Poemas Clandestinos 1978-1989 Enrique de Santiago

Every time I ordered my papers I found these poems that correspond to my years of militancy in the communist youth under the period of the dictatorship, which in my personal case took place between 1979 and 1989

Already a couple of years ago, around 1977, my concern for writing verses had been awakened, and I still have those first poetic stammers. Those sheets speak of those attempts to provide something different to the word, since when adding two, these would give a different meaning and significance, more subtle, in short, that it had a broader meaning.

I had finished high school, and shortly after I met a landscape painter and an art student, who showed me the secrets of easel painting, it was then that I was already clear that my destiny was the visual arts. Parallel to the instruction, I received from these two friends, others close to the cultural circle that was forming in the neighborhood, they enlightened me about the dark passages that happened daily in our country. There was the coup d’état, the intervention of the United States, the disappeared detainees, the torture, the prison and the political persecution, which were some among many the prison, and the political persecution, which were some of the many atrocities that devastated our people.

poetry was still present, and names like Nicolas Guillen, Ernesto Cardenal, or Roque Dalton had been added to my library. I wrote in my spare time, and much of that poetry served the cause of the offended and their fight for liberation for the construction of a new, fairer life. It was then, during a sunny winter afternoon that one of my friends invited me to join the Communist Youth.

I accepted and from that moment my new name was Freddy. The following year he entered the Faculty of Arts of the University of Chile, where the student agitation had restarted after complex years where the repression was brutally violent. Now there were more of us and all the universities were setting up Student Centers ready to fight for student and human rights. They were two hard years, of strikes, street actions, propaganda, and confrontation with the repressive forces-Carabineros de Chile, which at that point was a militarized police force trained for repression-Between art classes, paintings, and struggle, of from time to time some of these poems that I have rescued arose. Others were lost among notebooks or were forgotten on a table in my school.

The months went by one after another; meeting, bells, protests, repression, hiding and reappearing, that’s how the years went by, with a lot of political activity, little appearance, and some verses that are being accommodated in these sheets.

At the beginning of 88, love came with force, since one day in January I met Valezka, who would be the mother of my three beloved daughters. That year, party activity would turn to the campaign for the October plebiscite and find a way to insert myself into the workplace, since by December there would be three of us in the family. It was a tough year for both of us, but we went to all the big marches where we joined the people who had said enough to so many people of darkness and opprobrium. The triumph of the “No” option brought hope for the daughter to come and the verses changed color, approaching a less arid and somber texture. 1989 I arrive with a stable job, my party life is focused on the union. That year Patricio Aylwin was elected, he would be the President “as far as possible”, or put another way: what was impossible for the people, while everything possible was given to the de facto groups and the oligarchy. Those were the years of asking for permission from the dictators and fascists who held key positions in the Armed Forces, Parliament, and the production and communication media. Large state companies continued to be privatized and neoliberalism deepened. From the 90s onwards, were the years of shame, of a protected democracy, and of the deepening of the model

Enrique of Santiago, December 2021

The Smoke Base (1979)

the base of the smoke
it is base without eye
for the bell
a lock vibrates ten times,
and the bewildered sight writes
How many broken ideas are there in the mirror?
for the bell the ear is deaf
with pain of 10,000 years
the crazy race has an end everywhere
lips are pursed,
the exit is praised,
spitting black earth
and the black earth spits us to the sky
burning the pupils
since the base of the smoke has no eye
The base of the smoke has no eye
and the ash drowns a siren
and they crash by the thousands
Well, it’s the autumn of man
the bell screams in fright
and the eardrum tells him to shut up..
but the cry is crying
dog crying,
of worms
of mice
human crying
shoes melt
and the frost boils in its hour
pine is charcoal
and the race burns and burns
The base of the smoke has no eye
but the beginning yes,
but underlies its lock

Carnival and duel (1980)

Dreams have been trampled in the mud
and the moans are silenced with screens and neon
fun to lead the century
on the trembling of absent birds
but one day the crystal clear rain will come
and after the sun
with your new water
kissed by the moon
while the rebellious ligaments
they give off longings on the gray asphalt
under waiting stars
the smooth flight of lepidoptera

The Pedaling (1981)

