Translation of Oscar Garcia Sierra’s poem, because I read it this morning and it was great:
SORRY WE CAN’T HAVE PHONE SEX, MY PHONE’S A VIRGIN
my life is an invention of giant multinationals, designed to sell junk food.
as soon as i get in bed you send me a nude and ask that i please be discrete.
i set the picture as my background and censor your breasts with the help of facebook and tumblr.
the kim kardashian game aids me in covering other zones that i don’t want my parents to see.
eating junk food doesn’t unleash any kind of chain-reaction in the universe, and that makes me hungry.
seeing you naked makes me feel like i need to cook something up to destroy my body.
my secret ingredient is not to get mixed up with people who want to get mixed up with me.
i open a greek yogurt imagining that it’s your tits and i close it again because i want to save them for a special occasion.
the anxiety that seeing you naked has caused me is twice as capable of keeping me bedridden than a typical anxiety.
for a moment i consider starting to gauge time using each time that i take my phone out to see what time it is, and putting it back without knowing what time it is, as a minimal unit of time.
if i made you my background it’s so you know that, for me, the internet comes before you.
while i eat mindlessly my eyes rest on the spot where your cleavage normally is.
it upsets me in some way that you don’t have to put water balloons under your shirt anymore.
i check the time on my phone and seeing you naked again gives me a nosebleed.
i try to stop the hemorrhage, or at least to get the hemorrhage to understand how i feel.
i feel really sure of myself when you send me a message meant for your mom at 5 am.
i sweat a lot when you tell me that you won’t get up tomorrow to eat.
i don’t know if i want to digest without you.
Below, my translation of Juan Manuel Zermeño Posadas’ poem [PoeObama].
Juan Manuel Zermeño Posadas
Welcome you’re witnessing the birth of
a really fuckin’ postmodern poem:
one of those 80’s poems that wishes it was 90’s
a really hater poem that everyone detests
exclusively for readers of the best poetry:
this poem has Van Gogh’s lost ear
and the feet of Ezra Pound
in its infant stages I read it to ten bricklayers and an architect
and the architect’s daughter
-who herself was a poem-
so don’t come at me with your “poor structure”
this is a vegan poem and it recognizes its pro-grammarnazi,
pro-feminazi, pro-environazi influence and all the other
trends that legitimate its culturedness
-cheap shots that didn’t even occur to Góngora-
This poem is also an act of rebellion [I clarify]
To those that claim I didn’t understand
the whole ‘making the rose bloom’ thing
in the poem [I clarify] yes, I understood
but that’s not the point
more than just defending itself, this poem wishes to shine the spotlight onto its author
And if you want pop stick a lolly in your mouth
(It’d be a hit in Ancient Greece,
the Romans would’ve translated it and awarded it to Dante
for being vulgar or to Tesla in the UAE for being current)
this poem looks to break a plate or two
against the heads of the ten thousand anthologists
that roam about freely like Juan in his house
This poem seeks an anthology of poems
it will go door to door squeezing
serenading the publishers’ moms
the tenth of may
it’ll be a well mannered poem
-children are a reflection of their parents-
it will be their pride and joy [up til its teens]
it’s going to decide it wants gauges instead of a piercing
in the final syllable in order to make
a perfect hendecasyllable
but at the end of the day we know
a lazy do-nothing’s verse
an epigraph of future generations
it’s definitely the product of a bipolar poet:
one of those cocksuckers
that bends over
and wins prizes -this is a poem written under the auspices of a grant-
but the check dried up
and the poem had to be printed
to earn a living
it will become a rapper and have a black accent
-it will never again be a white verse-
it will live under racist’s censorship
and he just wanted to be like tupac
or nothing of the sort
perhaps it will become the cover of some self-help book
slogan of some transnational
or, worst case scenario, an acción poética painting
it’s a poem with a hard heart to
because in spite of being bad
it never loses hope that
someone might post its bond to the author,
let it go free and
be a heritage of the world and humanity
while the drunk who wrote it
still hunkers on the sofa
waiting for it to return and take care of him
in his old age
it’s a poem that doesn’t bite
the hand that feeds
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!
