hoy traduzco bebiendo a sorbos un gin&tonic mal hecho en noche de verano tan caluroso dos poemas de óscar garcía sierra:
two sticky things
BOOTY OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS
i don’t know how to dive in head first and i don’t know if that makes my head feel disappointed.
my girlfriend has a pool and my girlfriend’s pool has a smaller pool
that contains the liquids that don’t yet smell bad enough to be
happy without us. the deeper i dive in her pool the more i feel like my girlfriend exists and the more i feel something the more disappointed i feel when it’s finally the feeling of someone. we bathe together until we shrink so much that people could carry us around in the pocket of their swimsuits and forget that we are there until we’ve shrunk again so much that we don’t know if we’re bathing together. my girlfriend’s pool has a family of pools to feed and works hard
for a shitty wage in order to protect her little pool from tv shows
starring drugs and bodily fluids. underwater you try to walk in heels
but since i don’t know how to dive you return to the surface with the same face that you make when i don’t know how to make you happy
underwater we need each other so much that we invent porno versions
of cartoons. the version of cartoons where man reaches a state in which everything that leaves the body is more important than that which enters it.
act like the worst and the best thing that could happen to you converge in the chemical compound
that can detect piss in pools. the overrated version of my genitals
that you’ll show your parents. the annotated version for children of my favorite life
-of all the ones i imagine when i feel like i’m drowning- the one in which you don’t know how to breath and i show you how to backwards so that people will laugh at you and no one else will love you because i’m the kind of person that gives pet names to his bodily fluids.
HOW CAN I KNOW IF YOUR CONCEPT OF LEVI 502s MATCHES MINE?
we’re in the fitting rooms of a parallel universe where everything is unisex. up until today
i’ve erased my initials from the underwear of everyone i’ve slept with.
up until today i thought that my life was shitty until i realized that i don’t
have anyone to compare it with. today i swapped the picture of you in underwear you gave to me for my last birthday for underwear and i was inspired by you to make an alcoholic version of myself. today i feel human like when i fill my mouth with things and someone asks me to speak and i have to pretend that i like to talk with my mouth full.
there was a summer so hot that everyone swapped their underwear for mouths full of underwear. you’re erasing your name from my fake boxers while
you put up your hair, making it into the shape of stuck gum in a porn chat.
today i saw two people that looked like us do thing that we used to do when we didn’t look like each other. there was a summer so hot
that there were never again hot summers because people
didn’t know how to use the heat with control. nature is your underwear every night when you’re able to take them off without first removing your outer clothes. there was a summer
so hot that you took your bra off through your pants and you opened your eyes wide aware that
in the future you’ll appear in everyone’s textbooks as the person that did away with all that was pre-established in the art of removing your bra without first removing your outer clothes. there was a fucking shitty ass summer in which they made us chose between pain and the ability to feel pain, i’m sitting on someone’s face who has their pants down and a fishnet jersey from American apparel on and i ask you the favor of not
calling me again until you find the pair of panties with my telephone number that i gave you. tomorrow we’ll take revenge on people who are happy feeling happy without them even knowing.
UN CULO ABIERTO A SUGERENCIAS
no sé tirarme de cabeza y no sé si mi cabeza se siente decepcionada por ello.
mi novia tiene una piscina y la piscina de mi novia tiene una piscina más pequeña
que cuida de los líquidos que aún no huelen lo suficientemente mal como para ser
What follows is my translation of Luna Miguel’s blog post “Soy feliz si me lames la cara”: tres aproximaciones a la Alt Lit en español y otras historias del posnoventismo. and response to Rebeca Yanke’s article La poesía posnoventista española en 15 voces [Post-90s Spanish Poetry in 15 Voices; translated by me here].
“I’m happy if you lick my face.”: Three Approaches to Alt Lit in Spanish and Other Post-90s Stories.
Last January I published an article about what was going on in Spain in regards to the flourishing of youth poetry on the Internet on this very blog. I talked briefly about how there was a clear regeneration of literature, fostered by the web and by projects on paper that emerged from it. US writer Jacob Steinberg was the first to baptize this new wave (especially in Argentina) as post-90s poetry, a term that encompassed nothing other than authors born in the last years of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s, who have been able to create their own communities, detached from those of the grand publishing houses. Beyond the English language examples that we’re already familiar with and that paved the way for the proliferation of the term Alt Lit (Illuminati Girl Gang, Alt Lit Gossip, CCM Press, The Scrambler, Pop Serial, HTML Giant, New Wave Vomit, etc.) in Spain we also have various platforms and zines that have served to spread those authors, from Tenían viente años y estaban locos to Sagrantes, Ciudades Esqueleto, Mil novecientos violeta (based on one of David Meza’s verses), Palpitatio Lauri, or La Bella Varsovia’s anthologies.
