Well- i have been writing allot- below is a poem that is in my new mss. the one I have been sending around-
It is placed in the Main Post Office in Cochabamba, Bolivia where I lived from 1994-1996. It is funny how places are routine daily events and then you leave a place and you never return. Now I can see and feel the place-
The Cochabamba Post Office was one of those places for me- Cochabamba does not have domicile delivery of mail so if you want to get mail you must a have a PO Box. The Post Office in Bolivia was the place to see Gringo Volunteers in Cochabamba. I have to say that there were few things more pleasant than getting a package of books or magazines when I was in Bolivia.
One of the interesting things however was the fact the poor in Cochabamba also knew that the Post Office was filled with ' rich' volunteers getting mail. So out in front of this Fascistically grand building were all types of poor- one armed people, people with all kinds of skin diseases- children full of lice- begging for food or money
I most enjoyed watching the nuns who were mostly of indiginous origin like the beggars in their starched white habits walking by avoiding these folks. It was the greatest irony in Bolivia to see Priests and Sisters who preached an option for the poor- but they lived in relative palatialness.
This was also true of the other missionaries- Protestants in Bolivia preached that poverty was a result of sin- Catholics as a result of injustice but both of them were wrong the problem is power or the lack there of. In the end there was much to be done and no one to do it....
I have written here about Bolivia and as Waltraud and I prepare to go to Brazil this week I always think about Bolivia and my first night in Bolivia sleeping in a cement room, metal roof with dogs outside barking quite an experience.
South America all of it sits with me everyday- I recently saw Motorcycle Diaries and that harshness in the movie was with me for three years in Bolivia- none of it was exagerated by Walter Salles. Harshness....
Correo Central Cochabamba
Enter me and rip open my stitches; Cántico espiritual; Noche oscura; Entréme donde no supe Vivo sin vivir en mí Tras de un amoroso lance Un pastorcico solo está penado.
Open sewers are flowing like a river to the sea; a man fell in and drowned in the Barrio’s escrement. The river of shit filling the procession route. Lift high the statue of Maria and don’t let her dress drag in the shit river.
En el principio moraba En aquel amor inmenso Una esposa que te ame Hágase, pues, dijo el Padre Con esta buena esperanza En aquestos y otros ruegos.
“where is your mother today Pepe?” “oh my father beat her to death”
“oh I understand let us not talk of this again as not to offend you father”
el tiempo era llegado we are arriving at the time when the convent doors are opened and the street people can see into the cloister and see why poverty looks so pleasant. The garden is maintained but the friars have old bread.
Outside the post office in Cochabamba, Bolivia there are cripples they are ignored by the missionaries who walk by. The cripple’s souls are not interesting like the souls of generals.