poems

El poema del exilio (hacer click para ver presentación)

(From the Book: Piedra en :U:)

(:U: Stone) Forthcoming 2015

Translated by Linde M. Brocato

Sarajevo

prisoner of the fear of what will come (like it came before)

how might the mutilated recover serenity?

how might he reconcile himself to the idea that he had one time about

the progression of the Night

-believing that Morning would tell the truth in the face

of all the shadows’ misconceptions-

 _______

(From the Book: Paréntesis del Estupor) BOOK:

(Parenthesis of Stupor) 2011.

The Rose of Decomposition 

Serious was the dispute between destruction and

alchemy

well Who could admire the rose of decomposition?

Who would make a place for a stem of invisible color

sprouting up from the rotten-tough-ness?

What was inexorable was ferocious,

rending like the sizzle of a calcined branch

The bone of the wager

coming back from the excavation brings broken cartilages The bone

of the wager

is a short rag

hanging in tatters

but in the distance they keep counting the dry grains of flour

that doesn’t suffice

-the sick man unattended in the desert stretch- The thirst that doesn’t

ease but offers up

Its dryness

 ______

(From the Book: Las regiones del frío

(The Chilli Regions) 2005

 

under ground

and we know not what to do with returning After the idea of dying

and after the idea of killing

no longer the same Dust rises twice in our eyes

the future detained by one hand with memory By one cup

of cold coffee

The life of the survivor is worse than his death: carrying living eyes

under ground

the crows

in the ages of the great tombs everything was white Roofs Floors Walls

and even if there was no air nor doors nor windows in silence one glimpsed

great horizons

at some always exact hour in that age very nice people laid down well dressed

It was in truth a pleasure to be dead in those days:  Shelter Food

Water Everything Well Organized

only the nerve of the crows in dreams Was the one

irregularity to stand

the imagined morning

through the midst of the hair of the city Crosses the still intimate flower

of thought

lost in the noise and clouded by the gloom of the smoke It was

the seed

germinated in the hothouse of the night It was the flower of the morning

imagined

ripped out tongues

within the metal doors have fallen and without fingers we trace hermetic locks

There’s no light in the shadow Nor heat in the cold because in times of war

only silence breathes

toward where to raise ears or lips from the lock-up? us, the angels don’t speak

or hush

(like a nest of lizards without a nest our hands and our feet pray, eyeless)

Us, the fused iron in doors and coins neither speaks nor hushes

because projectiles are not kept under ripped out tongues

bird of thirst

not from just any tear descends a body of crystalline water

not every tear is a bird of thirst. Not every tear is rain

for re-greening:

some flowers have an aroma of nausea

 

Tiny Metals

my son We are bits of shrapnel in a shattered world

tiny metals sparking in vivid red and dying on the ground

threads child of someone else’s conversation

lesser bones cartilage of a crackling that doesn’t know us

we are child tenuous blazes of some other light

fog disappearing in cracks in stone

we are love inaudible groan in the muteness of the grass

covered by a heavenly garb fallen among the trees

 

_____

(From the Book: El eterno aprendiz

(The Eternal Apprentice) 1995

Asceticism

Night:

Are you the lack of sense?

or are you the lack of imagination?

Are you, Night,

the hanging shadows?

Are you the proof of the failure of light?

Or are you, Night,

the long

wide

expectant

desire of day,

its asceticism,

its resignation,

its unworthiness?       

The eternal apprentice

Perhaps in silence there is light

a glimmer of illumination

an acquiescence

mystery has its own patience

its strength

its ancient sobs

perhaps one is the bone of mystery

its sculpted bone

its solitary memory

one

the writer of the unknown

the student of the ear

the eye’s son

reading its notes

studying its memories

one

the eternal apprentice

the countable finger

threading invisible strings

so as to braid unknowing

_______

(Del libro Pompeya)

(Pompeii) 2003

 

Pompeii

my heart had been destroyed in Pompeii

 

the sun wounded yet again

the cracks of a shattered world

 

small

polished stones

continued to reflect

yesterday’s moon:

 

and I was able to recognize

my father’s body

among the debris

 

and I brushed up against my sisters

silent in the broken columns

 

Some trees produced flesh flowers

and offered among the ruins

their odorless

heavy hands

 

noonday children

lying still

beneath the earth

 

all that was intimate

was a someone else’s spectacle

 

and respect

was but dust beneath all our feet.

my heart recognized itself

among its kin

all of its family was there:

their emptied faces

poured out onto stone

and contemplated

by strangers

without love

A Poor Man

 


One hears a dead tongue: what for

Lock on the silence: what for


Butchering croaks: what-for, what-for

Gabriel Zaid

 

I

a poor man

has no new memories

because a poor man

has nowhere to store them

 

II

a poor man broods

his mind vacant:

what happened to my river of sweet water?

where is my dawn?

