Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sylvia Plath

Always in a middle of a kiss
Came the profane stimulus to cough;
Always from the pulpit during service
Leaned the devil prompting you to laugh.
Behind mock-ceremony of your grief
Lurked the burlesque instinct of the ham;
You never altered your amused belief
That life was a mere monumental shame.
From the cosmic accident of birth
To the final grotesque joke of death
Your malady of sacrilegious mirth
Spread gay contagion with each clever breath
Now you must play straight man for a term
And tolerate the humor of the worm.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

John Berryman

Ceders and the westward sun
The darkening sky. A man alone
Watches beside the fallen wall
The evening multitudes of sin
Crowd in upon us all.
For when the light fails they begin
Nocturnal sabotage among
The outcast and loose of tongue,
The lax in walk, the murderers:
Our twilight universal curse.
Children are faultless in the wood
Untouched. If they are later made
Scandal and index to their time.
It is that twilight brings for bread
The faculty of crime
Only the idiot and the dead
Stand by. While who were young before
Wage insolent and guilty war
By night within that ancient house,
Immense, black, dammed, anonymous.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Amparo Osorio

When a splitting
puts together
the names of the ivy
and the shadow
thus broken in two
half ash
half miracle...
where are You the impossible?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Alberto Rios

We live in secret cities
And travel unmapped roads.
We speak words between us that we recognize
But which can't be looked up.
They are our words
They come from very far inside our mouths.
You and I, we are the secret citizens of the city
Inside us, and inside us
There go all the cars we have driven
And seen, there are all the people
We know and have known, there
Are all the places that are
But which used to be as well. This is where.
They went. they did not disappear.
We each take a piece
Through the eye and through the ear.
It's loud inside us, in there, and when we speak
In the outside world
We have to hope that some of that sound
Does not come out, that an arm
Not reach out
In place of a tongue.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Flavia Cosma

Snowflakes pounced at the car windows,
Smashed against frozen pane
To crumble on the road and then to stand again.
Gathering their cursing in hurried counsel,
With its breast white and withered by high winds.
The highway, unleashed, raced
Towards a certain place unseen in the distance,
Like the frog who preordained dashes
Toward the open mouth of a snake, and jumps.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Elsa Cross

They barely emerge from the shadow
Their mumurs raise gentle signs
at the foot of the foundation.
Their white tennis shoes gleam.
Far from those stones,
returned to one another,
they forget in their lips
the scream of the massacres,
chests opened by dint of obsidian
or bayonet--
Indifferent to the shadow that covers them,
the young lovers murmur or stay silent,
while the night grows over the ruins,
bolts down the plinths of the temples,
the inscriptions.
Over there the urn
with two skeletons embracing
in their dusty deathbed,
beneath the crystal where the flowers
of an offering are drying.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Alejandra Pizamik

And it was then
that with a dead and cold tongue in his mouth
he sang the song they didn't let him sing
in this world of obscene gardens and of shadows
that came at the wrong time to remind him
of songs from his boyhood
in which he couldn't sing the song he couldn't sing
the song they didn't let him sing
except through his absent mouth
through his absent voice.
Then from the highest tower of absence
his song echoes in the opacity of the hidden
in the silent extension
full of shifting hollows like the words I write

Sunday, February 21, 2010

William Blake

Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never can be;
For the gentle wind doth move
Silently, invisibly.
I told my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears,
Ah! She did depart!
Soon after she was gone from me,
A traveller came by,
Silently, invisibly:
He took her with a sigh.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Go! obedient to my call.
Turn to profit thy young days.
Wiser make betimes thy breast
In Fate's balance as it sways.
Seldom is the cock at rest.
Thou must either mount or fall.
Thou must either rule and win.
Or submissively give in.
Triumph, or else yield to clamour
Be the anvil or the hammer

