I don’t know the original reason, but I inherited from David Huerta the bell for calling Francisco Hernandez Panchucaro. In some corner of eternity, I suppose that King David will be celebrating our Panchucaro from a cloud for having deservedly received the Ruben Bonifaz Nuno First International Prize, since both Poets and Godfathers with a capital letter bear the glory of their verses with serenity and that quiet example of true humility, of the officiant in syllables who knows that what matters is in the trade itself, away from those who haughtily show off their imposted merits, their tricky multi-sales and cheats even in the metric.

Huerta and Hernandez on the same shelf –and moment– as Bonifaz Nuno himself, the Homeric poet Master of poets who did not deny his impossible infatuations with ephemeral songstresses and was not ashamed to wear elegant vests –almost bizarre– made from furniture upholstery that It was close to his house.

Among other epiphanies I owe to David Huerta the presentation in person with Francisco Hernandez, on a happy night that seemed to be starred by the luminous brotherhood that met to celebrate –without bubbles or abuses– the serene path of sobriety, not exempt from lyrical effusions. David smiled when confirming that between Francisco and my menda a friendship was signed at first sight that remains more than latent five decades later. When I failed David and other friends with a relapse into the nefarious vice of alcohol, it was Panchucaro (in a third party with a painter of pure art stains and an endearing Cuban who looked like Joseph Conrad) who helped me come back to life , really hit rock bottom and navigate to today’s sun without a drop of alcohol in my veins or soul and thus, the blessing of having recovered the closeness of my children having lost the home we formed.

In a quarter of a century I have accompanied Francisco Hernandez from the sidelines as a banderillero: I have experienced the filigree of not a few of his cooking books and I even know the house where he was born in San Andres Tuxtla, where his mother Raquel always received us “campiruleando” and I owe him the miracle of a novel that is still unfinished where I try to honor the wonderful story of a Spanish Exile Master who taught the children of that magical Veracruz jungle the pleasure of reading, the guts to start writing and even print themselves his first little letters in the Freinet printed copies.

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That pedagogical method marked Pancho Hernandez even in the clear calligraphy with which he continues to draw the letters that he then passes cleanly over the keys of a very valuable Olivetti typewriter that I gave him as a symbolic pledge for so many things that I owe him. Because I also owe him the loving example that he lives with Leticia, the one who suggested a word for a poem to him for a year; three hundred and sixty-five days that are multiplied by years each time both names rhyme again.

I owe him a thousand books that he has recommended and given me; a thousand films that we have seen together and from afar; I owe him the music—almost all the music—that unites us and that my children now perform to the jarana and I owe him landscapes of Borneo that neither he nor I know. I owe him ever-increasing revenues for his books and in a thousand trips to San Andres, the intrigue to look for his heteronym Mardonio Sinta -repentista and his versed- until the day we both discover that the jarocho bard is buried in a moor near San Andres Tuxtla called Rincon del Zapatero. I must follow with amazement the discovery of Hernan Bravo Varela and his essays or poems, but above all all the voices that come out of his guts and I must also sing second to Guillermo Zapata, El Caudillo del Son who has set verses by Chico Hernandez to music to honor palm trees in Boca del Rio and the very thin shadow of Agustin Lara.

Hernandez’s poetry is a blood transfusion for any other Hernandez, and for every reader who listens in silence to the voice of happy melancholy, scarred wounds and the subtle sarcasm of someone who knows how to laugh at himself. Hernandez’s poetry is now deservedly awarded for its incandescence and for the echo of the soul, for silence –nothing more and nothing less—and also for the labiodental-gastrointestinal-esoteric and tropical festival of the sones that are Mardonio Sinta’s.

Someone has to edit his newspaper columns in a single volume and secretly record his after-meal conversations when he intelligently attacks the works of ancient authors and the witticisms of upstarts; record the way he talks about literature and is always grateful for the teachings he obtained among the parchments of poets from the Golden Age and publicists from the 20th century (in one sitting, what he knows about Emily Dickinson and Jomi Garcia Ascot) or what he mutters about the gorings that life gives and the deep joys that explain in part that rare propensity of Francisco Hernandez as the only Poet known to be capable of hitting a home run with the tiny bat with which he writes – in Freinet calligraphy – on the green imaginary diamond of the blank page, the same one that becomes a reduced white pentagon that we call Home.

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Home Run every time you post, Panchucaro; Run Home to the dirt patio, all the plants that border the kitchen of your native house, on the edge of Surada and against all North (which almost always comes from the Port). Run Home, real baseball player, to get lost in the Catemaco lagoon and define in rare hexameters the exact weight of the syllables and the flavor of the pigs. Home Run: run home in memory of the unforgettable mizantleca empanada that you presented to me the same day I tasted the chagalapolin water, purple water and capulin.

Purple water, pure water of chance because I owe you a novel (which I promise to finish) and the many things that you inherited from my children and yes, I owe you my autumnal and cyclical propensity to wear faintly striped pajamas and feel that I follow your lead. shadow in the middle of Yankee Stadium and I owe you the indelible memory of not a few times that we went together to bullfights and that foggy afternoon when together with David Huerta we spent hours singing three voices of pure Yucatecan trova, pure old Cuban trova as Three-sided coin, your Villaurrutia Prize book, fado portrait of three tormented wills, and between strings danced the shadow of your black dog called Depression and the tablecloths smelled of Jamaica and mineral water, dismounted from the rack of alcohol in a strange drunkenness sober of synchronicities.

I told Panchucaro aloud the first line of the first novel I wrote when I was shepherding other people’s words, as an apprentice editor under the guidance of Adolfo Castanon and under the tutelage of Jorge Ruiz Duenas… when the Fund was the fund that I played with the increased spirit of inventing the Collection Fund 2000, among whose 150 volumes I was instructed to edit Fuego de Pobres by Ruben Bonifaz Nuno. I worked on the pocket-size and accessible edition of that minimum monumental tome over various after-meal conversations shared with Bonifaz at the Club Espana, and Francisco Hernandez was often talked about without us being able to imagine—the already blind Poet and the blinded Editor out of admiration—that the random water brought together the name of Bonifaz Nuno with that of Francisco Hernandez in a remarkable International Prize that starts with a posh motto and at least another happy synchrony or coincidence: after the Fondo 2000 Collection my life as an Editor was prolonged under the guidance of Joaquin Diez-Canedo and the tutelage of Consuelo Saizar (when the Fund was still the Fund) and there I had, as if it were a Master’s Degree in Letters or a Doctorate in Sensibility, the happy privilege of editing El corazon y su avispero by Francisco Hernandez in a new Mockingbird Collection, honoring the famous typo from the times of Alfonso Reyes and the father of Joaquin Diez-Canedo who, by instructing the word Mockingbird over the phone, became in Tezontle, because that’s what he thought he heard on the other side of the line and at the foot of the printing press, Maestro Torres, longed for typographer from when every background (editorial) carried in the background the entrails of the capital poets, the prose of true writers, the efforts of the old editing and orthotypographic correction work and the perspiration of the almost mobile type printing presses… all this as part of the wise sap that writers such as Ruben Bonifaz Nuno carried in their saliva and that give loneliness to a prize that receives prestige by celebrating the work of Francisco Hernandez, figure of bullfighting, third batter among the Bronx bombers, reveler without strings, sudden and timeless… unconditional friend who saves my life -just for today- every time I read you, every time I I think and yes, every time I miss you so much on the sea that actually unites us so much despite the time… so close that I call you Panchucaro.

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