My seed sown in the teeth of the wind

it’s lost

it’s completely disappeared

 

III

a poor man

doesn’t know time:

how long does it last?

where does it go?

where does death begin

entering a hayfield?

a slender silent

forgetfulness

burying itself in a furrow

of spring water

  

IV

a poor man

has no tomorrow

what dream would he have to dream?

if his birds are gone

he knows they are gone

he spends entire nights, brooding

they’re gone

 

V

a poor man

can’t dream of yesterday

the flood washed everything away

and the hot drought scorched the ground

what happened to the little stones

that connected us?

where did they go?

the fingers that joined us

what happened to them?

 

VI

a poor man

has no fingers in his vacant mind

birds are born to fl y

but what happened to his fingers?

his fingers are gone

he knows they are gone

 

VII

a poor man has no place

nothing is more uncertain than a place

the moment your eye is turned

already your place is gone

Yesterday isn’t the same place as it was today

why sow seed?

if a wild storm may come

and erase the marks made

with a hoe

and the marks meant nothing

they were only posture

and gesticulation

 

VIII

a poor man

can’t talk

why talk?

nothing is more tranquil

than silence

in his vacant mind

the silence sleeps

and when you sleep you don’t think

thinking would waste the silence

and a poor man lacks the wherewithal to waste anything

 

IX

a poor man broods

and the brooding thinks for him:

and even the little river in my head?

even the little river?

and that thing of light I once had

what was it?

and the hunger and the food

what was that?

and what about the thirst of What was it?

 

X

the Whatwasit was a bird

the fi rst

all of them were first

but the Whatwasit sang the most

a song of pure sound all around

often was heard back then

the Whatwasit’s question

its music was a long extended question

an uninterrupted cantata

it was the shadow of the Whatwasit

then its absence

 

XI

a poor man

isn’t surprised by anything

he even falls asleep in water

so that he leaves a trickle behind him

wherever he goes a trickle

of improvised river

improvised, not really a river

of the tears of a man

who doesn’t know he’s crying

he himself is creating his own river

the river he lost

he thinks it’s only water

water fl owing past

 

XII

a poor man

even eats mosquitos

or such things

because he stands astonished, open mouthed

and he takes in whatever comes

so what

if it’s a speck of something

a living speck?

so what

if it’s a strand of feather?

so what

if it reminds you

of me?

 

XIII

Whatelse was the quietest

of all the birds

it didn’t even seem like a bird

one of those that flew away

Whatelse let itself drift off

into pure contemplation

paying no attention to anything

because Whatelse knew

that one moment follows the next

without making the slightest difference

adding nothing to the conversation

so Whatelse didn’t converse

or rather, it didn’t sing

what it did was a solo

a summation

of nothing over nothing

and nothing expected

 

XIV

Whatelse spun out airy threads

and awaited the unfolding of events

indifferent to everything

it went away without staying

and stayed without going away

which was all the same thing

Whatelse spoke like that

without saying what for

 

XV

Whatfor was a frightful bird

an owl staring in broad daylight

a hawk darker than the rest

perhaps a raven

a repulsive thing that wouldn’t fly away

Whatfor spread its wings

above the others

and there was no way

Whatfor could be moved

 

XVI

when a poor man

tries to remember

his memory

is a motionless monotonous

indistinguishable pile

 

XVII

a poor man

doesn’t want to reckon his loss

nor look at it closely

nor have a new loss

if loss goes away

it can be replaced by wherewithal

first loss coalesces

then

it rises downward

and to the side and goes away

with no explanation or goodbye

that’s how loss

becomes wherewithal

 

XVIII

Wherewithal was the most powerful

perhaps Wherewithal was the first

all of them were first

but Wherewithal was all powerful

with the power of the verb to be able

it was able to say enough

and finish saying it

it could blot out with its body

everything

that came before and after it

all it had to do was buzz around in the breeze

and presto

neither was there nothing

only Wherewithal

Wherewithal eventually became the terror of the sky

the small sky of the same place

small places have small kings

but still, finally, kings

 

XIX

Finally was the last

you might say

sweetest

and most intelligent

it came after Withoutwhich

XX

Withoutwhich was the smallest

completely transparent

Withoutwhich was the rarest

because it never showed itself

it had no beak no head

no body no gender

no feathers

nothing

it wasn’t even a bird

it wasn’t even nothing

 

XXI

Withoutwhich eventually ceased to exist

it was in fact a shadow

and not only a single shadow

it was the shadow of the air

the shadow of the tree where it stood

the shadow of its tracks

far beneath its tracks

the shadow of its single leaf et

single far above it

the shadow of its memory

of nothingness

 

XXII

a poor man broods

his mind vacant

his shadow cast

by the sun of night

 

XXIII

for Finally you can also say The End

the one conferring rest

the other pardon

________

(From the Book Inmovil)

(Immobile, 1996.

a gentle fragance

a gentle fragrance

fills my hand and my hand’s house

 

