Sunday, March 28, 2010

Armando Romero

Determined to remember,
as an ocean swept over his pen
he gathered his words together
like pebbles on a beach.
Siting there he started tapping them
one against the other
and in the splinters that sprang away
he saw faces, wild tresses.
He could not hold back
the outbreak of cries
and rushed into the water,
with the sky for infinity.
His memories turned the page
into a whirlpool.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ted Hughes

Is he his own strength?
What is its signature?
Or is he a key, cold feeling
To the fingers of prayer?
He is a prayer-wheel, his heart hums.
His eating is the wind--
Its patient power of appeal.
His footprints assail infinity
With signatures. We are here, we are here.
He is the long waiting for something
To use him for some everything
Having so carefully made him
Of nothing.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Deborah Ager

You know how it is waking
from a dream certain you can fly
and that some one, long gone, returned
and you are filled with longing
for a brief moment, to drive off
the road and feel nothing
or to see the loved one and feel
everything. Perhaps one morning
taking brush to hair you'll wonder
how much of your life you've spent
at this task or signing your name
or rising in fog in near darkness
to ready for work. Day begins
with other people's needs first
and your thoughts disperse like breath
in the in-between hour, the solitary hour,
before day begins all the world
gradually reappears car by car.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Vera Pavlova

Learn to look past,
to be the first to part.
Tears, saliva, sperm
are no solvents for solitude.
On gilded wedding bowls,
on prostitutes' plastic cups,
an eye can see, if skilled,
solitude's bitter residue.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tomas Transtromer

2a.m.moonlight. The train has stopped
out in a field. Far-off sparks of light from a town,
flickering coldly on the horizon.
As when a man goes so deep into his dream
he will never remember that he was there
when he returns again to his room.
Or when a person goes so deep into a sickness
that his days all become some flickering sparks, a swarm,
feeble and cold on the horizon.
The train is entirely motionless.
2 o'clock: strong moonlight, few stars.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jaime Sabines

I don't know it for certain, but I imagine
that a man and a woman
fall in love one day,
little by little they come to be alone,
something in each heart tells them that they are alone,
alone on the earth they enter each other,
they go filling each other.
It all happens in silence. The way
light happens in the eye.
Love unites bodies.
They go on filling each other with silence.
One day they wake up, over their arms.
They think they know the whole thing.
They see themselves naked and they know the whole thing.
(I'm not sure about this. I imagine it.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Maggie Dietz

Light crested as the leaves moved from
green to green, like breathing.
From the roof:jungle, cane and sea
moved from the rhythms of wind sickle
and tide--various bodies.
None more naked than the pink,
transparent lizards whose entire workings-
gut, muscle and vein- were visible to
the naked eye as they climbed the walls
visible through them.
Evenings, music and the hard-
working moon-so many chinks and spaces
through which to make patterns.
Bodies moved together in patterns
toward nakedness.
Beneath us the cats brawled, fucked,
and cried like babies, cried so high and deep
the music couldn't drown them out.
Now and then, a mango fell with a thud
or a giant moth made shapes against the flames.
The elements were welcome. Not one
thing did not hunger to be changed.
the heat ran like a river between us all.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Jorge Luis Borges

When sorrow lays us low
for a second we are saved
by humble windfalls
by the mindfulness or memory:
the taste of a fruit, the taste of water,
the face given back to us by a dream,
the first jasmine of November,
the endless yearning of the compass,
the book we thought was lost,
the throb of a hexameter,
the slight key that opens a house to us,
the smell of a library, or of sandalwood,
the former name of a street,
the colors of a map,
an unforeseen etymology,
the smoothness of a filed fingernail,
the date we were looking for,
the twelve dark bell-strokes, tolling as we count
of sudden physical pain.
Eight million Shinto deities
travel secretly through the earth.
Those modest gods touch us-
touch us and move on.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Alvaro Miranda

Diurnal night of spiritual bathing
and Andean calabash where silence does no fit
night of paralytic rain in the middle of space
foreign night of cancerous light
of tamale crumbs between nests of vultures
tulle night on a paper vessel's course
Night of air's husk
of nap of stars under the weeping of willows
night shrouded by clouds
in a rosary of bright rebel stars
timid night of rosy dawn cheeks
and of a doll broken by a mammoths blow.
Night of jelly on a pewter plate
cardboard night between rats' teeth
and of drowned men in the axis of the sea
pointless Christmas night among the fumes
of epileptic party-goers
Crucified night between a thief of dreams
of foam and of truths.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Diane DiPrima

The weighing is done in autumn
and the sifting
what is to be threshed
is threshed in autumn
what is to be gathered is taken
the wind does not die in autumn
the moon
shifts endlessly thru flying clouds
in autumn the sea is high
& a golden light plays everywhere
making it harder
to go one's way
all leavetaking is in autumn
where there is leavetaking
it is always autumn
& the sun is a crystal ball
on a golden stand
& the wind
cannot make the spruce scream
loud enough.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alvaro Marin

