By Guillermo Gómez-Peña

(The following notes are not for publication)

Type of space: ideally a small to medium size black box. However, it can be adapted to galleries, auditoriums, TV and radio studios.

Minimum requirements include a table covered with a black cloth for props, capability to isolate the performance area with lights. Two high-quality mics (one cordless), sound equipment to reproduce CDs, a video projector connected to a video disc console, and two technicians (sound & lights/video). Minimum 4 hours prior to the event to prepare the space, and a dressing room with soft-light, big mirrors, and good espresso.

Optional: a motorized wheel-chair, and an spx-sound effect machine.

Props/costumes to bring: Complete attire of "Travelling Medicine Vato" and/or S&M Zorro. Besides, I need to bring glasses with blinders, techno-glasses, rubber heart, robo-hand, bandana, stetson hat, make-up brush, Spanish dagger, wrestler mask, and scissors.

Props to be obtained by space: battery-operated megaphone, hospital mask, realistic-looking handgun, Mr. Clean bottle filled with blue Gatorade, deodorant spray can, and a bottle of Meyers rum.

(If I have more than two days to rehearse in the space, and there is a decent budget, I could bring another collaborator with me and/or incorporate a local DJ, an opera singer and/or cellist, preferably people with performative personalities willing to experiment and try out my “ethno-techno” costumes.)



(Insert for the program)
Border blessing:
Dear son, my only candle left,
I promise I’ll protect you from those norteño gangs.
Remember: I am analog—you told me
Which means, I still know how to use my fists…& my legs.
Dear mother, my historical womb & genetic code,
I promise I will clean up my act before I die
Clean up my house de paso.
Carolina, mon amour, I promise I’ll be beside you
Catering to your most minute desires
Licking your knees & palms
Until globalization derails
& Popocatepetl ceases to smoke.
Dear clica, familia espiritual, I ask for your forgiveness.
My absence was clearly a survival strategy.
How else was I supposed to outlive the backlash,
the INS, the IRS & the formalist art critics?
How else was I supposed to finish this script?

Dear criminals, pochos, locas y destrampados
“Life without you all, my nomadic tribe,
is virtual horror vacui en gringolandia.”
These words are for you, about you.
My job tonight is to shatter the world
With the word, my only weapon left.
Am I delusional carnales?




Dear audience:
Tonight from my multiple repertoires of hybrid personas,
I have chosen to come as
the embodied psyche of an existentialist mojado
& it’s quite a challenge my dear friends
for I’ve been stripped by airport security
of all my robo-baroque paraphernalia
my ethno-technobilia ye-ye
which means,
no more hand-made lowrider prosthetics
no mariachi robotic bodywear
no cheesey fog machines
no hanging dead chickens, nothing
not even a voice-effect processor
to help me get rid of my accent
just one costume,
& a bit of make-up
to protect myself
o sea, back to the basics of performance
It’s Chicano minimalism
a contradiction in terms
but hell, I am a walking contradiction
& so are you…

So, dear foreign audience:
Welcome to my conceptual set
Welcome to my performance universe
Welcome to my delirious psyche
Welcome to my borderzone
to the cities and jungles of my language
las del ingles y las del español
kick back,
light up your conceptual cigarette...
a prop
& breathe in, breathe out,
breathe in, breathe out
now, reach over,
grab the crotch of your neighbor
& massage
yes . . .
this is the basic exercise of Chicano Tantra


Day One

My never-ending tour to the outposts of Chicanismo
finally crashed into the limits of my body
while touring Brazil last year.
Two weeks later, I was flat on my back
in a Mexico City hospital bed
hooked up to some retro sci-fi-looking maquina
staring down my own death, la pelona,
this time, she looked serious.
I laid there in a free-fall through my psyche
the digital mapa mundi of my vida loca….

