Monday, August 31, 2015

Alejandro Carrion Aguirre (1915-1992)


It may be that the beauty of landscapes
exists only in our eyes:
Tomorrow, no other landscape will be seen
than a church in flames,
and then we shall have lost the count
of clenched hands:
for we shall have risen by then
and sown with our cries
that field which before was the realm of silence only.
A hundred million bullets will have sped
to explore the breasts of a hundred million men,
and we shall see the crumbling battalions fall
like kernels of corn.
Beside what was once a house
a deaf child, entranced, will watch
a rose of blood blossoming upon a breast
from the narrow cranny of a wound.
(No longer sweet landscapes,
no longer songs of birds to beguile our hunger,
no longer pods singing the beauty of the stars
and the gay curves of riggish females).
We shall all have gone back to the earth
and we shall feel that our roots are growing into it.
And while the fanes burn red, color of blood,
since the seed of that flame will have sprung from our very hearts,
our lips will sing a strong hymn of total owning,
of endless joy, above that new earth
that will have flowered as never before,
made fertile by a hundred million dead.
men and machines,
in their eyes an unknown new light,
their breasts swollen with the recent song,
shall march, gravely, through the falling dusk,
searching for silence.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Roberto Tejada

For days to situate the flesh in whose inadequate precinct
motionless: a monolith of the often spoken
of which nothing is

certain: or abstract of whose gender to the use
of all acknowledged desire formal
parlance & pronoun

to form the stars across your back: whose hardened
muscle: tremendous lateral delta
of which to the shoulders:

there is a way from yes: the very inside an eternal
tick of the left eye: a language
not only illegible as

the vain translation of a fictive contradictory
self & its consonant verb to be:
but the body’s crystal

falling through a grey film of failed memory
& brushfire this Autumn midnight:
to unfold (in the form

of your body) pleasured corners of a place
in which the difficult new breathing
and I are foreigners

Friday, August 28, 2015

David Huerta

Heaven’s Kitchen

Heaven's kitchen is supplied with infernal utensils,
sagging, lilac-coloured cauldrons, fat forks
between whose prongs are tangled strings
of archangels' spit and frayed voices
that rose from the left-hand shirt of God.
A soup was being cooked when Love appeared,
a rare broth sprinkled with flaming scriptures
and glints of seaside holidays. The oil became fire,
seeped into the skin and stayed, vigorous,
iridescent, in the eyes of the blessed.
The elaborate coven stopped work: elongated odours
invaded the heavenly kitchen; pure spices
for the feverish construction of Spring
and its rippling; Aprils whose flowers are teeth,
whose jaws are crammed with dragonflies;
Eros's entire wardrobe for the Salad
with its curled coiffure; the brilliance of stabbed embraces
and the sea of hands, blue as can be, multiplying.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Willard Pomare-Escalona


Is freedom given? Is freedom taken?
Should San Andres sit, sit like the beggar?
Beg for freedom, beg to get better,
Or defy the oppressor, and our soul deliver.

Take your freedom, take it now!
For only beggars have no choice,
But we not beggars, we not dumb,
Take your freedom, take it now.

Take your freedom, it will be rough, 
Speak it , walk it, sing it loud,
At freedom table, sit and chow, 
Take your freedom, make it known.

Take your freedom, take it now!
With prison jail, chain and bars,
Just but few steps, from freedom hall,
Take your freedom, take it all.

Take your freedom, take it all!
Some may say, we will not thrive,
The sea the land blessed, God will provide,
Take your freedom, take it boy!

Take your freedom, take your land!
No more the oppressor, chain our hands,
Nicaragua or Colombia, none we want,
Take your freedom, take it man.

If take not freedom, but candy bars,
Come with offers, low wages brought,
And lies repeated, believe them all,
You’re still slave minded, get freedom y’all.

Take your freedom, and life preserve,
Endure the hardship, with death sentence roam,
Like great Mandela, in South Africa endured,
Take your freedom, free those who’ll come.

Take your freedom, from oppressors hand,
Nicaragua Colombia, distress our land, 
Are both slave drivers, from Spain they learned,
Take your freedom, it’s God’s command.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Rafael Pantino (b.1947)

If the hoopoe commands a flock of flights
The jealous man frowns and extends his delirium,
If his love swims in the stillness of the alabaster
The jealous man turns his bony wheel

What will carry me away — he asks himself —
Perhaps the sparkling of the young Caucasian
Which inhabits me between short breaths . . .

The mastiff that barks in the quarry of being
What else does it announce but the lover’s cut-off head?

He who squeezes his nocturne
And drains his glance on the rampart of the day
He has truly no fervor nor dreams nor rest
Ten young men swim naked
In the dark pond of his eyes
Since the jealous man amuses himself sucking his blood
While phantoms copulate
In the dark lava of his fate

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ramon de Valle-Inclán (1866-1936)

Eastern Rose
A feline grace is hers when walking,
profound echoes fill her form,
her dark mouth with Moorish fraud
lisps such tales as of Aladdin.
Her eyes are black, sultry, wily,
her smile is sad with ancient lore,
her flowery skirt's a sough of spells
of Indian and of sacred store.
In an Eastern garden her hand plucked
the apple of the sanctioned tree,
and the Serpent, coiling round her breasts,
bestows on lust a sacred sense.
In the limpid darkness of her eyes
the light is a sibilation.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Charles Beaudelaire (1821-1867)

by: Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)

      he hour approacheth, when, as their stems incline,
      The flowers evaporate like an incense urn,
      And sounds and scents in the vesper breezes turn;
      A melancholy waltz—and a drowsiness divine.