The following is my translation of an article written by Rebeca Yanke for the Crónica 2.0 supplement to the Spanish newspaper EL MUNDO.
Don’t think of flowers and kisses, nor of the poet as a bum that naps beneath a tree, awaiting inspiration. Think of the poet as a detective, someone who, more than discovering, is constantly on the trail. Madrid awakes today with a bookish desire, Sundays strolling El Retiro searching for famous novelists–or some TV character that’s written their memoir–at the Feria del Libro. You won’t find any of our picks there.
“Good poetry is communication,” maintains Luna Miguel, who in 2011 already outpaced that which, in the last three years, has turned into a boom, or a baby boom. In that year, this journalist who was born in 1990 coordinated an anthology of 27 poets under 27, which borrowed its title from a verse of Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño. Tenían 20 años y estaban locos [They were twenty years old and crazy] was published by La Bella Varsovia, a publishing house that manages another writer accustomed to the qualifier “young” when she is talked about in the media: Elena Medel, who a few months ago received the 26th Loewe Prize for Young Creation for her collection of poems Chatterton. Like Luna, as well as one of the poets you will come to know below, she put her name in ink before having turned 18; it was with Mi primer bikini [My First Bikini].
“There’s a danger here: the cult of the youthful. Years ago, a critic explained to me his yardstick: ‘To those who start, encouragement; to those who finish, respect; to those that are already on the way, yes for them, applause if they deserve it, but also a whipping if they so deserve.’ La Bella Varsovia began as a publishing house in which voice was given to poets that were starting out, prioritizing mostly first and second books, but we’ve been growing,” argues Medel, whose readers have also seen grow.
Medel and Miguel maintain a relationship beyond friendship; the former is the editor of the latter. La Bella Varsovia just released the third edition of Luna’s latest book, La tumba del marinero [The Sailor’s Grave], last April. “I accept that someone can either agree with Luna’s writing or not, that they can like it or not, but it seems to me that her work as a revitalizer and catalyst is beyond all doubt,” observes Medel. Patricia Úbeda thinks the same, one of the poets that Miguel highlights in a document that, for the moment, can only be found online: La poesía posnoventista Española en 15 voces [Spanish post-90s poetry in 15 voices], in which a phenomenon that’s set in the internet is described and whose protagonists interact via social networks, blogs, tumblrs, and Instagram.
“Thanks to Luna’s blog I’ve discovered poets that are more or less my age, like Yasmín C. Moreno, Belén Benito, Arturo Sánchez, Esther Aquirreche, Rosa Berbel… We’ve created strong bonds among ourselves, in terms of literature as well as friendship, and we watch one another excitedly and enthusiastically, each of us with our projects in small publishers, in fanzines, and in anthologies,” Úbeda explains for our supplement.
A creative process that can only be understood from the standpoint of generosity, because there’s a handful of young poets here that have decided to resist and uproot and bring poetry into the era they’ve wound up in. “Youth is an essential virtue, it implies discovery, energy, and brutality. It provides new worlds, previously impossible technologies. I want to understand everything that my generation communicates. That way, the future will be more comprehensible. The boom is here and it’s real, and you can see that on social networks. I’m confident,” culminates Luna.
In the 2.0 Section we’ve chosen six protagonists, but they could’ve been so many more. Why six? Because together they form a grand word: poets.
‘The internet offers me what ‘uni’ doesn’t’
Sara R. Gallardo (León. 24 years old)
(my flesh too)
is twenty years old
and is spoiled.
(Excerpt from ‘Epidermia’, El Gaviero Press, 2011)
With a placid look, Sara R. Gallardo carries within herself a woman of extremes who, in poetry, shows herself without complexes. With the same desire (to write, to communicate, in short, to give) she writes long form and short texts, often with a fondness for feminine subjects. Some of her verses are also composed out of desire. With a degree in Journalism from the University of Valladolid, she lived in Berlin for a year under an Erasmus scholarship where, at the age of 21, she published her first book Epidermia. Her professor Javier García Rodríguez, with whom she organized the Festival de La Palabra Versátil.es, recalls that Ana Santos, the recently passed editor of El Gaviero (and mother of Luna Miguel), signed her at that event. Sara now maintains a battle to get ahead work-wise, which in her case is also poetry-wise.