Friday, February 19, 2010

Marvin Bell

We need some pines to assuage the darkness
when it blankets the mind
we need a silvery stream that banks as smoothly
as a plane's wing and a worn bed of
needles to pad the rumble that fills the mind.
and a blur or two of a wild thing
that sees and is not seen. We need all these things
between appointments, after work,
and, if we keep them, then someone someday,
lying down after a walk
and supper, with the fire hole wet down,
the whole night sky set at a particular
time, without numbers or hours, will cause
a little sound of thanks--a zipper or a snap--
to close round the moment and the thought
of what ever good we did.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

San Juan

Saint John of the Cross
O flame of living love, that dost eternally
Pierce my soul with so consuming heat,
Since there's no help above,
Make thou an end of me,
And break the bond of this encounter sweet.
O burn that burns to heal!
O more than pleasant wound!
And O soft hand, O touch most delicate,
That dost new life reveal,
That dost in grace abound,
And, slaying, dost from death to life translate!
O lamps of fire that shined
With so intense a light
That those deep caverns where the senses live,
Which were obscure and blind,
Now with strange glories bright,
Both heat and life to his beloved give!
With how benign intent
Rememberest thou my breast,
Where thou alone abidest secretly;
And in thy sweet ascent,
With glory and good possessed,
How delicately thou teachest love to me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

John Keats

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art--
Not in lone splendour hung alot the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--
No - yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel forever its soft fall and swell,
Awake forever in a sweet unrest
Still, to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever--or else swoon to death.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mirta Rosenberg

My children are by far my greatest revolution
Twice I orbited complete
like a gravid planet
around the sun. I wrote new names
in the celestial script, with disquiet,
alarm, sedition.
I toasted them with other women,
with whiskey and with beer.
in the planet where we women drink a toast
to things that grow, and despite them.
Happy and ill-fated I made my revolution
a conquest and an open wound
of those times when I orbited complete.
I keep it fresh to let enter me
a certain unrecognisable family air
that now my children exhale
as naturally as can be.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Xi Chuan

One stormy night I will open by myself
The lonely locked room beside me
I may find a candle-stub, a box of matches
A bolt of spiritual lightning to set me shivering
A stone sinks in the ocean five hundred metres off shore
The soul of a bird nesting in the cliffs is fervent and imperilled
Yes, the ocean is nearby, one stormy night
I will listen to pounding of waves and light the candle
Write life's sun on the land
And the death date of all things
But I am a young man walking towards the sea
After experiencing hardships I will be fully fledged
Three knocks on the door reverberate in my heart
The tide leaps on the sandy shore like a great host of turtles
This night's dagger, this flotsam from a seaborne ship
I pat the ancient ark, the bright moon hangs high
One stormy night I will open by myself
The lonely locked room beside me

Saturday, February 13, 2010

jorge Andrade

stonecutter of time.
Obdurate chisel, pendulum,
striking the hardest wall of night.
The vanilla awakens, composing
a suite of fragrances in the armoire.
Overseer of the clocks work,
silence moves about in hushed slippers.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Alberto Blanco

Barefoot at times
at other times shod
pearl without shell
shell without pearl
Silent at times
other times rowdy
as if ready
to take over the sky
Weather life appear
and as suddenly dissolve
like a stratagem
the light of limestone
can outdo the sun
of our celebrations
The majority of bones
lying scattered in the earth
are greatly in limestone's debt
Either for metamorphosis
for the resurrection of metals
or the omnipresence of death

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Liana Mejia

All you do
is laugh with the complicity
of those who murder silence
while you continue hammering
doors and windows
crushing little
clay cathedrals.
Madness shines in your eyes
like a rose of
glass and neon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Carlos Barbarito

With a bottlewasher, 3 hooked safety pins
and a wing nut
it is possible to create a world.
And with bicycle wheels,
boxes, typewriter cases,
hall-stands, glass bubbles,
dust, bottles of perfume,
cardboard, grease, nails, iodine, golden stars.
A world no less beautiful than this one,
no less terrible

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Miguel Hernandez

Because of your feet, where your beauty ends
in ten fragments of whiteness, more a dance,
a dove ascends to your waist,
an unending balm falls to earth.
Along with your feet goes the wonder
of nacre, in a ridiculous narrowness,
and where your feet go whiteness goes,
a dog sowing anklets of jasmine.
At your feet, as much foam as shore,
sand and sea reach me , and ebb from me,
I try to enter the sheepfold of your sole
I enter and let myself pass to your soul itself,
with the loving voice of grapes:
trample my heart, now it's ripe