      The flowers evaporate like an incense urn,
      The viol vibrates like the wailing of souls that repine.
      A melancholy waltz—and a drowsiness divine,
      The skies like a mosque are beautiful and stern.

      The viol vibrates like the wailing of souls that repine;
      Sweet souls that shrink from chaos vast and etern,
      The skies like a mosque are beautiful and stern,
      The sunset drowns within its blood-red brine.

      Sweet souls that shrink from chaos vast and etern,
      Essay the wreaths of their faded Past to entwine,
      The sunset drowns within its blood-red brine,
      Thy thought within me glows like an incense urn.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Syl Cheney-Coker (b.1945)

Of Hope and Dinosaurs

Always, we searched in the stone river,
while the slaughterhouse was waiting for us,
long before we turned the saccharin of words
into inflammable brawls.
Full of ancient gluttony,
we have fed our appetites, eating with hasty mouths
what was meant for our own Passover.

It is thus that we shall be remembered:
the curse on the bellwether, crumbled destinies,
although it was possible, once again,
like some extinct creatures, to wish for another life.

After the charnel house, what was this green pasture
we were promised, when impatient like thirsty cadavers,
we hurried that morning to crown the new emperor,
who was really unveiling his ancient lust?
Even so, someone was saying a new king deserves
vestal virgins, white roosters and the finest harvest—
a crest on his head woven by our hands,
using the most precious leaves; an aged wine
offered to a Messiah, only to be deceived by the false crown
in his teeth, soon after we had silenced the red barbarians.

The chosen was what we could have been,
but since we have only one story to tell:
whether it be of The Athens of West Africa
or the song of the Wretched of the earth—
in our font of secrets, where we change
the name of Christ with our miscreant voices,
—always this ridiculous viaticum—
let us now imagine the face of a different Messiah,
touching his gown with our bloody hands.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Alfonsina Storni (1892-1938)

Lighthouse in the Night

The sky a black sphere,
the sea a black disk.

The lighthouse opens
its solar fan on the coast.

Spinning endlessly at night,
whom is it searching for

when the mortal heart
looks for me in the chest?

Look at the black rock
where it is nailed down.

A crow digs endlessly
but no longer bleeds.

Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957)

To See Him Again

Never, never again?
Not on nights filled with quivering stars,
or during dawn's maiden brightness
or afternoons of sacrifice?

Or at the edge of a pale path
that encircles the farmlands,
or upon the rim of a trembling fountain,
whitened by a shimmering moon?

Or beneath the forest's
luxuriant, raveled tresses
where, calling his name,
I was overtaken by the night?
Not in the grotto that returns
the echo of my cry?

Oh no.
To see him again --
it would not matter where --
in heaven's deadwater
or inside the boiling vortex,
under serene moons or in bloodless fright!

To be with him.

every springtime and winter,
united in one anguished knot
around his bloody neck!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

Fields of Soria

 Hills of silver plate,
grey heights, dark red rocks
through which the Duero bends
its crossbow arc
round Soria, shadowed oaks,
stone dry-lands, naked mountains,
white roads and river poplars,
twilights of Soria, warlike and mystical,
today I feel, for you, 
in my hearts depths, sadness,
sadness of love! Fields of Soria,
where it seems the stones have dreams,
you go with me! Hills of silver plate,
grey heights, dark red rocks.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Octavio Paz (1914-1998)

Between going and staying the day wavers

 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 myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters.
I stay and go: I am a pause.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sandra Cisneros (b.1954)


If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper.
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Before you became a cloud, you were an ocean, roiled and
murmuring like a mouth.
You were the shadows of a cloud cross-
ing over a field of tulips.
You were the tears of a man who cried
into a plaid handkerchief.
You were the sky without a hat.
heart puffed and flowered like sheets drying on a line.

And when you were a tree, you listened to the trees and the tree
things trees told you.
You were the wind in the wheels of a red
You were the spidery Mariatattooed on the hairless arm
of a boy in dowtown Houston.
You were the rain rolling off the
waxy leaves of a magnolia tree.
A lock of straw-colored hair
wedged between the mottled pages of a Victor Hugo novel.
crescent of soap.
A spider the color of a fingernail.
The black nets
beneath the sea of olive trees.
A skein of blue wool.
A tea saucer
wrapped in newspaper.
An empty cracker tin.
A bowl of blueber-
ries in heavy cream.
White wine in a green-stemmed glass.

And when you opened your wings to wind, across the punched-
tin sky above a prison courtyard, those condemned to death and
those condemned to life watched how smooth and sweet a white
cloud glides.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004)

Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.
Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesnt matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesnt always understand.

