Monday, November 30, 2009

Raquel Chaves

I am in relation to the wind.
That which brings me your voice.
I have a friendship with the rose.
It's bloom, its thorns come
from you.
I already knew the bird
that in the mornings
visits my window.
It has not arrived with you.
I was left carrying on through the rain.
It has brought water
like my eyes, looking at you.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Czeslaw Milosz

Forget the suffering
You caused others.
Forget the suffering
others caused you.
The waters run and run
Springs sparkle and are done.
You walk the earth you are forgetting.
Sometimes you hear a distant refrain
What does it mean, you ask, who is singing?
A childlike sun grows warm.
A grandson and a great-grandson are born.
You are led by the hand once again.
The names of the rivers remain with you
How endless those rivers seem!
Your fields lie fallow.
The city towers are not as they were.
You stand at the threshold mute.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Guillermo Juan Parra

No spirit seek rest here
-Steven Spender
Breath defines length of line
As does notebook shape/size
Yesterday afternoon hearing
Archie Shepp play
full breathe, rich-toned
saxophone chords
I think language can do
this too/
to make feeling evident
sound with evil stanzas
As one sufferer said:
unto us blessings are denied
Making some characteristic failure
our tautness - a trance
after Juan Sanchez Pelaez
If snow falls now
on a street without course
nor sign,
myriad shades inquire,
from the foyer,
if our entry is fleeting;
will it last or not.
And they point toward
the actual path,
always being attentive
or dressed in night cloth.
from what north or south,
from what east or west,
these prompt shadows arrive
or amble
through fields
in stables and cottages,
no one knows
save through a dusk's thin beam,
when we can glimpse the absent
when our big hands
talking alone
open toward the other cold.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Jose Gorostiza

Sea of no water nor sand.
Simple sound of water and foam
neither water nor sand making the sea.
The discreet things kind and simple;
coming together at the edges,
The same as the desiring of a kiss,
sea of no water or sand.
The things I look for, dead;
lonely, desolate like a desert.
Sometimes welling up in tears
for it exists as sorrow.
Sea of no water nor sand.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tomas Transtromer

Men in overalls the same colour as earth rise from a ditch.
It's a transitional place, a stalemate, neither country nor city.
Construction cranes on the horizon want to take the big leap,
but the clocks are against it.
Concrete piping scattered about laps at the light with cold tongues.
Auto-body shops occupy old barns.
Stones throw shadows as sharp as objects on the moon surface.
And these sites keep on getting bigger
like the land bought with Judas' silver: "a potter's field for
burying strangers."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Raquel Chavez

love-- I don't know
your word.
It could be
latitude outside-
It gets to be
the lost hope.
Everything happens;
in my dream silence,
this worn out sphere,
and it brings us
to live fully.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Li Shang-yin

Mere chance that the patterned lute has fifty strings.
String and fret, one by one, recall the blossoming years.
Chang-tzu dreams at sunrise that a butterfly lost its way.
Wang-ti bequeathed his spring passion to the night jar.
The moon is full on the vast sea, a tear on the pearl.
On Blue Mountain the sun warms, a smoke issues from the jade.
Did it wait, this mood, to mature with hind sight?
In a trance from the beginning, then as now.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mandrake Ediciones

Burning sea
And all the coasts are ice
Turned off is the delirious fire
The reported name
And dreams
With torments of the day.
Burning sea
Canoe in a virtual representation
Behind his chest
Your mind is a terrible heart
His love is for the day
As a tiger in the street
With eyes of fire and damp
All costs are the ice
His head is the same ice
His love is fascinating and lucid
One more step and the love
Would be changed
In a terrible memory
Even pride in an oblivion
Which is what you hear
In full fire
Is a human being
A human gull
With its front intact
In mid air
Like a human being

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rainer Maria Rilke

Suddenly from all the green around you,
something - you don't know what - has disappeared;
you feel it creeping closer to the window,
in total silence. From the nearby wood
you hear the urgent whistling of a plover,
reminding you of someones St. Jerome:
so much solitude and passion come
from that one voice, whose fierce request the downpour
will grant. The walls, with their ancient portraits, glide
away from us, cautiously, as though
they weren't supposed to hear what we were saying.
And reflected on the faded tapestries now:
the chill, uncertain sunlight of those long
childhood hours when you were so afraid.

