy-urbanity. What should be felt. To be an expert in what should be felt. Essential point. The fulfillment of duty. A good career: escaping. Without experiencing feeling. Without tension. Without confrontation. Without contradiction. A lack. Copiously. Essential point. To obey, to have to feel. Without empathy. To escape empathic perception. Compassion. If that were the case. That is to say. Empathic perception must disappear. You’re vanishing, you and not you, together. You who know very well what one should feel.

You are you and your enemy: a simple person for whom everything is possible. Everything-is-possible becomes the alliance. You are your enemy. Classify that behavior as realistic. Corporate identity. The tower with its hook-mouth. You are the watchtower. The tower that casts light on itself. Classify your own identity: corporate. Without fear. Without pleasure. In fulfillment of duty. You are you and not you: lying beneath the wires, in the tunnels, hiding its true pathology. The absence of yourself. Essential point. The authentic being dragging itself through other circumstances. Underground. Drowned by its own shadow. Copiously. You are you and not you. Without the ability to exist. Shut up in the disguise of efficiency. Corporate identity. To give life. To take life away. In fulfillment of duty. Without fear. Without pleasure. Without pain. A clean cut, surgical, that is to say. A clean cut through one’s emotions. Essential point: resistance.

You are you and your resistance. The one that’s born of the center. The one that expands the heart. The one that immediately recognizes the conformist’s empty soul. You are you and the ability to adjust that light. You are the one who grips that reality by the neck. The tower. That casts light onto the light of your heart. You adjust (corporate identity) to the world’s success. Structure organizes. You are you and the structure. You adjust. Perfectly. To every circumstance. You feel gratified, because your heart speaks. To communicate. Your heart that searches with its mouth (pleasure, pain). To communicate. Your newborn heart, drowning in its shadow. You are. What you must be. In fulfillment of duty. You feel. What you must feel. Successful person. You’re vanishing. Gratified by your sincerity. The tower that casts light onto your light. Light of watchfulness. You’re vanishing. You adjust. That is to say.






It’s produced in the margins. You’re alive because, as they were killing him, you believed you were overhearing a sexual act. In laborious construction. You heard the dark moan like an animal’s. They were killing him, but you believed and pressed your ear to the wall. A dark moan in contact with the concrete’s winter. In laborious construction. You’re alive because they were killing him but you, you silently rested your hand against the cold, and, charged with sensuality, every blow stopped you still and took your breath away.












You, not I, are produced in the margins. It has a passport to anywhere on earth. You, not I, carry your identity documents. You live: you give orders to the forces of human nature. You believe in the worship of army boots. You too come with me. Underground. You too sink. You too take root. You too scatter seeds of watchfulness that burgeon into webs and cables. You, not I, have been disappeared by your own extermination. We’re going to bloom. To rise. To reassemble ourselves.












The extreme space is what produces creativity. I don’t have any. Creativity. I don’t live in the present. I don’t sense anything but lies in blood’s presence. She, not you, sprawled face-down on the pavement. It’s not creative. It’s a brilliant color. A shattering. Extreme space. Its mouth encountering the little pebbles on the highway. You live inside the heavy bubble where time doesn’t pass. You live because someone appeared to tell you they were killing you. In another reality.












Uncommonly large, enormous. We’ve all had this experience. The decomposition of blood. The decomposition of light. You’re vanishing. Say you’re a stone and we’ll finish with this excavation. Say you’re a stone and we’ll finish with these circumstances. There’s no other option. You answered. I’m the inventor of fear when it proves necessary. We want proof of your identity. Very far from the ordinary. I’m. The inventor of fear.












Uncommonly large. I’m the inventor of fear. Without pleasure. Without pain. I’m a stone. Finish the excavation. I’m the tower with the hook-mouth. Nature, in sum, that points toward definition. Nature’s open mouth. Finish your interrogation. I’m the inventor. To be able to think. In fulfillment of duty. Finish it. We’ve all had this same experience.












It isn’t an attribute. Here. It isn’t an attribute of your circumstances. Repeat after me. It isn’t an attribute of your circumstances. The interrogation. Repeat. That you slipped into the dark volume of this water in hopes of hiding there. Repeat. That fear betrayed you. Repeat. The only attribute of my circumstances is the light from the tower. Repeat. The only attribute of my circumstances involves betrayal.









Dolores Dorantes is an Acharya in the Buddhist tradition, a journalist, writer, therapist, poet, performer and sacred animal. She is a Mexican born in the mountains of Veracruz in 1973 but raised in Ciudad Juárez, right next door to El Paso, which is just across the US border. In 2011 she fled her country and was granted political asylum in Los Angeles. Dorantes is Black and Nahua indigenous from her mother’s side, Spaniard and mestiza from her father’s side. Recent books translated into English are The River, a collaboration with the artist Zoe Leonard, and Style. Her socio-cultural writings and political-social reflections, along with the majority of her books, are part of the commons at: She believes in a United Latin America.

Robin Myers is the translator of, recently, The Restless Dead by Cristina Rivera Garza, Cars on Fire by Mónica Ramón Ríos, and Animals at the End of the World by Gloria Susana Esquivel; forthcoming translations include books by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, Tedi López Mills, Leonardo Teja, and Daniel Lipara. She lives in Mexico City.

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