I dawned in the eye

of bitterness

 

not even a bed for me in the holding

 

Far is the undecipherable hour

 

The Rose

the rose

 

feels

 

vertigo

 

from stillness:

 

the slow

 

labor

 

of dying

 

_________

(Del libro Ca(z)a)

(Hu(n)t) 1990 

 

you must not drown yourself 

you must not drown yourself Thus so many times

in your own water of flesh

 

everything so strange

 

Weak:

shouldn’t have let you work from rage


from incapacity

now you don’t see me

with that bone out in front of your face

not me                         With
the other side toward the back

what will we do

what will be done

since I don’t hear your eyes then I don’t think about

you

with that bird or dog

                                                 to fly over you at night

perhaps won’t come

 

if this he had loved us

 


we stay 

we stay

so you don’t die

so they don’t know that we went:

those heads rolling along the ground

those jaws slobbering like the mouths of smiling

animals

 

from your house

where flesh

 

like an irregular bulb

like freshly emerged from earth

 

so that you don’t die

from death or from the fear that the heads give you with

their sound

 

Better to bury it

so as not to see                                              

 it seeing us

                                           that way

 

so haggard

 

so stupid

 

tell me if it hurts you

tell me if it hurts you

 

and here

                                                                                                                                                and here

and here

 

I have such a high and low concept of bodies

 

FACE-DOWN:

if you stay like that

if something happens to you

It will be rancor

 

IT WILL BE RANCOR

 

there’s nothing more to see

beyond you and I Face Down

nothing worth seeing

 

there’s not a place       better

 

If it hurts you

 

here                 when living

has suddenly become

a great dire opened

repulsive

vulgar

 

I who have such high

                                    and low

                                                   concepts

 

mama went away

 mama went away

delays many years beneath her door

red water pouring

 

papa curses her

 

before going mama didn’t talk anymore

                                                                                                 didn’t open her eyes

after she shut the door of her room

and refused to come back

behind the door she calls us sometimes

and shouts a story about a house about a sweet that one eats

and weeps at length

and laughs

and one hears things that break

and mama talks for spells hoarse like a man

like a distant night

and hits

and we hear her scrape

                                                        against the walls

 

and a river of mama flows from beneath the door

a pink and sad river that doesn’t move

 

in the care of a mother

 

in the care of a mother who was pure gesticulation

 

 to suffer

for some little heads now dead

that never died

always begging for comfort

 

and us purely eating

always meals alone

clothes alone                                        sun alone

because she didn’t feed

nor was light

but just pure begging for help

 

pure shouting with her eyes

pure begging more water

pure begging more shadow

 

pure wound of hers

her red inwards

her Showing herself

 

 

when he’s died

 

when he’s died

one goes

and opens his jaws

and puts our mouth within his mouth

and says to him

Speak

Tell me my woman

When he’s laid out

one goes and mounts him on the gallows

on his last legs

and tells him

Go in

Make me my woman

 

Then one shouts my love inside

 

Then one stoops before him

bites his last hand

and wishes him death             

 

my husband who lives interred

my husband who lives interred

it’s the same to him life or death

 

I and the children go sometimes

we run on his surface

EEEE we shout to him

                                                        with our mouths pressed to the ground

 CO-O-O-OME OUT we want to see you

come to see this sun      these people      these animals

we are happy

 

The dark part of him doesn’t say hello

or he gets sad with his hand

or makes signs for us to go away

 

Come out we are alone from you

 

we don’t know

 

we don’t know

solitude

 

we at the point of the distant

receive water from the sky

the feet of the mother are hands for her children

day and night we dance day and night grateful

we look in each other’s eyes day and night quietly

grateful

 

we know not

that we’re going along sinking

in the act of singing

by separating and burying

and closing our hands

we can hardly see ourselves

erased In the land of the eyes

in the land of the mouth

we can’t

say the words of Asking

of We are sorry

we know not

that we’re going along Falling from afar

falling from god we

go along           falling from the mother with her children

clutched  

 

my mouth 

 

my mouth

is thick and dark for Naming you

 

or our childhood

 

I was afraid of your slowness

when the sky was falling

and the clouds were stones of great death

 

Never no one had in their eyes

so much begging bird

 

I was running and dragged you along

in the silence of the dogs

beneath the earth

panting

 

Never did they have other eyes together

so much safe bird

 

your weight is

my heaviest loss        

 

The red bird of my air 

 

The red bird of my air

 

left

 

his head Flaming

 

hops

wanted to leave

 

Now

when I think of I want him to Come back

 

unable to see

or hear or water

without feeding grains

on the shore

I say to him

My bird

 

And what if I had eyes again?

And sips of water in the hollows

of clear waters?

And what if I wore fruit again

of every Flaming color?

And I had the heat

that the cold doesn’t have       My red

And I had music in my head

And I dawned?

Would you?   

 (Translated by Andres Fernandez)

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