“What I want to do is to write. I’m good when I’m communicating, I love journalism, radio, social networks, organizing cultural events, I like to document myself, talk with people… But not finding work is frustrating because it makes you lose confidence in the world and in yourself. It’s as if the decision makers were sending you a negative message: ‘Get lost, you’re no use.’” She came to Madrid last year because the Ministry of Education granted her a €2,700 scholarship to complete a one-year Master’s program at a public institution. “They had just transferred me half of the money. I’ve lived off of 1,200 euros for six months. A magician couldn’t even pull that off.” Like her peers, the internet has allowed her to meet authors. “The internet has provided me with knowledge that the institute or university hasn’t in terms of literature.”
‘Poetry is sold at recitals’
Adriana Bañares (Logroño. 25 years old)
Woman looking out the window. Towards a countryside of cement and trees like decorative objects. Skinny and ugly trees that neither shelter nor give shade.
Those young and useless trees of the new neighborhoods. Those faraway neighborhoods that no one knows of. Those homes that don’t shelter.
(Excerpt from ‘Principio de frío’, unpublished)
Adriana Bañares says of Sara R. Gallardo, the previous poet in these pages, that “her texts speak crudely and nakedly.” Both formed a part of the literary collective Colmo, the origin of the Festival Versátil.es. One can confirm that Bañares speaks with her eyes, that her shyness awakes an interest in others and that she dedicates a good portion of her time making other poets visible. She’s the anthologist of Erosionados (Origami, 2013), a compendium of poems broken by Eros, and owner of the bookstore La Plaquette in Logroño (La Rioja). “When you’re unpublished, you feel like you’ve made it when you’ve got a book published, in whatever publishing house that it may be, and you don’t realize that no one buys a new, if not to say unknown, writer. Much less if their titles never make it to a single bookstore. Poetry is sold at recitals and if you make a good online campaign. Because there’s a lot of poetry published that’s written to be recited, and that doesn’t work very well as a written text, but there are authors that use the internet as a stage,” she reflects. She’s the example that, in spite of shyness, you can step into the ring. “In the last few years I’ve managed to face the audience without having a bad time, but the first few times were a nightmare. I got really nervous, I read really fast, and in truth, I preferred not to do it. But I realized that I had to defend my work in order to make myself known, and I took myself seriously.” Although she’s already published a lot, the publishers of her books have a small range. “I would’ve preferred to publish less, and better,” she admits.
Between Verses and Frida, Her Little Parrot
Carmen Juan (Alicante. 23 years old)
The girls were girls –shyness-woman-silence.
We sniffed the
of clean, new bloods.
Why the change, why
the closed lips. We
against our fingers, searching.
(Excerpt of the poem ‘Ser el bicho’ from ‘Amar la herida’, soon to be published by La Bella Varsovia)
A Humanities student, music teacher, and practically an ornithologist. “At an age at which others grope about and discover, she already writes soundly,” that’s how Elena Medel, in charge of the publishing house La Bella Varsovia, describes Carmen Juan, whose book will be published after the summer. She’s the winner of the 7th Pablo García Baena Young Poetry prize, for which Sara R. Gallardo was also a finalist. Medel tells that some members of the prize’s jury, while they were debating, guessed that it must have been “from an author closing in on thirty, the age limit for competing for the prize, given the experience that her collection of poems demonstrated.” Why was Carmen Juan selected for this prize above anyone else? “La Bella Varsovia is one of my favorite publishing houses and I’ve been following them for years, and the prize as well. I’ve got a special place in my heart for them because I admire the young poets that have won in previous calls for entries. I’m confident in the criteria of the publishing house, they firmly wager, without fear, on emerging voices and I know that they take good care of them. I don’t usually apply for prizes so, when I decided to give it a go with Amar la herida I thought, if it belongs anywhere, in any prize, it was in the Pablo García Baena. Nevertheless, I’ve got to be frank and say that I didn’t think I stood a single chance. And look, surprise.”
Fertile Son of the Gala Foundation
Javier Vicedo Alós (Castellón. 28 years old)
We’ll drown our voice in white days
and we won’t have said a thing.
