Monday, March 10, 2014

Javier Sicilia

Javier Sicilia is a Mexican poet, novelist, journalist and activist. He has published six novels, and ten poetry collections, including Trinity (1992), Resurrection (1995,) and Desert Triptych (2009)—which won the Premio de Poesía Aguascalientes, one of Mexico's most prestigious literary prizes. At the time of the award, according to the New York Times, he said his focus as a writer is "the mystery of God in a broken world." His most significant literary influences include the mystic poets Teresa of Ávila and John of the Cross. He is a professor at Universidad La Salle.

On March 28, 2011, his 24-year-old son was murdered, along with six friends, by members of a drug gang. Since then, Sicilia has become renowned for his protests against the drug war, and against the Mexican government's inability to stop it. "I've given up poetry after Juan Francisco's murder because language no longer consoles me, and in lieu of poetry I now depend on that depth of faith that can't be uttered or verbalized." He now pours his energy into the new movement against violence.

“Mi último poema” is the Spanish title of the following poem, which is dedicated to Sicilia’s son, Juan Francisco.

My Last Poem

The world is not worthy of words
they have been suffocated from the inside
as they suffocated you, as they tore apart your lungs…
the pain does not leave me
all that remains is a world
through the silence of the righteous,
only through your silence and my silence, Juanelo.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His new poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.