Inner TV commercial (en Gringoñol)

I love…Galapagos--I said
I mean, Galapenos
Jala-peños perdoun
Io soy hapre-hendiendo
Un poquitou di español
Castillian, I mean
Perro io soy solo
Un gringou loco de amorrr
Per una chic-ana calienti
De Mission Street
Me mirra
Como flourrecita de
Chincuo Tamalo, digou
Chingo di Malo, I mean
Sink-oh diMaggio
Translation please?

Viva Coors culeros!
Welcome to the colonized territory of your psyche
Spanglish poltergeist, y que?

Mojado Existentialism

(Donald Duck speak)
This is the way English sounded to me when I was a kid
(Indian tongues)
This is the way my voice sounds when I’m on stage
(French tongues)
This is the way my voice sounds when I attempt to be comedic
an eshék absolú
Testing, testing…
(Telemundo announcer)
En el proximo capitulo de El Malparido
un Chicano se enfrenta a los demonios de la lengua
Testing, testing…
This is the way my voice sounds when I’m rehearsing
Testing, testing…the limits of my new identity, testing
This is not my real voice, probando, probando…
This is one of my many official costumes
"El Narco Mariachi"
I wear it at least twice a week
‘cause I am unable to discern
between myself & my performance personas
between art & life
The dream of last century’s avant-garde
finally came true thanks to a Mexican…
Not bad, but not true, either.
This is(name of the theater),
a place in(name of city)
& this is America, a state of mind,
a way of being while forgetting,
a certain pain, a strange malaise,
a cultural pathology, an intercultural purgatory
my stage is your purgatory
This stage is our battlefield
"Robo-cop against the Global Evil Other"
Channel 1, Take 2, la 3a es la vencida
The script is my uncertain fate,
my tongue, my compass, your unbearable headache
Ay!, que catholic I sound!

It was a catholic hospital
& the sisters, bless their hearts,
were so totally weirded out by my tattoos,
and pluri-flamboyant personality
que la madre superiora kept coming to my room
to offer me confession
“Confiesa hijo de puta!,” she thought,
as if my death were imminent.

"Madre,-I said
these are my tattoos
they are like...heridas estéticas
My tattoos are like scars on my psyche,
insects in the page,
countries in my biographical map,
My tattoos are like
scripted words
as opposed to my scars
which are like unscripted sentences
in the open book of my body
My 46-year-old brown body,
densely covered with Spanglish poetry
unedited still…"

Excuse me sir:
(to an audience member)
Can you read in Spanish?
No big deal
It's just that I'm obssesed with…
attempting to establish some basic connections
between body, word & destiny
between the politics of language & the physiology of politics
verbi gratia:
Casa, my head
Cuello, going North
Lengua, looking for your lips
Pecho, I wish I had humongous freckled breasts
Panza, my wisdom shows
Pito, ñonga, the untranslatable place
Chocho, coño, volcano
Where all trouble comes from
Way before the Bering Straight
Way before Europeans first set foot on this continent
Piernas, the journey North continues
Pies, migrating in reverse
Espalda, back to the origins
Memoria, ombligo, video…

Coño, my writing is getting real obscure
I wonder if it's the medicine


Day Two

I am surrounded by humongous doctors & nurses.
They’ve got this sound scanner up my rectum.
I tell you, loca,
health & dignity don’t always mix very well….

If only I’d known before I parted
that California was not a sci-fi movie
a psycho-tropical paradise sponsored by white hands
maintained by brown hands,
their undocumented fingers
deep inside America’s sphincter
(gutural sounds of sexual pleasure)
“My fingers, your sphincter,” I said on Public Radio
& I lost my job for the third time.

