To the scientist the aim of alchemy seems only to be the transmutation of base metals into gold. Though some alchemists were concerned solely with this, many were serious and dedicated thinkers who used alchemical symbols and ideas to probe religious, philosophical and psychological issues.

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Haiku is a form of poetry which is written in seventeen syllables. Each poem contains a word that refers to the season described in the haiku. The following haiku are by the three greatest haiku poets of Japan. (All translations are by R. H. Blyth)

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To commit or just to meet?


"There are men who fight a day, and they’re good,
There are men who fight for years, and they’re even better,
But there are men who fight a lifetime… those are the indispensable…”

Bertold Brecht



How in Hell do you verbalize it?

Through words, how do you convoke others to forget our personal melodramas and concentrate ourselves in the real possibility of operating some kind of change, together, hand and hand, a palpable change that jumps to sight (that’s obvious to see- alternate)?

I’m speaking about a visible change in our immediate surroundings not about the poor children in Mexico, India or Argentina.
How to differentiate our fruits from the rest of the straw tossed around by the wind? Which is which? Where does genuine commitment begin and when does it become the egotistical hedonism so typical of artists?

For those of us who’ve made Circo de Poesia an important part of our lives, these questions, constantly, linger in the air, it would seem, undefined.

And it’s just that we’ve been working together for years now. For years we’ve built one another spectacular stages to pay each other homage. Stages completely out of reach of solemnity, mercantilism and trinkets.

Also, for years now and in contrast with the vast majority of people in the world, we’ve enjoyed such civilized life together that it has almost become a routine. Something along the lines of ‘from within the forest the last thing one notices is the trees…’

Even though, we all intuitively suspect it:

If a more visible commitment existed amongst all of us, how would things be? What would happen?

The answer is obvious:

We wouldn’t lack almost nothing or absolutely nothing. Because collectively, we already possess it all: talent, equipment, man/hours, conviction and energy. We only need to mix all these elements in a genuine collective collaboration.

And the reason is: only with committed people can you build a platform that later can serve all of us as a departure or starting point. Jesus insisted that ‘one finds more happiness while giving than while receiving’. These words, as a principle for the interrelations between humans, are still valid and true today. Those giving something other than leftovers or more than what they receive, prove to themselves that their commitment isn’t just a façade. It proves that their contributions are actually investments in a society made of equals instead of alms for any given charity.

Because of this, and next to a message of equality and solidarity amongst humans, Circo pretends to be a slap in the face for those falling asleep behind the steering wheel… better to put up with the sting of the slap than to come across a premature death.
In reality, what’s a stake are our lives. And I’m not speaking about that tasteless, linear amalgamation of days, months and years. I’m speaking about the Other Life. The Life that we all long for…  a life that as we live it, we recognize meaningful. The life in which you are the architect of each and every one of your actions and choices, the builder of as many of your own days as you are able.

To avoid a life that feels hollow, meaningless or empty, there are no secret passages, no short cuts, that is, you can’t turn before you get to the actual corner. Thus, one is confronted against oneself in an exit-less (dead end) alley. There, alone with nothing but our conscience, we got only one choice: do I live my life under the influence of this selfish, hypocritical, ridiculous and harmful machinery or do I jump off the cliff and I bet on a genuine change that first begins within me, a change that helps me grow wings so that the jump can never qualify as a downfall…?

Some crazy pack of lunatics, someone, some day, will have to scream to the face of the entire globe: from today on, we no longer live ours lives afraid. We play no more your insipid Monopoly game… We drop out… here are our tokens…

Then, we would show to be able to ‘re-learn it all from scratch if necessary’ to quote Alicia Villa.



So then, what qualifies any person to be a committed collaborator of Circo de Poesia?

First off, Circo isn’t for passive spectators. Circo is the battle field for the every day fight against mediocrity, conformity and hypocrisy. It isn’t a cheap spiritual aspirin for all those whose conscience feels a bit guilty or sore. Circo is of no use to anyone who isn’t already sincerely trying to live a coherent life.

To the unsuspecting spectator whom by accident arrives to a Circo spectacle, not one thing is changed in his life. The few who’s intuition tell them there’s something more at stake besides the public event, taking place behind the curtains are those who at the end of these events come and ask us: and Circo, what is it? Are there weekly meetings… monthly? Is there a membership? Where do you get together and how is it that you do what you do just because… wow… that’s awesome man… hopefully next time around I’ll be invited.

This is why, I’ll say it again and in a different way: Circo isn’t a theatrical company that produces shows for souls that need awakening. Circo’s aspiration is that its own audience becomes its ultimate fruit. That the spectator becomes a part of it and that within him a fiber is touched as a result of what was witnessed.

This is the reason our parties and birthdates are celebrations and homage, not boring social encounters with 6 or 8 faces pretending solidarity, plastic gifts from Nordstroms or Mervins and furtive, uncomfortable gazes. This is the reason why when we see each other, we identify and kiss each other. This is the reason why amongst us, politically correct conduct should be definitely forbidden.

But isn’t the case that each time we’ve had a stage set up, we received immense help from dozens of artists?

That’s true.

But this merits a tiny clarification which we all unconsciously understand but out of the loop as we may be, we tend to forget it:

The purpose of Circo isn’t to materialize extravagant events for the disenchanted public of a pretty city like this one.

Not even close.

Circo, because is made up of a certain kind of committed people who try to honestly live their lives, it overflows itself in this horrible barrenness and of course, something blossoms out of it. The dozen of so public events that accompany our trajectory in Los Angeles aren’t the end nor the cause behind Circo de Poesia. Instead, they are the result, an end product. Which is to say, they can be the bowl but not the clay.

Only after years working together, leaving aside our egos, have we been able to materialize some things which can’t be reduced to categories: Circo organized a concert. Circo participated in many exhibits and had this or that painting hung in this or that gallery.


I quote myself: “Circo, behind all aesthetic and artistic postures, proposes, in fact, it dares to suggest a new lifestyle’.
If Circo only amounts to its public events instead of the individual achievements of its members in their individual lives, then Circo would only qualify of a spectacle beginning at 10 and ending at 5. And how do you operate a change in society doing just this? In the world’s capital of Entertainment, who’s life is ever saved by an extravagant spectacle?

Again, quoting myself: ‘Circo chases you beyond microphones and stages… it is an invitation to maintain, together, the flame alive…’

I know very well that expecting all this from everyone is to ask that there aren’t any soldiers afraid before entering a decisive battle. And yet, this isn’t an excessive demand.

This is in fact, the bare minimum needed, to make sure the battle isn’t lost before even beginning.


1.     Compromiso o Compro-Miso    Spanish

2.     Conformity is the System       English