I could say silver sky or blue moon
but that is not my voice
and if I drew a star
it is only to drive away my shadow.
Fortune teller of the night, decipher these waters:
I am the lonely sea approaching your lonely shores.
And today I would like to transform my voice
into a sea of light for the thirst of your night;
let my footsteps have
the resonance of dawn when I look for your footprint
and not the surrender of the sun's suicide at day's end.
Let my words be a rustle of wings
and at the moment of writing the word love
let a flock of birds appear
to silence the noise of the bones of the air.
And if it is because of my water's dance
in the night of your body,
let desire give us back
the sweet and painful memory of paradise lost.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Boris Pasternak

The sun is hotter than the top ledge in a steam bath;
The ravine, crazed, is rampaging below
Spring -that corn-fed, husky milkmaid-
Is busy at her chores with never a letup.
The snow is wasting (pernicious anemia-
See those branching veinlets of impotent blue?)
Yet in the cowbarn life is burbling, steaming,
And the lines of pitchforks simply glow with health.
These days--these days and these nights also,
With eavesdrop thrumming its tattoos at noon,
With icicles (cachectic) hanging onto gables,
And with the chattering of rills that never sleep!
All doors are flung open- in stable and cowbarn;
Pigeons peck at oats fallen in the snow,
And the culprit of all this and its life-begetter -
The pile of manure- is pungent with ozone.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Juana de Ibarbourou

Take me now, while it is early
and I bear Dahlia buds in my hand.
Take me now while still
my hair is dark.
Now while I have fragrant flesh
and limpid eyes and rosy skin.
Now, while my nimble foot
wears the living sandal of spring.
Now, while on my lip is laughter
like a quickly shaken bell.
Afterwords...Oh! I know
that I will have none of these later.
And your desire then will be useless
like an offering placed in a tomb.
Take me now while it's still early
and my hands full of tuberoses.
Today, no later. Before night falls
and the flower's fresh center wilts.
Today, not tomorrow. Oh beloved can't you see
that the vine will become a cypress tree.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rudyard Kipling

A rose, in tatters on garden path,
Cried out to God and murmured 'gainst His Wrath
Because a sudden wind at twilight's hush
Had snapped her stem alone of all the bush,
And, God who hears both sun-dried dust and sun
Had pity,whispering to that luckless one.
"Sister in that thou sayest We did not well-
What voices hear st thou when thy petals fell?"
And the rose answered, "In that evil hour
A voice said,'Father, where for falls the flower?'
For lo, the very gossamers are still'
And a voice answered, Son by Allah's will!"
Then softly as a rain-mist on the sward,
Came the Rose and the Answer of the Lord.
"Sister, before We smote the dark in twain,
Ere yet the stars saw one another plain
Time, Tide and Space, We bound unto the task
That thou shouldst fall, and such a one should ask"
Where at the withered flower, all content,
Died as they die whose days are innocent
While he questioned why the flower fell
Got hold of God and saved his soul from hell.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Marie Luise Kaschnitz

The man who dropped death on Hiroshima
Rings bells in the cloister, has taken vows.
The man who dropped death on Hiroshima
Put his head in a noose and hanged himself.
The man who dropped death on Hiroshima
Is out of his mind, is battling with risen souls
Made of atomic dust who are out to attack him.
Every night. Hundreds and thousands of them.
None of it's true.
In fact I saw him the other day
In his front garden, there in the suburb--
With immature hedges and dainty roses.
You need time to make a Forest OF Forgetting
Where some one can hide. Plainly on view
Was the naked, suburban house and the young wife
Standing beside him in her floral dress
And the little girl attached to her hand
And the boy hoisted up on his back
And cracking a whip over his head
And he was easy to pick out
On all fours there on the lawn, his face
Contorted with laughter, because the photographer stood
Behind the hedge, the seeing eye of the world.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Czeslaw Milosz

A day so happy.
Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden.
Hummingbirds were stopping over the honeysuckle flowers.
There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
I knew no one worth my envying him.
Whatever I suffered, I forgot.
To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me
In my body I felt no pain.
When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails

Friday, March 12, 2010

Alfred Brendel

scarcely distinguishable from gods
play in the furrows of our souls
like instrumentalists
painfully but with panache.
When they squeeze us
we whine
like dogs craving to get out
to bark at the dark.
we'd love to bite them
our tormentors
only to find ourselves
biting our own tongues.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pedro Serrano

Gripping wires like clothes pegs,
small seagulls made of wood,
agile and tiny against the brutal blue,
bound to midday, one then another,
moving clothes, arms, smiles,
white breasts, black hoods,
pointed wings aligned, minimal agitation,
until they fly off but one -
which takes wing then flits back,
like a swift goodbye,
breaking free of the morning.
The wires stay put, the sky in intense abandone,
like a Sunday village wedding,
then its done.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jurgen Rooste

in Danish town rivers are flowing
who said there were none
in my dreams danish town roars
like a waterfall
down o'er the edge of the world
each of my thoughts is a flash
from a machine-gun tape
every quiver of my body
is a signal from a radio transmitter
is someone out there
some marvellous amateur?