Our force isn’t so much, the man is another.
There’s only agitation of lungs and hands
that change nothing, that build nothing
-But an energy persists,
a small euphoria in the ceiling of the air-.
There are birds that sing and set off in music
for the simple pleasure of hearing themselves;
us too, free from the eternal,
saying and shining just for us.
(Excerpt from an unpublished poem)
Javier, like other Spanish and even young poets, such as Gonzalo Escarpa and Ben Clark, forms a part of the privileged group that, since 2001, is chosen by the Antonio Gala Foundation for Young Creators each year. Almost 200 young people have passed through this residence that promotes free creation and, above all, what Gala calls “cross fertilization,” a kind of artistic cohabitation among musicians, poets, writers, and painters. It’s not chance, therefore, that Vicedo is an example of a cross-genre author. He came to Madrid to study philosophy and, after various poetry collections, he’s writing theater. The mere idea of seeing his texts taking shape sets up the innocence in his eyes. “I needed to regain the ingenuity that beginning readers and writers have, that is, to be free of formulas for judging and filtering texts. And because I consider constant reinvention of oneself to be to only way to survive. There’s more merit to surviving oneself than to surviving,” he reflects. Worried by labels, he affirms that, often, the internet encourages that “quantity work against attention.” “Perhaps we access more poets, but our readings also run the risk of becoming more and more superficial,” he reflects.
‘I didn’t rush myself publishing at 16’
David Leo García (Málaga. 24 years old)
How’s it going, conscious?
haven’t heard from you in a while,
remember me? do you remember a sum
of I’s repeated whose product is zero?
Thanks for giving me some clothes
to endlessly rehearse the final act.
(Excerpt from an unpublished poem)
David Leo García won the Hyperion Prize for Poetry when he was 17 years old, ex aequo with Ben Clark, with whom he also shares having been a resident of the Antonio Gala Foundation. That was in 2006. “Urbi et Orbi didn’t just lead to my first contact with the publishing world, but also with the world of poetry in general, because I hardly knew any poets or anything of the sort. I was alone in my room in the company of the classics,” Leo remembers. Five years later, at 22, he published his second book Dime qué, with DVD, an extinct publisher that specialized in poetry. “I began publishing very young, my first poem at 16 and an entire book at 17 and, truthfully, I didn’t feel like I was rushing myself, although my book was improvable. To publish permits you to be in contact with different people, which also makes for a more integrated and faster learning,” he maintains.
He lives in Barcelona with his girlfriend Laura Rosal, author of the poetry collection También mis ojos (Cangrejo Pistolero, 2010), who translated Una temporada en el infierno by Arthur Rimbaud alongside Luna Miguel in 2013. “It bothers me more to have more or less a rush to publish, independently of age, than to have published while young,” Rosal reflects. “My biggest worry, at the moment, is to live without worries. Which, giving what we’ve seen, is becoming more difficult,” Leo adds. Rosal just fears that there won’t be enough time to make all her interests compatible: “learning, work, poetry, photography, pleasure, friends, and rest.”
Not all the poetesses are dead
Luna Miguel (Alcalá de Henares, Madrid. 24 years old)
All the poetesses are dead, he said.
Little mirror, little mirror.
I be young?
I stink of death?
(‘Pensamientos estériles’, Cangrejo Pistolero Ediciones, 2011)
A week ago Luna Miguel remembered in Twitter her first interview. It was with EL MUNDO, it was 2006 and she was 15. At that moment she hadn’t even published what’s known as a chapbook, a short publication of various poems or stories, and today, she’s a very productive author. In those eight years she’s put out nine poetry collections, a short novel written by four hands with her boyfriend, the writer Antonio J. Rodríguez, three translations, and three poetry anthologies: Tenían 20 años y estaban locos (La Bella Varsovia, 2011), Sagrantes (Editorial Origami, 2013), and Vomit (El Gaviero Ediciones, 2013).
