Artaud in Mexico

by John Macker

He tells the dubious Tarahumara
Rimbaud never met a French poet he
didn’t disdain.
Eats peyote by the handful
from a painted gourd,
has a vision of the nativity of Hieronymus Bosch,
dances the night away with
peyote sorcerers,
intuits the last words Sam Peckinpah
spoke to god,
reads A Season in Hell
by firelight
next to a graveyard
with its
lyrical colored metal crosses
and plastic
chants, one must be absolutely
as the incantatory clouds climb like
smoking gun blossoms high over
the Sierra Madre.

The Indians have mercy on this
tattered schizoid soul, install his
junkie ass upright on a drunken mule
for the long road home.
They recognize a kindred spirit
when they see one,
his garish, provocative nature not
at all at odds with
the fellaheen.

They dig his otherworldliness,
his seer’s heart.