Bacantes y otros poemas / Bacchantes and Other Poems

Elsa Cross: Baniano Back

"For, despite the metaphysical nature of much of her work, Elsa Cross’ work is rooted in an empirical reality, even when it appears to be loosening its ties to the world as we know it, and to be ascending into a mythic realm. Elsa Cross is a poet who takes wing, flies over our reality, looking down at the landscape one moment, surveying the clouds and infinity the next. This is indeed a poetry that can teach us how to see anew, and I firmly believe that it is one that we need."

Tony Frazer
Exeter, 2009


Ediciones / Editions

Cross, Elsa,  Bacantes, Artífice Ediciones, México, 1982, 36 páginas.

Cross, Elsa,  Bacantes, Edición Bilingüe, México/San Antonio, Tx., 2003, 36 páginas.

Cross, Elsa,  Bacantes, B. Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, México, 2010, 36 páginas.

Bacantes 

I

We submerged ourselves in the spring.
We left our bodies to the current
like straying sandbanks,
a land that falls away
carrying off the shore of bulrushes.
We flowed through its transparencies
and in the depth of its bed
our legs brushed against a soft moss.
Plants entwined our feet.
We felt the passing of those fish
that, by accident, so they said,
would cling amid the women’s thighs.
And always a phrase in my ear
sounding its highest cadences at the edge.
Downstream we saw branches against the sky.
The sun sketched on our bodies
the shadow of leaves.
The breeze brought your scent.
We passed under a willow
and its branches held back by our hair
all that drive downriver.



II

Surrounded by hills like walls the men were playing on the terraces.
Din of racing on the grass.
A purple blue in the air when the sun set.
The birds were becoming quiet.
The bats were erratically taking flight.
The men were keen to score in the game.
Their shouts reverberated amid the hills.
Ovation.
They raised you on their shoulders,
they carried you downhill to celebrate.
At every entrance of that village, a church.
The seven doors protected by the archangels,
                                             so they said.
And ours got drunk in the arcades of the square,
talking of heaven and hell as places separated by two inches inside the body.



III

Nothing of your blessed prestiges.
The women were anticipating your coming, like an advent,
and you arrived with marijuana in your pockets,
your hair messed up,
just out of who knows what escapades—
And you had some queries to answer
like to the Queen of Sheba.
You smiled to see them so devout,
your milk sisters,
and like Shiva in the Pine Wood
unfolding a great phallus
you seduced them right under their husbands’ beards,
the ascetics.
And the women followed you.
No curse reached you,
O Smoker-of-Intoxicating-Herbs.
Above, mirror signals in the branches.
The tranquil earth, waiting,
like a day of great festivity.
And there the Concheros went
with their flutes and mournful drums,
their hawk-bells of dry seeds.
Dance of mirrors under the sun.
In the district of the Cross rockets thundered.
From the poles they had hung coloured flags.
The people drunk in the streets
were moving in staggering processions
on the point of falling on the uneven cobblestones.
At night sparklers,
your mirrors of smoke.
Rockets rumbling like gunshots.
People fond of fire.
In so many places we found
mouldy bullet cartridges, gunpowder burns in the walls. The children puffed at the toy windmills,
they puffed at the flowers
sending up their petals on the wind.
The women followed you..