You know, the best hamburgers in town
are cooked by Mexican chefs
precisely with their undocumented fingers
Ese, do you feel them when you eat?
Ay!(more erotic sounds)
Sorry, I'm going off course

Dear audience,
I’ve got 45 scars accounted for
half of them produced by art
& this is not a metaphor.
My artistic obsession has led me to carry out
some flagrantly stupid acts of transgression
Living inside a cage as a Mexican Frankenstein
Crucifying myself as a mariachi to protest immigration policy
Crashing the Met as El Mad Mex
led on a leash by a Spanish dominatrix.
I mean, you want me to be more specific than say
Drinking Mr. Clean to exorcise my colonial demons?
or, handing a dagger to an audience member,
& offering her my plexus?
“My plexussssss…your madness,” --I said
and she went for it
inflicting my 45th scar.
She was only 20, boricua
& did not know the difference between
performance, rock & roll & street life.

Bad phrase, delete. Script change.
"But if only I was a radical geography professor….

Lección De Geografía Finisecular En Español Para Anglosajones Monolingues

Dear perplexed students,
repeat with me out loud:
México es California
Marruecos es Madrid
Pakistan es Londres
Argelia es París
Cambodia es San Francisco
Turquía es Frankfurt
Puerto Rico es Nueva York
Centroamérica es Los Angeles
Honduras es New Orleans
Argentina es París
Beijing es San Francisco
Haití es Nueva York
Nicaragua es Miami
Quebec es Euskadi
Chiapas es Irlanda
Ramallah is East LA
Your house is also mine
Your language mine as well
And your heart will be ours
one of these nights
after the 7th margarita
after the 12th margarita
the drunk tourist approaches a sexy señorrita
at 'El Faisan' Club, in Merida, Yucatán:
(drunk-like & misspelled gringoñol)
"oie prrecíosa, my Mayan queen
tu estarr muchio muy bela
con tu ancient fire en la piel
parra que io queme mis bony fingers
mi pájarra belísima
io comprou tu amor con mía mastercard"

She answers in baaad French:
“Espes de porc a la manc!”

A cross-eyed nurse asks me to please be quiet.
Other patients are losing their patience
with my Spanglish poetry.
Carajo, I need a smoke real bad!


Day Three

I’ve been in and out of consciousness all day
writing and sleeping, or rather,
writing while sleeping and vice-versa.

Robo-Esperanto poem
(in 4 instersticial post-colonial languages).

Hello Fortrezz Europa
Yestem Mexicainskim arteston.
I wonder que would happen if,
wenn Du open your computero,
finde eine message in esta lingua poluta, disoluta?
No est Englando, no est Germano, no est Espano, no est Franzo,
Not even Spanglish ese
no est keine known lingua aber Du understande!
Wat happen zo!
Habe your computero eine virus catched?
Habe Du sudden BSE gedeveloped o que?
No, Du esse lezendo la neue europese lingua de Europanto!
Entrepiernado avec la chicaoization du El Viejo Continant
Europanto ist uno melangio
van de meer importantes Europese linguas
mit also eine poquito van andere europese linguas,
sommige Latinus, sommige old grec.
(pausa dramatica)
In the americas, things are equally peludas
Regarding l'identité
…y es que la neta escueta?
plus o moin
aqui o alla
ceci, cela
que esto/que aquello
ici/ la-bas
que tu/que yo,
I mean
not really wanting to decide yet
for the moment, machín
aujour d’hui
tlacanácatl el mío
Il Corpo Pecaminoso
hurts un chingo
especially my feet
pero también otras partes del cuerpo-
po-po-ca, capiscas guey?
tenepantla tinemi
y es que la pisca existencial esta ka..ka.
so drop your cuete mujer
et fiches-moi la paix
y hagamos la paz
con la lengua babe,
dans la voiture sacre,
en la mera rrranfla
my toyota flamígero...
la salle du sex transculturelle
my lowrider sanctuary
I say
je n’ai rien ã declarer:
(I scream)
Enough pretentious language poetry GP
Back to script # one
No manches comanche
"Hospital de Santa Catalina, Ciudad de México, 10;00 am…

Digital Existentialism

But if only I was a good actor
the bastard son of Klaus Kinski and Sophia Loren
or the border twin of Nicholas Cage
none of this would have ever happened.
If only bad acting equalled good performance art or vice versa,
as mediocre theater directors tend to believe,
this performance would have never taken place.
Que weird thought!
If only I was a furious rocker, a trendy painter, a sharp comedian,
but as we all know, performance & comedy don’t mix very well.
The result is often a joke that no one understands.

