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Luna Miguel | Electric Cereal

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Nothing can destroy purity

nothing can destroy purity

Death is the mother of the universe!
Allen Ginsberg

One. Oporto (June 2014, with a brief stop in Lisbon)

If I look at a gray sky filled with gray seagulls I can not talk about pain.
I’ve had nightmares about cats, nightmares about fingers.
I’ve dreamt about ripping off my own skin to sleep better.
Sad readings are essential meanwhile you and I laugh and you were just about to do it on the inside, why didn’t you

The gray seagulls. The river.
I’ve come to eat fish and drink filthy wine. Listen, there are fat foreigners and sparrows, there is agua dulce and then suddenly an ocean. Will we go to the beach? Will we be scared of eating the fish with long bones? Will we be blamed for eating them mercilessly, inside taverns, where the rain can’t lash at us anymore?

Emoji of an anchor.
And emoji of a heart pumping cold beer on the bed of a tower filled with flowers.
All these images exist because every one of these throbs exists.

It has been days since I last heard the mermaids.
They’re away somewhere, trying to calm themselves.
Afraid of us who eat away at the ocean like greedy birds.

Two. Return to Barcelona (June ends)

Think about Naomi.
Imagine a world where every mother is dead.
Who would be left. Who of us would be left behind,
the sterile cats with tricolor fur,
the men with pale shriveled dicks,
the newborn doves?


Think: emoji of a seagull defecating from a certain height—perhaps from a church, or an unlit lamp amid the Oporto night—over my head, now wet and viscous, how gross, I say, how fucking gross.

Think: emoji of my face filled with joy that my belly yearns to be a mother but you don’t.

You don’t.

We are so happy. We don’t laugh much. We dance amid sardines and cream cakes.
We drink too much.

Think: that an orphan poet is not a poet but an artifact loaded with hot gunpowder.

Here we are all sterile.
Here we are all alive.


Translated from the Spanish by Luis Silva

A chaotic summary of the week in eight acts.

the-sick-roseYou were a royal swan once,
and now you have become mute.
Lal Ded

I’m a mystic, but only of the body.
My soul is simple and does not think.
Fernando Pessoa

One. Everything is happening so much faster than I had thought, the blood is here, quick, like summer. We wear sandals and denim jackets. If clothes are confusing, feelings are even more so. It’s monday, we talk religion. I buy myself a notebook because I’ve been eating alone.

Two. I detest the smell of the market at night, as much as I detest the words inheritance, mortuary, orphanhood. I detest having to suffer rhythm, appearing empty, belonging to someone. I love, without limit, the promenades of Pueblo Seco. We discover ourselves in small sullen spaces throughout the city. You go out for a run and I buy myself a carpet. I want to fly away with it. I want to understand this rhythm. I want to belong to you.

Three. Gonzalo is going to New York, he says, and I yearn for February. How good everything was in February, I think. How selfishly good everything was in February. It’s been two months since we’ve last seen Gonzalo. His laugh is still soothing. There is now a vast distance we have learned to solve with alcohol. Beer, white wine, pearls of sake. If it weren’t for the fruit, my stomach would be burning.

Four. Friendships are strange, they never stop surprising me. I tell you that I just want to be quiet. That all I like to do is to eat with Mai and talk of how to climb the mountains inside us. I think of our vacations. Are we really going to Oporto? And to Paris? And to Saint Petersburg? With what money? I know I should be kinder. I know I should not be as bad as I am. I know I should be more affectionate. But I detest the smell of the market. I loathe it.

Five. I slowly write two or three pieces a day. And when I talk of what I want, I recover confidence in my profession. Last Friday I noticed how one small phrase thrilled a friend. That’s what I expect from literature. You ask me if there is conflict in being a journalist, a publisher, and a poet. They only conflict, I think, when you don’t like one of them. But I like them all. Communication is a necessity. A loving obligation.

Six. This computer is missing the 6 key. Instead I write . Look: . This is a . A six. A . . . This computer, that was once yours and is now mine, does not know how to write out the day I was born. Let’s say I was not born. Let’s imagine the evaporation of a generation of poets.

Seven. But nothing has evaporated because the news is good and the shirts are new. I wear a floral print shirt to celebrate the letter I received today. I pray (even if I never pray) for my beautiful sister from Mexico to come with us. If everything works out, she’ll come. If everything works out, we’ll hug you. If everything works out, long tribute. All my life. Long tribute.

Eight. Lal, Lalla, Lalishiri. Even if I never pray, I speak to you. Your voice is of a mermaid who only knew the desert. Lal, Lalla, Lalishiri. How many generations have ignored you? If you were a man, everyone would love you. But since you are a woman, I find you among the heavy geometry books, ripped, heavy, heavy, a meditative testosterone for the soul. Lal, Lalla, Lalishiri. You married at twelve and divorced at twenty-four. At that age I’ll be a mother, I promise you, Lal, Lalla, Lalishiri. I promise you, miswriting your name, that at that age I will not be divorced but that I will be married to my embarrassments and to my abandoned flowers. Lal, Lalla, Lalishiri. You say that the dead do not exist. What can I give you as tribute?


Translated from the Spanish by Luis Silva

Mermaid’s Reef by Luna Miguel

mermaids reef luna miguel

From Adult:

The sound of the ocean is an idea, sometimes good, sometimes poisoned, but an idea. I pray to the arrhythmic waves, to the deceitful mermaids with elongated tails. They smell of fish. They smell of reed and sand. They are ideas created by men. They are everything that I fear in the ocean.

