16 Poemas Después de la Muerte --Poems by Héctor González



Today I have a really cool project to share! This is the latest thing my subscribers and patrons have sponsored. It went out to them first, and now it’s time to share it with the world for free! If you think this kind mode of story and poem sharing is cool, consider subscribing here or become a Patron!

This is the second of my two Texas creator pieces. The first was a story by Allison Thai. I came up with the idea to ask specifically Texan creators back when Texas was facing major ice storms and crumbling energy infrastructure. I wanted to send a little money directly to Texan creators AND to donate to a charitable organization they personally found meaningful. Of course as time passed the ice storms were over and the acute crisis related to them was over, but Texas still has plenty of things it could use help with. Allison specifically asked for my matching fund to go to the VCSA, an organization for Vietnamese immigrants in Texas, and Héctor asked for my matching funds to go to RAICES.

Here’s what Héctor has to say about RAICES:

RAICES is an organization constantly fighting for immigrant families. Since the start of the concentration camps in the border, their team has fought to help all the immigrants, protecting their human rights. I truly believe in their compassionate efforts.

If you enjoy these poems, do consider making a donation of your own!

You can listen to Héctor read each of these poems and give a few extras in the podcast episode.

16 Poemas Después de la Muerte

by Héctor González

On my last trip to Mexico City, I found these postcards with the art of José Guadalupe Posada. These images depict skeletons, not as frozen reminders of our mortality but as vivacious and lively entities. Posada’s art celebrated our dearly departed as the people we knew. His work would influence Diego Rivera and lead to the iconic calavera catrina.

In México, we see death not as finality but another path in a person’s life. We mourn, but we also celebrate. We regularly joke about our final day. One of the most imaginative traditions around our Día de Muertos celebration are calaveras, rhymes with fun themes, where we create scenarios about the death of others. Sounds grim? These are very tongue in cheek with insights on the person “memorialized.”

Partially inspired by calaveras, I chose a postcard at random. I saw the image and created a small poem. I did this across a series of days. I sent these also to many friends. Some expect these, some will not.

In a year where we all have either experienced or seen tremendous loss, some of us grieve with stories.


Dejamos atrás a cada
persona de nuestro pasado.
¿Deseas ser mi amada?
Quiero vivir a tu lado

Translation to English:

We leave behind each
person from our past.
Do you want to be my beloved?
I want to live with you


Un tenorio yo fui
hiriendo los corazones,
mas yo nunca conocí
a quien calmara mis pasiones.

Translation to English:

A tenorio I was
wounding hearts,
but I never knew
who will calm my passions.


El sindicato de esqueletos
muy feliz esta,
vistiendo por completo
a todos en la ciudad.

Translation to English:

The Skeleton Union
Was full of joy,
they were making clothes
everyone in town.


Corriendo con su cuchillo
el machote se anunció.
¡Qué triste es este chiquillo!
Un corazón que no maduró.

Translation to English:

Running with his knife
the macho was announced his arrival.
Sad little boy!
A heart that did not mature.


Una heroina divina,
la soldadera del pasado.
¿Sabe lo que ella opina?
Muerte al patriarcado.

Transation to English:

A divine heroine,
the soldadera of the past.
Do you know what she thinks?
Death to the patriarchy.


“El tabaco no me mató,”
me dijo mi abuelo.
“Lo que la vida me arrebató
llenó de tristeza mi duelo.”

Translation to English:

"Tobacco didn't kill me,"
my grandfather told me.
"What life took from me
has filled my grief with sadness."


Me enterraron vistiendo elegante
pues siempre he sido importante.
¿Por qué mi cráneo es gigante?
Guarda mi ego, que es abundante.

Translation to English:

They buried me wearing fancy clothes
as I’ve always been important.
Why is my skull so huge?
To store my ego, which is abundant.


Aun después de morir
bailamos hasta el amanecer.
Contigo no me voy a aburrir,
tu eres mi placer.

Translation to Enligsh:

Even after dying
we dance until dawn.
I will not get bored with you,
you are my pleasure.


Las flores de mi sombrero
honran a mi querido arriero.
De cempasúchil me cubrió
el día de mi entierro.

Translation to Enligsh:

The flowers in my hat
honor my dear muleteer.
Of cempasúchil he covered me
the day of my funeral.


Este aguardiente bendito
lo uso para olvidar.
Mi dolor, un grito inaudito.
Maldecido a vagar y vagar.

Translation to Enligsh:

This blessed firewater
I use it to forget.
My pain, an unheard-of cry.
Cursed to wander and wander.


Descubrí a mi hermano gemelo
solo después de mi muerte.
Ambos morimos en un arroyuelo.
¿Quién creyera nuestra suerte?

Translation to Enligsh:

I discovered my twin brother
only after my death.
We both died in a stream.
Who will believe our luck?


Solo aprendi la guitarra
después de mi deceso.
¿Mi favorita? Pat Benatar.
Su catálogo está grueso.

Translation to Enligsh:

I only learned the guitar
after my death.
My favorite? Pat Benatar.
Her catalog is dope.


Emiliano nunca murió.
Está libre, en nuestras mentes.
Aunque por balas sufrió.
Su lucha eterna, vive por siempre.

Translation to Enligsh:

Emiliano never died.
He is free, in our minds.
Although by bullets he suffered.
His eternal struggle, lives forever.


¡Qué belleza es el tamal
!Historia envuelta en hojas.
Deliciosa nube de nixtamal,
manjar para todas las bocas.