If only I had had the guts to join the Zapatistas for good
the guts to fight the migra in situ, with my bare hands
the guts to tell my family I am truly sorry for all the pain
my sudden departure caused them 21 years ago,
when I was young & handsome
& still had no audience whatsoever.
But I was a coward.
I ended up making a 22-year-long performance piece
to justify my original departure.
Que joda, after all these years
I still haven’t found the exact location
of my original dream
and you dare to ask me why?

cause dreams, stricto sensu
have no geographical specificity
in other words and countries,
patriotism does not exist when we dream
& that's why I fell in love with you
(but that's another script
yet to be written
when I run out of political saliva)

If only I had never left in the first place
what would have been of my life?
It would be considerably simpler,
I’d be less loco perhaps,
less angry, less Chicano
Awkward phrase, delete!
Un emigrante mas equals un mexicano menos
If I stop performing, I die. delete

But if only I didn’t have to worry about my audience.
Entertaining them with stupid gadgets & jokes.
Entertaining you to pay my bills,
to avoid prison, deportation and mental hospitals
If only I didn’t have to perform to exercise my freedoms
for I could do it every day, everywhere,
but that’s the subject matter of an essay, not a performance.
Besides, you did not come here to witness
a radical political mind at work.
Or did you?
Do you wish to witness a radical political mind at work?

Exercise in Political Imagination #18
(Either beeping or subvocalizing the "censored" parts)

OK, I politely ask you to close your eyes
and imagine a faraway country
controlled by far-right politicians in their 70’s
they are supported by religious fundamentalists
oil tycoons and gun manufacturers…Just imagine
They believe (or rather pretend to believe)
that "the liberal media" and experimental art
have thoroughly destroyed our social fabric,
our moral and family values, our national unity.
and they are determined to restore them at any cost.
Under the pretext of national security
they have decided to carefully scrutinize everything
that goes on radio, TV, printed journalism, the Internet,
performance art; including this very (beep).
So, from (beep) to sitcoms,
and from news (beep) to (beep) programming,
they have digital censors which can detect key words
that trigger ideological or (beep) difference.
Since it is practically impossible to monitor everything,
they have devised a mechanism via which (beep)
the syntactic and conceptual coherence of a thought is (beep),
especially when dealing with conflicting opin(beep).
So, when it comes to expressing political di(beep)
most critical words have been (beep).
And I mean, just words, such as (beep) or (beep) or (beep)
in order to ensure that tende (beep) information
does not pollute the minds of American patriots,
they have (longer beep)
forbidding also the use of terminology like (beep) or co- (beep)
or even an innocent term like (beep).
In a world such as this, content would be restricted to (beep)
and the possibility to make intelligent civic choices
would be affecting our funda- (beep) to (long beep intertwined with diptongues).
Imagine, what kind of a world would this be?

I wake up sweating.
The IVs are clogged again.
My left arm is the size of my thigh.
"The post-human body is not exactly sexy, Mr. Krocker."
I write on a napkin
& then, I ring the emergency bell.


Day Four

Today I got to take a shower & write some e-mails:
“You won't believe it tocayo but
At first I couldn’t retain any food or liquids
& then I started vomiting blood bien draculero.
My lower body began to swell up
until I looked like some kind of medieval walrus.
The American doctors said it was a "tropical disease"
A standard diagnose for unpredictible Mexicans
at which point, in an act of desperation,
I flew to Mexico City,
& put myself in the hands of the family doctor.

The tests revealed an alarming catalogue of problems:
Parasites blocking circulation in my limbs
my lungs, infested with scary-sounding bacteria,
& my liver, my liver had just about quit,
closed up shop, lights out, caput.
Medical linguists & medioeval poets call it "esteatosis,"
but in reality I was having a tete á tete with my own death.
She loves me so much
I could smell the Brazilian desire on her breath.”

