Carla Faesler

Translated by Tanya Huntington


My mother was a riot cop,

a character in a comic strip,

stunned alter ego of a video game You

activated by a colossal joystick.

Magical remote control

of our great stalker,

who in lieu of ignoring our existence

amid astral mystery,

penetrates us and spills into our center,

trapdoors us among its barbs,

laps us with its subsidies,

chews us up for a living.

Despite such tenacious stealth,

its flight is a dead giveaway. Here comes

flag –our great stalker –

and here comes its drone

ready to acid and sniff us out

to rapid scan and dissolve us spinning.

Every afternoon the TV set,

our great stalker,

stuck us with its antenna,

burying it in the lime pits of our foreheads,

all-possessing us,

its screen, its sun, yes, yes, its heaven,

forming a dazzling plot of land.

Those afternoons before the luminous abyss,

my mother with her sanctified commercial halo,

her lipstick and nightstick

laid out on crocheted plastic doilies,

as if all that would mean swallowings

to the bellies of four, three

–if we were even that–

phosphorescent children,

eager to gouge out the door’s eyes

or strip the pages from beauty salon magazines,

crinkled hairdos and ties,

pretty, beautiful, terse

radiating the unfathomable

in our efforts, our desire:

cleansing ourselves with scandals and stars

that licked our shit with their pretties.


My mother was a riot cop,

an indifferent mist, a blind step,

a density with no center, no clog

a dumpsite of bone-weary

that would swell up

into an unbearable lump,

then burst.

Those lightbulb nights

of orderly sinister shadows,

reflections on a screen: shards of colors painted us

as if blue man, yellow girl,

or green spread onto walls by dead man’s hand.

The moss sniffed us out with fingers

made of concrete and earth,

its green becoming the Martian who never came,

the most beautiful gelatin glass in this world,

its green transparency, little gumdrops for the tasting.

And to the south, to the south, she was

the riot cop who settled down

and remained there in the three-day jar.

A fermented fungus.

It is we,

It is I who cannot see me.

The only mirror I’ve ever known

is the visor on the helmet of her gear.


Carla Faesler is a writer and experimental poet. Author of the novel Formol (Tusquets, 2014), considered the best book of the year by La Tempestad magazine, and the books of poetry DRON (My mother was a riot cop), (Impronta Casa Editora, 2020), Catábasis, exvoto (Editorial Bonobos, 2011), Anábasis maqueta (Editorial Diamantina y Difocur, 2004 – Gilberto Owen National Poetry Prize, 2002), No tú sino la piedra (Ediciones El Tucán de Virginia, 1999) and De ríos sagrados que la herejía navega (Ediciones Mixcóatl, 1996).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *