Excerpt from "Album of Fences" by Omar Pimienta
Monday, July 13, 2020
by: Itza Vilaboy

Section: Página de poesía

Winter/Summer 2020

Omar Pimienta is an artist who lives and works in the San Diego / Tijuana border region. His artistic practice examines questions of identity, trans-nationality, emergency poetics, border landscape and memory.

Itza Vilaboy is a writer, arts organizer, Library Science Student, and the Chair of REFORMA San Diego LIBROS.

Omar Pimienta documents what living on either side of the U.S.-Mexico border does to a community. Album of Fences (2018) takes poetry and photography into new territories. As part of the ongoing Book To Action 2020 programming taking place in San Diego and Tijuana centered around Album of Fences, we present a suite of poems from the aforementioned text.


Hollywood knows more than it knows
fast cars
long highways
heart-pounding chases
criminals on their last hope

la Libertad is right across the border.


We have a beautiful sea of shit
people standing perpendicular to the shore guarding a wall
awaiting the next shift
a tsunami to drag us to San Diego

a sea of shit that the whole city flows into
when el niño comes and cries day and night

we have cardboard houses that float down to the sea
a sea of shit
our shit and their shit and the shit of others
from which my mother's ghost once pulled me by the hair

a sea of shit   Californian   Pacific

cold most of the time
though it might seem strange that shit can be cold

a snitch ocean with phosphorous waves
that lights the bodies at night

sea that swallows and spits
a knife that cuts its tongue

a sea of shit that presumes its citizenry
crosses the posts and comes back

sand that dilutes the names
of all those who see the horizon
with our noses covered
at the edge of the first border.

Album of fences

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