Border Love.

(I sing)
Kiss me, kiss me my chuca
Como si fuera esta noche
The last migra raid
Kiss me, kiss me pachuca
Que tengo miedo perderte
Somewhere in LA.

If only I had known the true motivations of my past lovers
when falling in love with El Charromantico or el Mariachi Liberacci
instead of myself #2, el Border Hamlet
me ama/ no me ama
me caso/no me caso
me canso/no me canso
Chicano/ Mexicano
que soy o me imagino
regreso o continúo
me mato/no me mato
en Mexico/in Califas
to write or to perform
en Inglés or in Spanish...
I hate you, no,
I forgive you, no,
I crave for you locota,
Where are you?
Are you still blonde?

It took me 43 years to find her.
She’s here tonight
laying next to me
on this hospital bed,
her warm hand on my shivering plexus,
my right hand on her left breast
blue fog covering the stage;
My memory wanders around in the everglades of my laptop:

If only I had a decent command of English
when I got involved with my past lovers.
If only I had known the difference
between jerk around and jerk off,
between napkin and kidnap,
between prospect & suspect,
between embarrassed & embarasada.
If only I had known the difference
between desire & redemption
between political correctness & personal computers,
between us & U.S.
between humanity and mankind
We’ve only got one word for both in Spanish:
Perdóname por ser tan bi-rollero
If only I had known the difference
between loneliness & solitude…
We’ve only got one word
Forgive me for being so…pa-ra-dox-i-cal
soledad on stage, my flaming queen,
forgive me chuca
for spilling the beans
of my very spicy beanhood.

"He thinks like Octavio Paz,"
-wrote the theater critic of the Boston Globe,
"but behaves like Geraldo Rivera on acid."

Americans have quite a restricted
Repertoire of images & words
to describe the Other, que no?
But if only I had known the gringo implications of
“Mi casa es su casa”
meaning, y tu pais también
or “Hasta la vista babe,”
meaning, die fuckin’ meskin
Or “Vaya con dios vatous locous,”
meaning, deported back to the origins.
The South is always the origin
& crossing the border is the original sin.

Un emigrante mas equals un mexicano menos…

I am tired of thinking coño!
Obessing with my new stationary existance
I ask Carolina to put one of my performance videos
on the VCR.
It’s comforting to watch my other selves
dealing with their own inner demons
& their inner demons acting out for the camera.

Day Five

My friends and relatives are all here
sitting around my bed.
I'm entertaining them
with a new performance text
one of trademark pieces.
The tone is clearly much less tortured & personal

Two months before election day,
The Third Party Chicano candidate addresses the Brown House:

Campaigning for the Brown House.

"Dear Chicanos and honorary Chicanos,
The historical mission of the U.S. is to put the world at risk
and then to save it from the very risks they created;
for example, to arm other countries
and then to attack them for being armed;
to provide weapons and drugs to the youth of color
and then to imprison them for using them;
to endanger species and then to raise consciousness
and create programs to save them;
to evict the poor and then punish them for living on the streets;
to turn women and people of color into freaks
& then laugh at us for acting out accordingly.
The historical Mission of the U.S. is very, very peculiar.

(bold lines are delivered in normal voice/others in hyper-Chicano accent)
Dear audience,
If I were a politician, would you vote for me?
Despite my my outlaw looks, my obvious vices?
Despite my lack of theatrical training?
If this was, say, a presidential campaign
and not a performance art piece,
what would I say? What should I say?
Imaginary political speech #5
Dear citizens of the millennial barrio,
We are faced with a very serious dilemma:
we have now entered the post-democratic phase
of advanced capitalism,
and there’s simply...no return.
Orale! Parezco Malcolm Mex.
We politicians have total disregard for human pain,
for the homeless, the immigrants from the South,
our elders and children,
the artists, the enfermed, the crazy ones like you.
We have gotten used to living without seeing, without sharing.
For the moment all we share is...the moment
No, no, no, that’s a bad phrase.
I’ll try imaginary political speech #7.

