galaxy café unlimited by José Eugenio Sánchez, translated by Anna Rosenwong

july 27 2003:
: just a few months ago
we couldn’t imagine suppressing the horror of the red hostility of mars
and its inhabitants:
wretched devoted ambitious genies who wanted to put an end to us
and our water and our plutonium and our architecture
but our heroes with their chokeholds dodges and theme songs
have kept us unharmed
unharmed in some films
nasa predicted that the probability of life existing on mars was
1 in 10 000 000
but the mars space orbit (official mouthpiece of the very same nasa in all matters martian)
confirmed that on that planet of carmine deserts
there are tunnels like tentacles
which with a dynamic frequency enter and exit the surface carrying gases and liquids
: these circumstances raise the suspicion that mars in all its rotundity
might itself be an intelligent being
: a cosmic medusa
there was a time when the milky way was a ribbon of lactose
and gods shone in the cosmos (lost in space:
danger danger danger danger)
and the galaxy was vast
and we were ever closer
incandescent mars watches us suspended in the dawn
like a genie with its arms crossed
and no one does a thing

José Eugenio Sánchez is an acclaimed poet and performer, and the author of numerous poetry collections, including Physical graffiti, La felicidad es una pistola caliente, and galaxy limited café, which was a finalist for the 2010 Jaime Gil de Biedma International Poetry Prize. He calls himself an “underclown,” and his aggressively playful work eagerly engages both pop and high culture with irreverence and insight. Originally from Guadalajara, Sánchez lives and writes in Monterrey, Mexico.
Anna Rosenwong is a translator, editor, poet, and educator. Her publications include Roció Cerón’s Diorama (winner of the 2015 Best Translated Book Award), several chapbooks, and a collection of poetry by José Eugenio Sánchez (forthcoming from Autumn Hill Press). She is the translation editor of Drunken Boat. See more at