But you will not be a mermaid. You will be absolutely feminine. You know this because you have placed a mirror at the depths of your genitals. You won’t put on make up. You won’t dye your hair. You’ll look at what stinks with admiration. At things you so rarely comprehend.

And then you’ll say: “sometimes I don’t understand why the cat is alive and you are not.
The cat scratches me.
The cat annoys me.
I wanted to save him and all he does is hurt me.
Not you.
My scars hurt.
Where’s your pain.”

Pages much too large for ideas I often want to hide. Pages for a song that is born within me. Why does hair emerge but not milk? Why do I bleed so much that I cannot eat? Talk to me.

Read the full text of Mermaid’s Reef at Adult

Luna Miguel goes to New York City


In February 2014, the Spanish poet Luna Miguel visited America and the alt lit writers of New York.

Two thousand six hundred sixty-six (a summary of what I wrote in my diary during those four and a half days in New York City, world, galaxy, universe)

Tattooing ourselves is unnecessary. Why record on our skin what is already inside us. Why record those words if we don’t know them already by memory. Tattooing ourselves is unnecessary when our skin is already so powerful. When the words are so simple. When our love for those books has already scratched up our lives.

Kiss all the mirrors. Spit on all the buildings. The city is great and fearsome. The cold grips my veins. I am somebody and nobody. I eat and drink at all hours. I see Jacob’s tongue. I see Jordan’s hands around a beer. I see Gabby’s fingers, her cigarettes. I see Rachel’s long flowing hair. Stephen’s closed eyes, what is he dreaming about?

“I dream about death,” he tells me. “About death.”

And then he reads me this poem:

You know I listened to that song, “Human After All,” on the bus today.
Those life-affirming “robots.”
Human beings in costume, faces hidden. Standing on a pyramid. Crowds of thousands.
In order to establish a connection.
To create a memorable moment in time.
For no other reason.
In the summertime.

“Show me how to close my eyes,” I said, but we were already dead. In the living room, the cancers had been turned into songs. The songs had been turned into drugs. The drugs into cats: will I ever see them again? Sarah was drinking Blue Moon, Jonathan was caressing his own beard, Cris was dancing in a dark room, then two or three transgendered women threw themselves on top of each other, and then they ate chicken wings, and then I burned my tongue on some fries. Will I ever see them again? Elaine was singing Lana del Rey, Marisa was sad over a broken umbrella, Berta was absolutely beautiful, reading a poem by Dorothea Lasky. I hugged Dorothea. I hugged Tao Lin. I hugged David Fishkind. We survived the snowstorm. Poetry was stronger than the snowstorm! Everyone show me how to close my eyes, I said, but I was already getting into the taxi. Jet lag. Red eyes. Toilet water. And then, immediately, I felt like a better person.

I walk alone through Manhattan and see a theater where they’re showing a movie I have already seen: David Foster Wallace Takes a Stroll Through The Desert of Roberto Bolaño, the writer is Jordan DeBor. The movie shows us the two sad writers in a strange desert looking for milk and Diet Coke. Roberto and David holding hands. Roberto and David like two tiny heroes. Roberto and David dancing in the desert, on bare feet, burning themselves. But it is all a dream. I wake up alone in Manhattan and the air heater is making me sweat. There is a spider in the bathtub. Outside, the snowstorm.

I walk with Jacob. We buy clothes, we buy books, we buy magazines, we buy food, we buy Coca-Cola, we buy languages, we buy gossip and which writer fucked which or how many drugs this one takes and what they make, what they make, what these crazy kids make of their lives. Jacob is like a brother. Jacob is my brother. I know his kneeling silence as he knows my dead sailors.

We are dancing again. Look. There is a cat trapped under that chair.

I wear flower print dresses to obscure what I hold within. I drink something dark and miss my family. I wear flower print dresses to obscure the fact that I don’t know the language. How I want so badly to speak today. How I want just one bar of WiFi that would let me speak to him. But then he would already be in bed, curled up with our pets. I don’t know what time it is.

(Looking at Tutu’s menu and waiting for it to be 6 so I can order the cauliflower salad): I write just to write. Truthfully…what I am is hungry.

Things that I have not done and never will = eat noodles in Chinatown.

Things I have seen and never will see again = my Topshop shoes buried in snow, and Stephen intent on rescuing me.

Things that I wanted to say but could not find the language to say = Gabby Bess is the most talented writer that I know and I am profoundly in love with her.

Things I have eaten and would like to try again = the cauliflower salad because I waited until 6 for it.

Things that I imagined and would like to live for real = to make love with him in San Carlos, watching the snow fall, sweating to the powerful air heater.

I could invent a language right now. A language to invoke my loved ones. A language to write every possible poem. A language so that I could travel freely. A language so I could say what I don’t know. A new language, to think. The hands. The cigarettes. The beer. The bad smell from the street corners of Manhattan. The price of wine. The anchor. The long hair. The sound of our feet in the snow. The sound of Alt Lit rhythmically beating. The sound of the metro. The sound of Mellow Pages. The sound of the applause. The sound of the air heater. That which has already gone past. That which had me so scared.


Translated from the Spanish by Luis Silva