(Grave voice)
Dear orphans of the nation/state,
We now live...
we now live in a fully borderized world
composed of virtual nations,
transnational pop cultures & hybrid races.
(to an audience member)
Hey, that’s a great line
& all we share is fear & vertigo
fear of the future, of love, disease & loneliness,
of total disenfranchisement.
And vertigo?
The feeling of standing on the edge of a new millennium.
Pure horror vacui: Y2K, y que,
Apocalypse Mañana!
We feel it in our crotch
& it goes up our spine
& into our throat
& out of our nostrils and eyes
& its fucking unbearable!!!!!
I’m overdoing it, I know,
but I see no other way to make my point.
Wait, there might be another way...a joint!

(moto/slow voice)
Imaginary political speech #12
Dear generic American citizenry,
If you vote for me
I can assure you that as the first Mexican president of the USA,
I will fulfill your fears and desires like no other politician ever did
& all your stereotypes will come true carnales, uufff!
I’ll open all borders, legalize drugs,
create nude university campuses,
make daily sex mandatory,
make Spanglish the official language,
expropriate all TV stations and hand them over to poets,
abolish the police force & the national guard,
ban all weapons, from handguns to missiles,
deport Bush back to Texas
& Ashcroft back to his Episcopalian Inferno.
Orale, feels great to imagine…


Day Six

Since my liver can’t tolerate the medicine
I need to fight the infections,
the doctors needed a way to simulate
its functions.
So, they connected me to a myriad more IVs
and made me look precisely like one
of my Mexi-cyborg performance characters,
like some kind of cheesey self-fullfilling prophecy
featured on the sci-fi channel en español….

El Existentialist Mojado is back

(voice of Latino TV announcer)
A continuación en Telemundo
Un emigrante asegura haber sido atacado por Migrasferatu
(normal voice)
If only I had been more cautious when crossing the border
but, to tell you the truth, I’m glad I wasn’t, ‘cause
we are who we are because of every mistake we’ve made
& all the locos & locas we’ve met in the process
& every caress we’ve given & received
& if you want to get real Hegelian
we are who we are because of every performance we’ve done
& every performance we chose not to do.
Like tonight,
I chose not to do a lot of things, for example,
I chose not to make you laugh too much
so you wouldn’t mistake me for a stand-up comedian.
I chose not to shock you unnecessarily
so you wouldn’t get a bad impression of performance artists.
And precisely because I chose not to do all these things
I am who I am
doing what I’m doing
echando rollo profeta
chance-thinking as I go, go, Go-Mex.
I’m going, Califa
we are all going
through the Biiiiiiiiiiig Smoke,
el in-ter-cul-tu-ral Poltergeist,
driving along the information superhighway
surfing the mindscape of the net
the subconscious of America, it’s scary.
But we are all writing this text as I speak.
The nurse enters the room stage left.
She takes my performance temperature
& changes one of the Ivs. Action:

Where is the pinche teleprompter I asked for?
I told you guys I was unable to memorize a full script.
I told you I was not an act…nevermind
Hey, that light over there is too bright
Can we gel it blue to add some artificial melancholy to my words?
Back to my main subject matter:
Mapping the immediate future
so you and I can walk on it
without falling inside the great faults of history.
You & I, verbally walking together, hermoso
You & I, an ephemeral community
You & I, a tiny little nation-state
You & I, a one-hour-long utopia titled “You & I”
Alone on stage.
But who are you, really?


After a week at the hospital,
I look at myself in the mirror & see someone else,
a pale skinny man with a frail gaze.,
I don’t recognize myself, and neither do my other selves.
I am the most other & fragmented I’ve ever been.