Pedro Garcia Cabrera

To the right of the statue's dream
A river of birds flows by.
The river is a little girl and the bird a key.
And the key a field of wheat
That opens a slow snail of a hundred days.
This means the hills of broken men
Are made of cardboard, wood and green walnuts.
But don't touch that anguish; it's all from the Sunday
When they created the nests in which tomorrow the
[adulterous stones will brood.
It's from that fish looking through the sea's eye
At how war is the tenderness guarding the empty beds
And peace that blood with which feet spatter their chains.
Let's go now. Don't pierce the shadow I had four years ago,
Fore my fingers ache with hunger and my heart with rains.
Better for you to sleep, to go on walking.
I'll wait for you till the tigers, on the lake shore, after the
[wine harvest,
Lying farmhands to the fields
And shoulders of someone on the deserted promises
[without water.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Anna Akhmatova

Under her dark veil she wrung her hands.
"Why are you so pale today?"
"Because I made him drink of stinging grief
Until he got drunk on it.
How can I forget? He staggered out,
His mouth twisted in agony.
I ran down not touching the bannister
And caught up with him at the gate.
I cried.`A joke!
That's all it was, if you leave, I'll die`
He smiled calmly and grimly
And told me `Don't stand here in the wind`"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sylvia Plath

Deep in liquid
turquoise slivers
of dilute light
quiver in thin streaks
of bright tinfoil
on mobile jet:
pale flounder
waver by
tilting silver:
in the shallows
agile minnows
flicker gilt:
grapeblue mussels
dilate lithe and
pliant valves:
dull lunar globes
of bulbous jellyfish
glow milk green:
eels twirl
in wily spirals
on elusive tails:
ardroir lobsters
amble darkly olive
on shrewd claws:
down where sound
comes blunt and wan
like the bronze tone
of a sunken gong.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Robert Hunter

No time to tell how
This is the season of what
Now is the time of returning
With our thought jewels polished and gleaming
Now is the time past believing
The child has relinquished the reign
Now is the test of the boomerang
Tossed in the night of redeeming
Eight-sided whispering hallelujah hatrack
Seven faced marble eye transitory dream doll
Six proud walkers on jingle-bell rainbow
Five men writing in fingers of gold
Four men tracking the great white sperm whale
Three girls wait in a foreign dominion
Ride in the whale belly
Fade away in moonlight
Sink beneath the waters
To the coral sands below
Now is the time of returning

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Roberto Bolano

I set off, I took up the march and never knew
where it might take me. I went full of fear
my stomach dropped, my head was buzzing:
I think it was the icy wind of the dead.
I don't know. I set off, I thought it was a shame
to leave so soon, but at the same time
I heard that mysterious and convincing call.
You either listen or you don't, and I listened
and almost burst out crying: a terrible sound,
born on the air and in the sea.
A sword and shield. And then,
despite the fear, I set off, I put my cheek
against death's cheek.
And it was impossible to close my eyes and miss seeing
that strange spectacle, slow and strange,
though fixed in such a swift reality:
thousands of guys like me, baby-faced
or bearded, but Latin American, all of us,
brushing cheeks with death.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sargon Boulus

I brace myself
Turn my face to flashes of lightning
Rave and wait until
The waves leave me
Chained to a rock
On an unknown coast
Open the book of time
With trembling fingers and read
This is your life, pegged to time
With the short hair. Like a woman
It wants to disclose
Each and every secret
To you.
God wanted
To clear the world
Mankind is pre-ordained to wander
In dark, depressing alleys
For ever.
It happened
That one of them gave
This lute and taught me to sing
With a cracked voice.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Juan Pomponio

Old prophecies
they announce your skin.
I write without ink in the sky
and your name appears.
Small flowers that shine the night.
The tide arrives,
nocturnal music that unfolds.
Sounds without time.
In audacious waves
the rocks explode,
They pronounce your absence.
Dream without ink on the land;
petals of your smile fly,
they've gone to the sleep of the moon.
They leave your fragrance,
they draw your name in the sand.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sargon Boulus

in commemoration of Joesoef al-Haidari
The end of the year
A year of endings
The weather, crows, tightness of the chest
Because of heavy smoking. An ailment
A hidden pain)
Made me wander in desolate parts of town
Before nightfall
I came round the corner
Where my friend
The storyteller
Met me face to face
Something had taken the light from his eyes
My witty, old friend
He, himself
Something had twisted his features
From inside his white eyebrows
The black teeth
His (not for fun) smile looked grief-stricken
An undeveloped picture
A burnt picture
Going to pieces at the slightest breath
We met emerging from the gale
That started yesterday
Pounded signboards of bars and restaurants
Made telegraph wires
Wail in empty places
I shouted: Yousef
What happened to your face, Yousef?
What did they do to your eyes, Yousef?
He said: Please, don't ask
He said: It was devastating
He said: I came from there
He said: Not me. I am not myself
Not yourself
No, you are not yourself
They and the Gods of Hell
They and the Angel of Death in the door opening
Refugees on the roads
Children in coffins
Women wailing in open places
Your family is alright
They greet you from the grave
Baghdad is an ear of grain covered with locusts
I came from there
It was devastating
He said to me
He went away and disappeared

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

What passing bells are these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of guns.
Only the stuttering rifles'rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,--
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing down of blinds.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wislawa Szymborska