On a colorless bike
pedal to a sleeping atoll
in that corner of the skin of a rosy vision
under the dark green chair
so that the sole kisses the yellow sands
the contemporary chip
already inside my starry pants
I think it is appropriate to say with a red voice:
Long live this surreal expression!
I then say:
Your violet rifle jumps from the dark
Stepping on the shapes that you don’t have yet
and you were submerged in your numerical sea
where they surprised you between mastabas and whips
and embraced the heavy centuries
under the belly of the galleys
to cross the maps of the centuries
chasing the useless and ephemeral

Night (1983)

Have you felt that the bats
They come to your room one day agitated?
They laugh and denote expired fangs
while the music falls, abandoning each note,
and I look for an onomatopoeia to simulate
my brain hitting the floor,
so as not to perceive how it is extinguished
the spent life of those who do not have feathers
I just want my fingers intact
to pull a certain trigger
and make my way through the gray tangle of his name

Observations (1984)

They are cloudy days
vermin crawl and abound
the palace beasts
the city wears its best corruption suit
and in each office a crime is perpetrated
but there are still your kisses and your moisture
in a brief but broad sincerity
in that street that corrects my face and faith

Reading in Heaven (1985)

The fly refrained from ascending
and stopped at folded hopes
perceiving a usual odor
had drilled all the diameters
known and unknown
of the present medieval apathy
Repelled by bullets the nonconformity
wears black tile
and resume the flight
causing the last ulcers
to existing weight
Tomorrow the cage is undressed
before the soup gets cold

Painting (1986)

Alone, in front of the support
clinging to thousands of flaming voices
and be one and all following the thread of Ariadna
in that challenging labyrinth
where she is shipwrecked and pales her life,
next to the truth and hers custodian loves
be both and call what principle
Without us realizing
that we always carry with the fear of what ends

Dream (1987)

In the courtyard of my memory
I did not pave stone *pastelones
and on the most humid and fertile land
grow a red flower
burdensome and geometric
without the language of capitulation
and got up watered with the brief bravery that drives
almost irrationally to the martyrs
from every barricade in this city charnel house

Demystifying (1987)

The feather vortex
perishes before the litigation of stillness
and from so much looking for potions
on nights covered with the moon shell
I then went to the annals of oblivion
while the image of the eroded sky appears
under the uncertainty of its dim flashes
going through the rubble of your memory
My withered pupil arrived there
to forget you

September Notes (1989)

They will hide my lean meat, under the cover of earth and parallel,
where the traces left by my dreams will not be visible
in those coordinates where the dragonflies nested
In the softest parts of a solstice
insistent the consecrated spells
will be hidden for future generations
while I drink from a larval porphyria
since each wing contains the history of time,
what takes my breath
to set your levels without further limits
that the one that extends in the red slope of a fallen
where each segment of the man fulfills
with the fragility of his own destiny
In vain many look at their savings account
on the gray sidewalk,
when in reality
life goes by insignificant
before your eyes
Now do you understand why?
of the sound of crafty sabers in spring

Art and Poems Written by Enrique de Santiago ©

Enrique de Santiago, Born in Santiago, Chile (1961). Visual artist, poet, researcher, essayist, curator and cultural manager. He studied a Bachelor of Art at the University of Chile and at the Institute of Contemporary Art (Chile). Since 1984, he has exhibited in individual and group exhibitions, counting to his credit around more than 100 exhibitions.
He has edited five books: Fragile Transits Under the Spirals in 2012, with La Polla Literaria; Elegía a las Magas and the book essay: El Regreso de las Magas, both with Editorial Varonas. In 2018 he edited La Cúspide Uránica with editorial Xaleshem and Dharma Comunicaciones, and Travel Bitácora with Editorial Opalina Cartonera.
He has participated in various poetry anthologies, both in Chile and abroad. He has collaborated in the newspaper La Nación with articles on new media art, and in magazines such as Derrame, Escaner Cultural and Labios Menores in Chile, Brumes Blondes in Holland, Adamar from Spain, Punto Seguido from Colombia, Sonámbula from Mexico, Agulha de Brazil, Incomunidade de Portugal, Styxus de Rep. Czech, Canibaal de Valencia, Spain, Materika de Costa Rica and other printed and digital publications.

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