Tuesday, March 9, 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
Whether life appear
and as suddenly dissolve
like a stratagem
The light of limestone
can outdo the sum
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 for the omnipresence of death.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Xi Chuan

Some day I will sleep forever without waking
Never again will I see the cypresses of the northern plains
These cypresses at their mysterious prayers
These black and dripping churches
These swallows perched stiffly on the rushes
These oil lamps
One day I shall sleep forever without waking
While the wind blowing through the iron branches of the cypresses
Will remain in the heart of a corpse.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Jorge Luis Borges

Mirrors are not more silent
nor the creeping dawn more secretive;
in the moonlight, you are that panther
we catch sight of from afar.
By the inexplicable workings of a divine law,
we look for you in vain;
more remote, even, than the Ganges or the setting sun,
yours is the solitude, yours the secret.
Your haunch allows the lingering
caress of my hand. you have accepted,
since the long forgotten past,
the love of the distrustful hand.
You belong to another time. You are lord
of a place bounded by a dream.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Christopher Brennan

Autumn: the year breathes dully towards its death,
beside its dying sacrificial fire;
the dim world's middle-age of vain desire
is strangely troubled, waiting for the breath
that speaks the winter's welcome malison
to fix it in the unremembering sleep:
the silent woods brood o'er an anxious deep,
and in the faded sorrow of the sun,
I see my dead dreams' colours, one by one,
forth-conjur'd from their smouldering palaces,
fade slowly with the sigh of the passing year.
They wander not nor wring their hands nor weep,
discrown'd belated dreams! but in the drear
and lingering world we sit among the trees
and bow our heads as they, with frozen mouth,
looking, in ashen reverie, towards the clear
sad splendour of the winter of the far south.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Charles Baudelaire

Thou, o my grief, be wise and tranquil still,
The eve is thine which even now drops down,
To carry peace or care to human will,
And in a misty vale enfolds the town.
While the vile mortals of the multitude,
By pleasure, cruel tormentor, goaded on,
Gather remorseful blossoms in light mood--
Grief, place thy hand in mine, let us be gone.
Far from them. Lo see the vanished years,
In robes outworn lean over heaven's rim;
And from the water, smiling through her tears,
Remorse arises, and the sun grows dim;
And in the east, her long shroud trailing light,
List, o my grief, the gentle steps of night.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Claude Esteban

And maybe all was written in the book
and the book got lost
or someone threw it in the brambles
without reading it
no matter, that which was written
abides, even
hidden, another who has not lived
through all that
and without knowing the book's language will understand
each word
and when ha has read it something
of ours will yield
a breath, a kind of smile between the stones

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

de Argensola

Lupercio Leonardo de Argensola
Frightful representation of death,
Cruel sleep, my heart no longer agitate,
By showing me the tight knot has been cut,
Sole consolation for my adverse fate.
Seek out the ramparts of some tyrant strong,
His walls of jasper, ceiling made of gold;
Or seek the miser rich in his poor bed,
And wake him up sweating, trembling, cold
Then let the first see how the angry mob
Breaks down with wrath his iron covered gates,
Or see the hidden blade of lackey bought;
And let the second see his wealth exposed
By stolen key or furious assault:
And let love keep the glories he has wrought.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Jaime Saenz

Desiring yet unable, I dreamt myself in this room and
I dreamt
myself being able,
making a basket of wool toll to keep myself sleeping
and wanting them to come not come and to make not make a
basket of wool toll like a bell promoting a sadness without desire
eliciting A Japanese music that makes me weep wondering
but not hearing
summoning an unsommanable scene that pure luck renders
as when one says
now that this lady summons speaking and that gentleman
speaks summoning
as when one says:
"Come here, little parrot; let's make this basket of yarn toll like
a bell" leaving everyone happy with this Japanese music that
makes me weep, in summoning,
and which goes on eliciting and tolling and goes on playing
through the night.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Alicia Torres

There is in men
an insatiable craving after heights.
They close their eyes and conjure
further delights, an earth less parched.
But, in their splendid innocence, they know nothing.
The sky is eternally blue, and we are beautiful.
But who in this place would declare
I love, I own,
The fruit is ripe, it is today's?
In this place we are all
forever on the side of desire.
Wings to fly to where?
We belong to nobody,
nobody is expecting us,
like an ornament we display.
The half-smile of another death.