On the Road to Satori – Nuevo Laredo

fountain by cindytenshi (Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas)

I wrote this of my travels during the 1970s when Nuevo Laredo was a much different world. This story does not reflect the current state of Tamaulipas, Northern Mexico.

Nuevo Laredo

the guy
from Peru
warned me

“don’t stay in Mexico, man
the federales will beat you up
take your passport

shave your head
and the next time
its off to the calaboza with you!”

we sat in a tiny cantina
in Nuevo Laredo and talked
about the dread Mexican police

who would catch you
without money for a bribe
and rough you up

I believed him
his head shaved
like a convict

three companions
paperless in Mexico
nodding in sincere despair


as we left the taco joint
I saw my wallet was gone

they looked at me startled
fue el mozo! the waiter
he took your bolsa, man!”

pointing at the restaurant in
pure mesoamerican
excitement

me not even thinking
turned and walked back
confronted the waiter

he reached down
behind the counter
and pulled out my wallet

with a sheepish grin
and not a gun
or a knife
to my relief


I split from
Mexico right away
left behind:

my dreams of buying
that handmade Mexican guitar
the guy from Peru
his companions

and the traffic cop
with the bristle brush mustache who
reminded me of the captain
in the Sunday comics’
Katzenjammer Kids

directed traffic around
the little cobblestone circle
and the fountain

madly waving me across
like I’m some long lost son
hair to the sky and the
military duffel bag
over my shoulder
a target for the feds

saying “andale
mijo, andale
por aquí
this way … get out o’ here quick!”

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8 responses

  1. Pingback: On the Road to Satori – El Paso – an American Haiku

  2. i want to read more like this. You have a good voice for a direct telling of a story in free verse. If you don’t mind me saying, i’d focus on this style, you do it well, & maybe work the more Enlightened stuff in rather than focus on it is short poems. Just an idea. More please. Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Paul. This is the kind of input I’m looking for. It’s hard to get honest critique on WordPress. Everyone is either positive or they say nothing and just click “Like” by rote. I have a complete series of these from a previous blog. The Enlightenment is a cycle I’m going through at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Honestly i don’t think open spiritual expression makes very good or honest sounding poetry but a travel experience with incidental details @ such as conversations, place names, incidents, radio stations etc does make good poetry. & Paul is my father’s name haha.

        Liked by 1 person

          • No need to be sorry just my opinion. People like it but i say let the experience dictate the satori not the other way around. In other words tell the experience without saying anything at all to do with the spiritual mood & you are bringing the reader closer to the actual experience. Ag least how i see it.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I meant, sorry about mixing up your middle name. Sometimes middle names stand out to me for reasons unknown. But this extra advice you give adds depth. What do you think of my About page? Does it lean too far in ‘saying’? The blurb is the ‘showing’ part. The bio is the ‘telling’. I think. The one person who liked it, incidentally, is a Buddhist monk I follow on WordPress who shares a lot of my ideas. So I’m at a fork in the road.

              Liked by 1 person

              • The About Page is an introductory measure so fill it with anything necessary to your goals yhat way people from it gauge what you are about & then the work is read in tandem with those goals so the work doesn’t have to state those aims it is them in an embellished form.

                Liked by 1 person

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