Monday, February 8, 2010

Jorge Luis Borges

It opens, the gate to the garden
with the docility of a page
that frequent devotion questions
and inside, my gaze
has no need to fix on objects
that already exist, exact, in memory.
I know the customs and souls
and that dialect of allusions
that every human gathering goes weaving.
I've no need to speak
nor claim false privilege;
they know me well who surround me here,
know well my afflictions and weakness.
This is to reach the highest thing,
that Heaven perhaps will grant us:
no admiration or victory
but simply to be accepted
as part of an undeniable Reality,
like stones and trees.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Feng-kan (Big Stick)

Actually there isn't a thing
much less any dust to wipe away
who can master this
doesn't need to sit there stiff.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dunya Mikhail

When you respond to to my email,
all of the planets swirl about me,
even Pluto joining in.
The caterpillar announces herself as a butterfly.
The grapes ripen for me
and stretch their tendrils into my neighbour's garden.
Ishtar comes back to life
and sings her song
for the ruined cities,
washes the dust off her face,
spins like an elegant dancer,
sends all the soldiers back home
to the arms of their loved ones,
and bandages the broken leg
of this little bird,
who was also wounded
in the land between two rivers.
She counts the holes
in her robe
and goes to sleep,
but I'm still waiting for your email.
The screen reflects my tired eyes
and the hands of my watch are embracing
in the middle of your silence

Friday, February 5, 2010

Antonio Franco Alexandre

Stashed under my mattress I've got
the cleanest heart on earth,
like a fish washed by the rain
that floods me deep down.
I wake up each day with a different body
from the one I went to bed with,
and I'm never sure if what I am
is the project or memory of what I was.
I hug the powerful but accurate arms
that brought me last night to where I am,
and as I sip coffee I read today's weather
in the leaves of the parks trees.
Later on I'll cross the bridges
to buy, sell and trade life on fire,
but cautiously, lest I scorch
my artful princess's hands.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Octavio Paz

Between going and staying the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.
All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can't be touched.
Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.
Time throbbing in my temples repeats,
the same unchanging syllable of blood.
The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.
I find myself in the middle of an eye
watching in its blank stare.
The moment scatters. Motionless.
I stay and go: I am a pause.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Salvador Diaz Miron

White and delicate, like white lilies,
hardly visible amongst the cloak,
the hands...the hands that do not break my chains.
Blue and strewn with a sand of gold,
blue and golden as unclouded nights,
the eyes...the eyes that contemplate my sins.
White the neck as the dove's snowy breast,
beard and hair like to the mane of the sun,
and like to silver the shapely foot unshod.
Mild and sad the face, the garment blue...
Thus across the mighty lake of evil
Jesus came to my unction, as to the bark.
And the pinnacle glittered on my spirit
its fleeting and abundant certitude,
as though with radiance of reflected light.
So he wants to come and give me back
the faith that saves and the illusion that gladdens,
and for a flash my dark soul is aflame.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tomas Transtromer

I stepped ashore one May night
in the cool moonshine
where grass and flowers grey
but the scent green.
I glided up the slope
in the color-blind night
while white stones
signalled to the moon.
A period of time
a few minutes long
fifty-eight years wide
And behind me
beyond the lead-shimmering waters
was the other shore
and those who ruled.
People with a future
instead of a face.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Delmira Agustini

I live. I die. I burn. I drown.
I endure at once chill and cold
Life is at once too soft and too hard.
I have sore troubles mingled with joys.
Suddenly I laugh and at the same time cry
And in pleasure many a grief I endure
My happiness wanes and yet it lasts unchanged
All at once I dry up and grow green.
Thus I suffer love's inconstancies
And when I think the pain is most intense
Without thinking it is gone again.
Then when I feel my joys certain
And my hour of greatest delight arrived
I find my pain beginning all over once again