Where is the border between you and me?
Between my words & your mind?
Between my mouth & your fears?
Where exactly is this performance taking place?
Are we webcasting tonight?
Am I alone on stage, or on a hospital bed?
Where are my colleagues? (name present friends)
Are you still here?
Do you feel lonely when I speak?
What time is it, by the way?
It’s so fuckin’ late in the show!
And I am still asking all these existentialist questions:
Is there still time?
For what?
Time for making love…
For dreaming…
For reinventing ourselves…
For returning
Is there enough time?
to wait
to cry collectively
to cry for the world for no apparent reason,
the way Fassbinder used to cry
whenever he took a city bus
& saw other suffering humans?
their perplexed & lonely faces?
(I say something in German)
Poor German citizens,
if only they had been born in Mexico
they would be less tortured…perhaps.
(to someone)
Miss, why were you crying the last time you cried?
You beautiful, you…
Were you truly aching or just performing?
Am I truly aching, sufriendo en serio, or just performing?
(to someone else)
Sir, are you in touch with your heart?
Can you see mine, hanging out like a wandering viscera?
(to someone else)
“Carnal, are you in touch with your genitalia?”
This guy asked me this question at a party the other night:
“What does it mean to be in touch with one’s genitalia?”
I answered rhetorically with a question:
To be sensitive to people’s eros?
Or to engage a-critically in sexual harrassment?
Or, in Spanglish, “sexual agárrasment”…
Is anyone, right this moment, besides me
experiencing incommensurable horniness?
No one?
(to an audience member)
Hey, do you know your genetic code?
Do you know your civil liberties?
Are you willing to give them up así nomás?
(Hindu accent)
I don’t ever recall asking you if you were a foreigner
(French accent)
ne me derange plus u ye vous arráche les yeux
bad French accent, coño…terrible!
I told you I was a bad actor! Why?
‘Cause I was never trained…
to perform…your desires
Much less to entertain…
the possibility of…lying.
Shit. I’m dying. I'm really dying
& it's not a poetical overstatement
Let’s watch something light. Next video, please.

Day Seven


Carolina comes in with a hidden avocado torta
she smuggled from the corner taco shop.
She breaks the good news:
I’m leaving today.
This epic is almost over.
The older nurse, la coqueta, asks me for the 10th time
Perdone, what did you say you were?

A straight transsexual
a wrestler without a ring
a cyber-pirate without “access”
a preacher without a congregation
a shaman expelled from his tribe
a singer without a band
all in one, within, & vice versa
o sea, a post-Mexican performance artist, mex-plico?
A contradiction in terms
Tu entender mi situacioun tan peculiar?
an artist who sells ideas, not objects, not images, not skills
a per-for-man-ce artist, which means that
when I am pissed
I tend to speak in tongues
(angry tongues)
performance is a weird religion, I told you
per ipsum ecu nipsum, eti nipsum
et T-Video Patri Omni-impotenti
per omnia saecula saeculeros, I te watcho
This is the way my voice sounds when I’m losing my mind,
Testing, testing…

El Phony Shaman.
(I sing the traditional Hare Krishna)
Hare Krishna, Krisnahuatl
Hare grandma, hairy nalga
(imitating Pow-wow-like chanting)
Christian girls, Christian girls,
Christian Girls, Christian Girls,
Oh how I love, oh how I love, oh how I love those Christian girls,
Oh how I love, oh how I love, oh how I love those Christian girls. ahhhhh...
Muslim girls…(repeat chant)
New age girls...(repeats chant)
Skinhead girls...(repeats chant)
tongues...Chili con Carne
tongues...Taco Bell Chihuahua
tongues...Santa Frida
tongues...Santa Selena
tongues...Santa Pocahontas
tongues...Santa Shakira
tongues...Virgen Tatuada
NAFTA, Viagra, Melatonin,
NAFTA, Viagra, Melatonin,
Now everybody, take your pill.
Ginseng, Gingko, Guacamole,
Ginseng, Gingko, Guacamole,
Now everybody, take a dip.
Kava, ecstasy, chili beans,
Kava, ecstasy, chili beans,
Now everybody, take a shit.

