The Lost Poems of Alfredo Montenegro (1908-2011)


On Sunday October 23, the world lost one of its greatest poets. Alfredo Montenegro's verse has been cherished by readers, celebrated by scholars, and whispered between lovers. Here we reprint some of his unpublished works from his final years, translated from their original Spanish:

Morning orange fall off the tree
And then
In the puddle
You look at me
Full of vitamin C
And accuse me of stealing your wallet

Hammock #4
Take a nap on a summer afternoon
Have a dream full of cocaine and pizza
Shout curses at the neighbors for the loudness they make
And the way they have stolen your goodness

Natural Thursday
Gentle breezes in the overgrown grass
Island music playing off in your head
Wonder women laying bare-breast in the sand
Other things which you cannot comprehend
Where were you when I was writing this poem?
You were at work and I was truly alone

From Behind
You have inside a softness
That I like to put inside me
Get down on your hands and knees please
Right away this instant
The softness!

Eskimo day the answer
polly is a poodle you can never refuse
baby goat
steals a motorboat
is simple with rhythm and blues

Booze (Oklahoma)
coconut luck takes me yesterday bake
bastard man choke on a bowl of corn flake
catalog frog, cat agog on a log
fish-kissing prince turns into a dog
Is dripping out the reasons like a waterwipe

Domestic #7
Meadowlark bark is the answer
“Bonk,” say the wings of the hummingbird
turbo in the bathroom and
mayonnaise is easy
Let the school bell deafen the child

Bumblebees tumble in the fumble yard
Envelope egg yolk alabama boulevard
Vegetables rising from dirty waters
Beauty lies
Between your eyes
And the depths of your hindquarters

Dragonfly is passing by
Lazy on a morning marmalade
Birthday suit, jujy fruit, cosmopolitan cover shoot
I am dizzy from experience
And I’m going home for the day

Halloween Stories


A little girl dressed as a princess walked up to Tilly’s house and knocked on the door.
Tilly, an elderly woman in a plaid housecoat, opened the door. “Who is there?”
“Trick or treat,” said the little girl, “it’s Halloween tonight and I would like some candy!”
Tilly coughed, deep- from her soul- and spat a warm loogie. It splattered the little girl’s face, dripping down her nose and cheeks. 
Tilly went back in the house to watch Dancing With The Stars.

 ˜ ˜ † ˜ ˜

Two children dressed as bugles went out trick-or-treating. 
Casey said, “I am the grandest bugle of them all!” 
Bowie said, “Incorrect. I am the grandest bugle of them all.” 
Their conversation was cut short when they were run over by a sport-utility vehicle.

 ˜ ˜ † ˜ ˜

Benny was dressed as a knife-wielding maniac. He approached a house and rapped on the doorknocker. Mrs. Mitchell answered the door and said, “Oh my! Oh my goodness! What are you supposed to be?”
Benny pushed his blade into her gut, and it slid easy into the fat of Mrs. Mitchell’s lower belly. Warm blood spilled from her Christmas package as Billy poked through the candy bowl. He raised a Mounds to her face.
“Does this have nuts?"

˜ ˜ † ˜ ˜

An old lady- we’ll call her Mrs. Capricorn- was sitting alone in her house watching television when she heard a noise outside. Mrs. Capricorn went to the window and saw a terrible sight. 
She dropped to her knees so she wouldn’t be spotted and crawled over to her phone. She dialed 911, trembling.
“Hello,” she whispered into the phone, “send the squad to my house immediately. There are children dressed as goblins and mad-monsters and they’re raping my daughter on the front lawn. Send the squad to my house immediately!”
 “We’ll do no such thing,” said the Emergency Operator on the other end of the phone, “Tonight is Halloween night!” 

˜ ˜ † ˜ ˜

Mr. Spiggy heard a knock on his door. He opened it up and saw a werewolf.

“Trick or treat!” said the werewolf, but Mr. Spiggy pulled a gun from behind the candy bowl and pistol-whipped the werewolf to death and then some. The police came and gave Mr. Spiggy a commendation. 

I forgot to tell you the news report said a real werewolf was on the loose and to beware. 

˜ ˜ † ˜ ˜

It was the Halloween party of the century, and everyone was there! Mr. Fingerfugger was dressed as a car battery, and Barbara Carble looked to be a Stereomonster. Dennis and Penny Endig- the Endigs- were dressed as dignity and respect respectively, and Mona McNulty had come as a maxipad!