Something was happening. Something is happening. Something’s going to happen, we tell ourselves each time that we find before our eyes all of this movement and poetic tumult. What draws my attention, nevertheless, after having reread the selection of poets in La poesía posnoventista española en 15 voces multiple times was the complete stylistic detachment from what those crazy North Americans that I like to talk about so much were up to on the other side of the pond. For this reason, after having written the article Internet, Love, and Guts: The Future of Literature is in Canada for PlayGround, and having read an interesting post regarding new Swedish literature and its relation to Alt Lit on Marina L. Ruidoms’ blog, doubts began to pop into my head, as well as the idea to undertake a small search after what this new wave has been able to provide Spanish literature, not just in our country, but rather also (and more than anything) in Latin America.
A short review: We’ve got the publishing houses Triana and Dakota in Argentina, which have published books by Sam Pink, Tao Lin, and Megan Boyle. Also, since just last month we’ve got Interzona, with Lolita Copacabana and Hernámn Vanoil at the head, editors of the first anthology of North American youth fiction of this sort. In 2013 we published VOMIT in Spain, which was also the first anthology of North American youth poetry in a bilingual edition, and of course here we also include the incredible work of Alpha Decay, the publishing house without which the Spanish reader would never have been able to reach Tao Lin, Blake Butler, or Sheila Heti. Additionally we’ve got the generosity of good bloggers and translators, such as Montse Meneses, María Ramos, or José María Martínez who bring us translations of some of the essential poems from what’s going on over there. Again on the other side of the ocean, Ignacio Molina’s (of Disorder, Chile) work of dissemination has been critical. Not to mention Ana Carete, a nexus between Mexico and the US, or Didier Andrés Castro, and his blog La polifonía de la nada, or any of the things that I’ve forgotten to mention because there are so many, and every day there are more.
So, who could be the voices of Alt Lit in Spanish? When I ask myself this question a few names come to mind like those of Cecilia Pavón (Argentina), Ricardo Limassol (Mexico), Carlos Colmenares Gil (Venezuela) or the Didier Andrés Castro himself (Colombia), whose literature maintains a humor, a precision, a brevity, an intensity, and a delirium that mirrors that of some current North American authors. Nevertheless, they seem to me to be authors with their own identity, that have grown, written, and developed their works beyond this phenomenon, although they will most likely (and without a doubt in some cases) later have participated in it by translating, reading, or writing in relation to it. For this reason I’ve decided to select three new voices whose literary training betray a brutal permeation of North American alternative literature. Also internet addicts. Also present online, bilingual, addicted to sharing, to confessionals, to the generational, and to that which exceeds their own language. Also post-1990. Also little heroes to whom I express from here my admiration and my excitement to continue to discover them. Because there are no borders. Because as the wise say: Poetry Will Be Made By All!
1. Kevin Castro (Peru, 1993) Activist at the awesome C.A.C.A Publishing, where he published his first book of poems Los tiempos jurásicos whose front cover, no less, is an illustration of a dinosaur tripping on MDMA designed by Tao Lin. Kevin has participated from a very young age in anthologies and national and international magazines. You can read his work online here, because he’s also been published by the LUMA Foundation, in the 1000 books from 1000 poets project. Funny, critical, full of pop culture references, intelligent, likeable… and you gotta stop me, ‘cause I’ve only got good things to say about him.
2. Caterina Scicchitano (Argentina, 1992) She defines herself as half-jew, half celiac. She writes in English and Spanish and has a Tumblr where she narrates her most intimate confessions in a hilarious, but also delicate way. Poetry, prose, diary entries. “I’d like to ruin it all,” she sometimes says. Or: i look like an insecure boy on the street but in my own home uploading things to the internet. i look like an insecure boy on the street but in my own home uploading things to the internet.. i could conquer the soviet union or something like that, i feel euphoric on an uncontrollable level. If Gabby Bess or Megan Boyle were to speak Spanish, they’d definitely get along perfectly with Caterina. I’m more than hooked on everything she writes us.
3. Óscar García Sierra (Spain, 1994) Well. I could definitely tell you all that this entire text and part of this search are inspired by Óscar. A young guy who I met during the conference Alternative Literature or Alternatives to Literature put on by La Casa Encendida. Óscar began to feel more interested in literature after having read Tao Lin and Ben Brooks, and starting to better get to know all the authors of Alt Lit through Tumblr. In fact, on his own we’ll find his translations and many other interesting things. Today Óscar García Sierra published a poem on Tenían viente años y estaban locos, which I encourage you all to read here. I love him, and I hope that you all like him as well.
I’ll keep reading, researching, and informing. For the moment, I’d like to close this extensive post with a poem by Kevin Castro, titled Green. I make my leave with his tears (of emotion):
Ellen Kennedy and Tao Lin
(“Soy feliz si me lames la cara”: tres aproximaciones a la Alt Lit en español y otras historias del posnoventismo., Luna Miguel, 8 June 2014)
(Translation by Kevin Cole, 2014)
A special thanks to komurki for his careful editorial eye in catching some mistakes!