The day I was released
Doctor Hernandez gave me the bad news:
“Guillermo, you need a total change of lifestyle.”
I hate that word, “lifestyle”…“lifestyle...”
I pinche hate it


One month later

I’m back in San Francisco
learning how to be a lap-top intellectual, coño!
I miss the road, the troupe,
our dangerous cross-border adventures.
I badly miss Meyers rum & Marlboro reds.
I'm filled with millenial doubts, chingos!

Post-script: Millenial Doubts.

Dear audience:
I’m feeling a bit insecure & introspective tonight.
I just turned 45
& I wonder if I’m still asking the right questions
or am I merely repeating myself?
Am I going far enough, or should I go further?
North? But the North does not exist,
South? Should I go back to Mexico for good?
Regresar en español a las entrañas de mi madre?
Que bello pensamiento.
But the Mexican nation-state is collapsing as I speak
so stricto sensu, Mexico en español no longer exists
'cause everyday Mexico & the U.S.
look more & more like one another
& less & less like you & I
which means, “we” are no longer foreigners to one another.
Follow my logic?
Therefore, as orphans of two nation-states
we’ve got no government or flag to defend.
We’ve only got one another
which sounds quite romantic,
I mean, politically speaking,
but it is a philosophical nightmare…

I mean, if neither the North nor the South
are viable options anymore,
where should I go? East? EST?
Should I go deeper into my global psyche
& become a Chicano buddhist?
Or should I cross the digital divide west
& join the art technologist cadre?
Alter my identity through body enhancement techniques,
laser surgery, prosthetic implants,
& become the Mexica Orlan?
A glow-in-the-dark transgenic mojado?
Or a trans-ethnic cyborg, perhaps?
A Ricky Martin with brains?
That’s a strange thought.

Maybe I should donate my body
to the MIT artificial intelligence department
so they can implant computer nacho chips in my *&^%^76%78
or a very, very sentimental robotic bleeding heart?
What about a chipotle-squirting techno-jalapeño phallus
to blind the migra when crossing over?
Or an “intelligent” tongue…activated by tech-eela?
You know, imaginary technology
for those without access to the real one.

No, I got to get me a “real” job, a 9 to 5 job.
But the question is, doing what?
Hey, I could be an inter-cultural detective
I can teach “Chiconics” in Jail, I mean Yale
“What’s up esos, chinguen a sus profesores.
Saquen la mota y el chemo.
Forever, Aztlan nation.”

How about posing as a model for a computer ad:
“El Mexterminator thinks different, y que?”
Or posing as a wholesome eccentric for a Ben & Jerry's poster?
a super-sleek Benneton primitive?
No, I'd have to loose at least 20 kilos
But wait,
I could conduct self-realization seminars for Latino dot-commers:
“Come to terms with your inner Chihuahua.”
I look the part que no?
Or “Find your inner Aztec.”
Or “The pito within.”
Or write a best-seller for Chuppies:
"100 ways to camouflage your ethnicity to get a better job."
It’s tough to find a useful task for a performance artist nowadays.
In the year of the mainstream bizarre, revolution-as-style
& globalization-gone-wrong,
what does it mean to be “radical”?
What does “radical behavior” mean after Howard Stern,
Jerry Springer, fellatio in the White House, 6-year-old killers,
a First World Banana Republic tampering with electoral ballots,
a dysfunctional alcoholic running the so-called “free world”
as if he were directing an Spagetti Western in the wrong set?
I ask myself rhetorically,
what else is there to “transgress”?
Who can artists shock, challenge, or enlighten?
Can we start all over again?
Can we?
May I

Damas y caballeros,
I thought maybe I might have one more chance
to make a deal with La Pelona
So, I wrote this script
It begins like this…