Willy Rooter, who had a mad crush on Wanda Rooter- no relation- had come dressed up like John Lithgow, and he had eaten several pounds of chocolate waiting for Wanda to arrive. His heart skipped a beat when he saw her, especially because of her costume- Wanda was dressed as a fly-fisherman! (I forgot to say that Willy’s mother had been a fly-fisherman, and had died before he was born.)

“Hello Willy,” Wanda said, smiling.
“Intercourse,” Willy said, cursing his tongue.
“I am offended and disgusted,” sighed Wendy, “you are removed from my social circle.” With that she walked away to bob for stillborns.

“O Halloween!” Willy wailed, “when the moon is full of nougat and the heart is wholly forfeit!”
That was the poetic ending. 

 ˜ ˜ † ˜ ˜

Some little kid dressed as Yoda went out trick-or-treating and knocked on the door of Belva Swank.
“Oh my,” said Belva, “you are a gremlin take a candy.”

“Never,” said Yoda, “I am no gremlin.”

“Apologies you are a goblin,” said Belva, “please help yourself to a candy and some nickels for the starving.”
“Neither,” said Yoda, “I am no goblin.”
“You are the night creature?”
“No,” spoke Yoda.
“One of the Devil’s minions?”

“No,” spoke Yoda. 
“The return of the gargoyle?”

“You will never get your candy back,” said Yoda, as he had deftly emptied the bowl into his bag while Belva was talking. 
“Wait!” Belva called, “I must know who you are!”

By that time Yoda was already waddling away. 

 ˜ ˜ † ˜ ˜

Some man named Needless baked a thousand toffee bits to distribute to the children on Halloween. He wrapped each one individually and wrote his name on the wrapper. On Halloween night two boys- Smiff and Julio- arrived at Needless’ house.
“Trick or treat!” said Julio. 
Needless held out the candy bowl which was filled with his toffees and an assortment of other candies. Smiff and Julio picked carefully through the bowl, avoiding Needless’ toffees. 

“Enjoy the toffees as well, boys,” said Needless, “Oh, I see- you think that they say “needles” but they really say ‘Needless’ – it’s my name!” 
“The joke is on you,” said Julio, “Smiff is from Cuba and I am illiterate. You are a fool and these toffees were a wasted effort.”
They left at that point I’m pretty sure. 

˜ ˜ † ˜ ˜

“Who knows how the Halloween got started? ”
Mr. Dunning was in the doorway, holding the candy bowl high above the heads of the young trick-or-treaters. The children- Bin, Spiley, and Merlot- were not amused.
“Candy only comes to those who know the history of Halloween!” taunted Mr. Dunning, dressed as a wizard.
Spiley stomped Mr. Dunning’s foot as hard as he could, and luckily he was dressed as a cowboy because those spurs sure can puncture footbeef. 
Mr. Dunning dropped the candy bowl and staggered backwards, and the children grabbed whatever they could.
College was wonderful except for the herpes. 

˜ ˜ † ˜ ˜

Eddie the Psychotic slipped a thousand pins and needles into all the Halloween candy in his bowl.
He couldn’t wait to give it out to the children, and watch as they bit into the chocolate, slicing their lips and tongues to ribbons, wet blood gushing from their little mouths.
When the trick-or-treaters started arriving he offered them the candy, and they all took a big handful. “Thank you,” said the children as they walked off. 

That’s when Eddie the Psychotic began to cry… he realized that he would never see the results of his efforts because the children wouldn’t eat the candy until they got home.
Eddie shot himself in the face, but for different reasons. 

˜ ˜ † ˜ ˜

“I sense the presence of the Dark One,” said Katie, clutching her candy bag.
“You are always saying that,” said her brother Lothar, “let’s continue on.”

They were walking up a long dark road toward a menacing old
house, beneath the full moon in the Halloween sky.
“This time I mean it,” whispered Katie, dressed as a kitten, “the Overlord of the Underworld is just up the street.”
“You are handing me the spooks,” replied Lothar, dressed as Spiderman, “and I don’t enjoy the sensation.”

Just then Beezlebub himself materialized in front of them, his cloven feet and decaying face covered in ash. He leaned on the mailbox of the old house at the end of the road.
Katie and Lothar were scared silent, frozen to the spot.

“I am Satan, the Dark Lord,” growled the ghastly figure, the bones of his skull visible through his rotting flesh. “I have travelled many miles and through many cursed realms to be here tonight, and I want only one thing.”
“Our souls?” asked Lothar, petrified.
“Dark Lord, kiss my lips and let me join you in your black work,” said Katie, twirling her tail. 

“No,” said Satan, “I want a Snickers bar.”
Lothar and Katie searched through their bags but Satan had to settle for a Three Musketeers.