Sitting in the Plaza de Armas and people watching is my favorite pastime in Arequipa. Soon after I arrived, a guy walked by selling something, passed me, paused, walked a few steps back and said hello.
Luis Fernando Aspajo Pozo is a poet — part of a dying breed of soulful artist.
He had made chapbooks of his poetry, each with elaborate, cool drawings by his friend.
I can’t read Spanish well enough, but I wanted to support him. I bought one for me and one for Yacarely, who can read a Ruben Dario poem like no one’s business.
Luis says there’s not a lot of support in Peru on the national level for art; he’s self-promoting. He has participated in readings in Cusco. When he travels around Peru, Chile and other areas he sells his poetry, old-schools street style.
“No one wants to collaborate with me tonight,” he told me.
Why do you write?
“Born. Born in me to write,” he told me. “I must write what I feel.”
There’s a lot of things going on in the world, and Luis wants to share his perspective and make us think. Social norms, living your life, the things that give you profound inspiration. Family. How you relate to people. How you don’t. Our fear of death. Death.
“I write these views, these ideas. Maybe people read them. See them too.”