Translation to Enligsh:

What beauty is the tamal!
History wrapped in leaves.
Delicious cloud of nixtamal,
delicacy for all mouths.


Un ratón, el pulque nos dió.
Un hombre lo fermentó.
Un pueblo lo disfrutó.
Una nación lo adoptó.

Translation to Enligsh:

A mouse, the pulque gave us.
A man fermented it.
The people enjoyed it.
A nation adopted it.


En vida nos amamos,
más juntos no pudimos estar.
Ahora muertos bailamos
por los besos que no te pude dar.

Translation to Enligsh:

In life we loved each other
but together we could not be.
Now dead we dance
for the kisses that I couldn't give.

Héctor González (he/they) is a queer nonbinary México-born speculative writer living in Austin, TX. They pair their love for food with their passion for stories and finding more about the secret origins of your favorite dishes. You can find their latest thoughts, cooking and writing as @mexicanity on Instagram, Twitter and Medium. Their motivational ASMR 4 Writers recordings can be found under Abuelita Héctor on SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/abuelitahector/).

Shadow Atlas and Balticon

Hello! Today is my birthday! To celebrate, I wanted to share the cover for an anthology I’ve got a story coming out in, AND to tell you where you can find me doing a couple of panels and reading a draft of the story that will be in this anthology!

The anthology is called Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas, and it will be coming out later this year from Hex Publishers. Check out this amazing cover, illustrated by Aaron Lovett:

I am thrilled to be sharing a table of contents with so many awesome authors, and I can’t wait to see the whole lineup and read all the stories and poems!

So that was a really cool birthday present in my inbox!

This won’t come out until October, but if you want to hear an early version of my story, come hear me read it for free at…


This is a free virtual convention, which is happening all weekend! I will personally be on two panels and have a reading, all on Saturday the 29th. Details below! Please do come if you feel so inclined, and while you’re at it, check out all the other fabulous programming!

Here’s my schedule:

Flash Fiction: Tips, Tricks and Travails - Saturday, May 29th, 1pm Eastern US time

Flash fiction has increasingly been given the attention it deserves as a distinct, distilled pleasure. Writer Nuala Ní­Chonchúir suggests that “A good flash story is intense, urgent and often a little explosive, but also deep and clear, so the effect on the reader is like that of a poem – as you read it you admire its concision and, afterwards, it lingers.” Our panel will discuss sterling examples of the genre, pitfalls they've encountered, and suggestions for further reading.

Moderator: dave ring (of the super awesome Neon Hemlock press)
Panelists: Mari Ness, Julia Rios, Angela Yuriko Smith, Gabriella Etoniru

A Walk Through Short Fiction Editing - Saturday, May 29th, 2:30pm Eastern US time

Many authors start their careers with short fiction sales. Our panel of short fiction editors will walk you through their side of the process, from the chances of your story making it to the main editor to the number of revisions you might expect to produce.

Moderator: Gabriella Etoniru
Panelists: Neil Clarke, Monica Louzon, dave ring, Julia Rios

Reading: Julia Rios - Saturday, May 29th, 7:30pm Eastern US time

I will be reading an early draft of my Shadow Atlas story! This will not be recorded, so it’s come hear it live or not at all!

Here is a handy link to my scheduled items on the Balticon site. If you click on individual ones, you can register to attend them. I hope I’ll see you there!

Finally, in case you missed it, the latest story I bought for my Patreon is a delightful piece by Allison Thai! You can read that here!

Coming very soon, and premiering for my paid subscribers here first, will be series of ekphrastic poems by Héctor González.

Find me this weekend at Flights of Foundry

Hello! This weekend is Flights of Foundry, a virtual convention that is free to attend! I’ll be on a few program items there, including:

Editing in the Speculative Fiction Magazine Industry
Friday, April 16th 23:00 UTC / 7pm Boston time

Moderator: Angelica Fyfe
Panelists: Aimee Ogden, Julia Rios, Wendy Nikel, Zelda Knight

Ever wondered about editing in the speculative fiction magazine industry, or just wanted to know more about how they operate? In this panel we will be discussing what editing in the speculative fiction magazine industry is like with editors from different speculative fiction magazines. We will discuss what trials or struggles might be involved, how they choose the best stories, what tools they might use for the job, and more.

Inclusion in Publishing
Saturday, April 17th 23:00 UTC / 7pm Boston time

Moderator: Julia Rios
Panelists: Arley Sorg, Elsa Sjunneson, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

A panel of writers and editors will discuss different avenues of inclusivity in publishing, including accessibility and sensitivity to issues of race, gender and sexuality, and class. We'll also discuss the obstacles non-western authors face in getting published and celebrated in an industry that is weighted heavily towards the US and UK. This panel will discuss both problems and potential solutions, including ways publishers both large and small can strive to be more inclusive.

How We Made Mermaids Monthly
Sunday, April 18th 16:00 UTC / 12 noon Boston time

Presenter: Julia Rios

If you have ever thought about creating a magazine or wondered what sorts of things go on in the background to make magazines happen, this is the session for you! Julia Rios can't tell you how every magazine works, but they will share all the steps they took with Meg Frank to create Mermaids Monthly. This will cover crowdfunding, deciding on budgets, selecting staff, setting up infrastructure and documentation, mistakes we made along the way, and of course the editing and designing and sharing awesome stories parts that are what draw people into this kind of project to begin with!

I also have a Kaffeklatsch on Saturday, but it’s full, so I’m not going to link it here. On Sunday at my presentation about Mermaids Monthly I will be making a giant announcement about the magazine, and I am really excited about it!

Will I see you at Flights of Foundry?

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