We read letters of the dead like puzzled gods-
gods nevertheless, because we know what happened later.
We know what money wasn't repaid,
the widows who rushed to remarry.
Poor, unseeing dead,
deceived, fallible, toiling in solemn foolery.
We see the signs made behind their backs,
catch the rustle of ripped-up wills.
They sit there before us, ridiculous
as things perched on buttered bread,
or fling themselves after whisked-away hats.
Their bad taste- Napoleon, steam and electricity,
deadly remedies for curable diseases,
the foolish apocalypse of St. John,
the false paradise on earth of Jean-Jacques...
Silently, we observe their pawns on the board
_but shifted three squares on.
Everything they foresaw has happened quite differently,
or a little differently - which is the same thing.
The most fervent stare trustingly into our eyes;
by their reckoning, they'll see perfection there.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Leonard Cohen

The birds they sang
at the break of day.
Start again
I heard them say.
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or is what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
will be caught again.
bought and sold
and bought again.
the dove is never free.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent.
Yeah the widowhood
of every government-
signs for all to see.
I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud
But they've summoned, they've summoned up,
a thundercloud.
and they're going to hear from me.
Ring the bells that still can ring..
You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum.
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum,
every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
there is a crack, a crack in everything
that's how the light gets in.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Adrienne Rich

Since we're not young, weeks have to do time
for years of missing each other. Yet only this odd warp
in time tells me we're not young.
Did I ever walk the morning streets at twenty,
my limbs streaming with purer joy?
did I lean from my window over the city
listening for the future
as I listen with nerves tuned for your ring?
And you, you move towards me with the same tempo.
Your eyes are everlasting, the green spark
of the blue-eyed grass of early summer
the green-blue cress washed by the spring.
At twenty, yes: we thought we'd live forever.
At forty-five, I want to know even our limits.
I touch you knowing we weren't born tomorrow,
and somehow, each of us will help the other live,
and somehow, each of us must help the other die.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ruben Dario

I know there are those who ask: Why does he not
sing with the same wild harmonies as before?
But they have not seen the labours of an hour
the work of a minute, the prodigies of a year.
I am an aged tree that, when I was growing
uttered a vague, sweet sound when the breeze caressed me.
The time for youthful smiles has now passed by:
now, let the hurricane swirl my heart to song

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rogue Dalton

Like you I
love love, life, the sweet smell
of things, the sky-blue
landscape of January days.
And my blood boils up
and I look through eyes
that have known the buds of tears.
I believe the world is beautiful
and that poetry, like bread, is for everyone.
And that my veins don't end in me
but in the unanimous blood
of those who struggle life,
little things,
landscape and bread,
the poetry of everyone.
El Salvadore

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Vicente Huidobro

Stormy night
The darkness bites my head
The devils
who drive the thunder
are having their vacation
No one goes by in the street
She hasn't come
fell in the corner
The clock

Friday, November 6, 2009

Robert Hunter

Look for awhile at the China Cat Sunflower
proud-walking jingle in the midnight sun.
Copper-dome bodhi drip a silver kimono
like a crazy-quilt star gown
through a dream night wind.
China Cat
Krazy Kat peeking through a lace bandana
like a one-eyed Cheshire
like a diamond-eyed jack
A leaf of all colours plays
a golden string fiddle
to a double-e waterfall over my back
Comic book colours on a violin river
crying Leonardo words
from out a silk trombone
I rang a silent bell
beneath a shower of pearls
in the eagle winged palace
of the queen Chinee
China Cat

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tomas Transtromer

At times my life suddenly opens its eyes in the dark.
A feeling of masses of people pushing blindly
through the streets, excitedly, toward some miracle,
while I remain here and no one sees me.
It is like the child who falls asleep in terror
listening to the heavy thumps of his heart.
for a long, long time till morning puts his light in the locks
and the doors of darkness open.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Marco Martos

This is not your country
because you learn about its borders,
or because of the shared language
or because of the names of the dead.
This is your country
because if you had to,
you would chose it again
to build here
all your dreams.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Jose Antonio Ramos Sucre

The beautiful girl holds a vigil and defends my life from within
an orbital temple, circular with its seven columns.
Her imperious voice descends, because of me, to the modulations of song.
I emerged comforted by her presence, carrying a branch of ceder by
her decree.
I descended a mountainous trail to the ocean shore, where my barque
balanced itself.
The canticle kept sounding, ascendant and magnificent, it paralyzed
nature in its course, It inspired me to save the zone from the squall.
The sun stood still, for hours on end, peeking over the line of the horizon.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rainer Maria Rilke

You darkness that I came from
out of which all things come,
I love you more than all the fires
that fence the world,
for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone,
and then no one outside learns of you,
but the darkness pulls in everything,
shapes and fires, animals and myself.
How easily it gathers them,
powers and people.
It is possible a great energy is moving near us.
I have faith in the night.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Juan Ramon Jimenez

I pulled the reins,
I turned the horse
of the dawn,
and I came into life, pale.
Oh how they looked at me,
the flowers of my dream,
lifting their arms to the moon!