You are currently browsing the daily archive for January 4, 2012.

Only the military
can try to the military.
So far they’ve shown
little inclination to do so…

Beatrice, hands off, slashes everywhere
across from her heart.
Her corpse is
a star, a sea, a hand which will come back:

some major’s clock will be turned back
and awakening to repair it
he will be mortally wounded by
a star, a sea, a hand which will come back:

a tongue from some colonel’s boot will fall off
and bending to retrieve it
he will be mortally wounded by
a star, a sea, a hand which will come back:

a card from some general’s deck will be missing
and taking this out on an Indian
he will be mortally wounded by
a star, a sea, a hand which will come back:

tonight driving back from a meeting
I drove the alley as the trees in the night snow beckoned
—the lights were out in the house I was born in
and for the first time ever it felt as if

someone from that house had lived
and someone from that house had died.

—from Envelope of Night: Selected and Uncollected Poems, 1966 – 1990 (2008, Nightboat Books)

Beatriz Barrios had solicited, and received, permission to enter Canada as a political refugee. She had been issued and received a visa, before she was abducted only a day before she was to leave Guatemala for Canada. In Guatemala: Eternal Spring, Eternal Tyranny (1987) photographer [Jean Marie] Simon writes:

On December 10, 1985, two days after [Vinicio] Cerezo’s presidential victory, 26 year old Eugenia Beatriz Barrios Marroquin, a mother two two small children, called for a taxi to go to a friend’s home.
Minutes after she left in the taxi, she and the driver were stopped by a car with three armed men, who forced her out of the taxi and into their vehicle. Barrios had either been under surveillance or the call she made to the taxi dispatcher had been monitored by government intelligence. Although the taxi driver returned to tell the friend about the abduction, it was too late.
Her body was found the following day by Palin, Escuintla, by the painted quetzal-bird rock: it had been hacked, her face carved out, her hands severed at the wrists. A piece of cardboard found at the body had her name and the words, “more to come.” When security agents came to take fingerprints from her severed hands, Captain Armando Villegas, head of the nHonor Guard G-2 intelligence office, was already there. When they asked him, “Mucha, what happened?” Villegas responded by taking out a card on which he had written Barrios’s name, and told them that it was she. The writing on Villegas’s card matched that on the cardboard message.

—from A Beauty That Hurts: Life and Death in Guatemala by W. George Lovell (2010, University of Texas)

Photographer and journalist Jean Marie Simon took the photograph which ‘inspired’ outrage and a number of poems. Her blog site is:

The Guatemala Human Rights Commission USA website is and its page on “femicide” in Guatemala “which has claimed the loves of over 5,000 young women since 2000” is, and includes resource links.

or in ten minute news video:

January 2012