In that first interview Luna spoke of a childhood surrounded by poets, and how she rejected poetry until she was 13. Her parents are Ana Santos Paván and Pedro J. Miguel, responsible for the publishing house El Gaviero, which itself is responsible for many young poets having been able to see their work published much earlier than they could have imagined. Ana Santos passed away less than two months ago, but El Gaviero continues with Luna at the lead. “If everything goes well, we’ll continue publishing in 2015. There were books by Carmen Camacho, Hasier Larretxea, and David Meza left in the inkwell. David is 23 years old and one of our biggest bets. He’ll definitely come to Spain soon thanks to the help of the Mexican embassy. For me, he’s one of the most important voices of my generation and, when people read him, they’ll realize that I’m not making it up. He’s a true marvel. Oh! The anthology Serial will appear in June, the editing of which was done by Ana and myself,” she tells.
(Generación Luna Miguel: los poetas ‘posnoventistas’, Rebeca Yanke, 01/06/14)
(Translation: Kevin Cole, 2014)
Translation of Guillermo Morales Sillas' poem:
The Heavens and Earth are Horse-Lipped
The day is ham-colored outside
and there are bilious clouds
above the wall-stripped place.
The sun, proleptic, procrastinates
and the street overflows with species
whose urine the asphalt doesn’t drain.
The blessing is indistinct, en masse.
The dust, superior trapping.
It’s so beautiful that they make you want to
stomp that which is moral and beautiful,
I swear to you there are, without appointment, meek waiting,
jackasses at the doors of the kebab joint.
What do the animals occupying the avenue
when slaughter is just another word
but they hang pennants, January sounds in the bells,
and the orange-trees lining the street err.
You only know that you’re happy
enough to divvy out beans—you who has not grazed
nor owned a dog—thinking
you’d give up your kingdom
to know the parasitic world like the back of your hand
and craft yourself a yurt of strong jawbones
—you who’s not eaten thistles.
In mane you see cosmogony, think that you live
in the middle of a snout, a
ball of shaken snow.
“We’re barley in this gigantic stomach”
As a disclaimer, this translation is not my best. Or, it doesn’t come close to doing this poem justice, which makes me nervous. It’s a genius poem, where the concepts of animal and human are bounced off one another and the text sprinkled with animal and plant-derived epithets that do not all move easily into English. Some of these I have maintained, and others are the casualties of translation: lost patients. I think my weaknesses as a translator are brought out by this poem, and I hope in the future I can develop my style and dare to stray just slightly beyond the text, lose fewer patients. In the meantime, my apologies to the reader and to Mr. Guillermo Morales Sillas and his beautiful poem.
Translation of Eba Reiro’s poem “Estación Central de Bremen”:
Bremen Central Station
Morning is full of crazies,
night full of fires.
The crazies talk alone in the morning,
fresh and covered in dew like roses,
reproducing the sounds of the crazy,
stammering and asking for cigarettes,
shining, children of the new hours.
They see snow snowing on snow
watching the natural colors
And they give the days their own names:
yesterday was Baguette, Thursday
Metallic, and today will be Happy Grey.
They run in packs and shout threats at one another
and are at each other’s throats, and later they play.
The crazies make love at
ten a.m., and while they fuck
they tell each other their problems and destinies and childhoods
looking each other in the eyes and speaking softly
like the sane do
and afterwards they come.
that’s why the color green scares you
that’s why you threw rocks at the fruit trees
and you love that which is yours because it’s only your own
and you love that silence which flesh has.
Over at The Scrambler today, Luna Miguel introduces Mexican poet David Meza and you can read his poem For the Generations to Come (A Manifesto) translated by Jacob Steinberg. If you like that, be on the lookout for a forthcoming chapbook in English (again translated by Jacob) to be published in association with Mellow Pages Library.
fragment from chilean poetry under inclement skys, published in Natascha Wimmer’s English translation of Entre paréntesis, a collection of writings by Roberto Bolaño:
"The picture I have of Chilean poetry is like my memory of my first dog, Duke, a mongrel who was part St. Bernard, German shepherd, and Alsatian. He lived with us for many years, and when I was lonely he was like father, mother, teacher and brother all in one. To me, Duke is Chilean poetry and I have the vague suspicion that Chileans see Chilean poetry as a dog, or as dogs in their various incarnations: sometimes as a savage pack of wolves, sometimes as a solitary howl heard between dreams and sometimes —especially—as a lap dog at the groomer’s."