Czeslaw Milosz

Monday, August 17, 2015

Delmira Agustini (1886-1914)

I Live I Die I Burn I Drown

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 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.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986)

The Art of Poetry

To gaze at a river made of time and water
and remember Time is another river.
To know we stray like a river
and our faces vanish like water.

To feel that waking is another dream
that dreams of not dreaming and that the death
we fear in our bones is the death
that every night we call a dream.

To see in every day and year a symbol
of all the days of man and his years,
and convert the outrage of the years
into a music, a sound, and a symbol.

To see in death a dream, in the sunset
a golden sadnesssuch is poetry,
humble and immortal, poetry,
returning, like dawn and the sunset.

Sometimes at evening there's a face
that sees us from the deeps of a mirror.
Art must be that sort of mirror,
disclosing to each of us his face.

They say Ulysses, wearied of wonders,
wept with love on seeing Ithaca,
humble and green. Art is that Ithaca,
a green eternity, not wonders.

Art is endless like a river flowing,
passing, yet remaining, a mirror to the same
inconstant Heraclitus, who is the same
and yet another, like the river flowing.

Jorge Luis Borges                  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bob Kaufman (1925-1986)


By Bob Kaufman 1925–1986       

Share this text ...?

Bob Kaufman, “[THE NIGHT THAT LORCA COMES]” from The Ancient Rain. Copyright © 1981 by Bob Kaufman. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Zang Di

Room and a Plum Tree

There was a moment after all
when the woman in the room was young
standing still before the window of April
On her slim shoulders landed two white pigeons

But perhaps there were no pigeons
It was her branching body
that made us feel the dew-wet tranquility
and hot intestines sprouting from her deep veins

The plum tree bloomed full like stars
illuminating her face with its first flowering
and through her glowing gaze
framed the bluest mystery in that room

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Boris Pasternak (1890-1960)

The Drowsy Garden

The drowsy garden scatters insects
Bronze as the ash from braziers blown.
Level with me and with my candle,
Hang flowering worlds, their leaves full-grown.

As into some unheard-of dogma
I move across into this night,
Where a worn poplar age has grizzled
Screens the moon's strip of fallow light,

Where the pond lies, an open secret,
Where apple bloom is surf and sigh,
And where the garden, a lake dwelling,
Holds out in front of it the sky.

Boris Pasternak :

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799-1837)

The Last Flower

Rich the first flower's graces be,
But dearer far the last to me;
My spirit feels renewal sweet,
Of all my dreams hope or desire--
The hours of parting oft inspire
More than the moments when we meet!
Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin :

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966)

Sunshine Has Filled The Room

Sunshine has filled the room
with clear golden specks of dust.
I woke up and remembered,
dear, it was your birthday.

But far beyond my windows
snow has covered the ground,
And made me forget, so now to atone,
I sleep without dreams.
Anna Akhmatova :

Monday, August 10, 2015

Aleister Crowley (1875-1947)

The Tent

Only the stars endome the lonely camp,
Only the desert leagues encompass it;
Waterless wastes, a wilderness of wit,
Embattled Cold, Imagination's Cramp.
Now were the Desolation fain to stamp
The congealed Spirit of man into the pit,
Save that, unquenchable because unlit,
The Love of God burns steady, like a Lamp.

It burns ! beyond the sands, beyond the stars.
It burns ! beyond the bands, beyond the bars.
And so the Expanse of Mystery, veil by veil,
Burns inward, plume on plume still folding over
The dissolved heart of the amazéd lover-
The angel wings upon the Holy Grail!

W'aint t' Aissha.
Aleister Crowley :

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Scott Sweeney

Autumn Beach

It’s Black Friday,
and we’re miles from any mall, where
will trample whoever opens doors
at the Wal-Mart
at six in the morning. Evening, waves
tumble ashore to
the echo of Thanksgiving,
tossing billions of dead
bivalves over the island sand.
Promised rains never came and,
as night falls—unfolds its Orion,
Cassiopeia, its Seven
Sisters—twinkling stars eons dead—
it’s Mumbai on T.V., it’s the Taj,
the Oberoi, blood on the stairs and
searching room to room,
but not our room, where the only red
is your skin echoing
the rumble of a sauna tub
and, lying with door open,
your warm mouth echoes the pounding
of the Gulf.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930)

The Dandy’s Jacket
I’ll sew myself a pair of black trousers
from the velvet of my own voice.
A yellow jacket from three yards of sunset.
I’ll saunter along the boulevards of the world,
along its burnished stripes,
like Don Juan—dressed to kill.

Let the earth yell and scream, overripe from too much rest:
“Spring is fresh and green, and you’re going out to violate her!”
I throw myself at the sun, smirking,
“Too bad—it feels good to glide along the asphalt.”

Isn’t it because the sky is blue
And the earth is my lover, all cleaned up for the occasion,
I give you poetry. It’s fun, like puppets,
and sharp and useful, like toothpicks.

Women love me, and now this
girl, looking at me as intimately as a sister.
Toss your smiles to me, the poet.
I’ll sew them onto my fancy jacket like flowers.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Gwendolyn MacEwen (1941-1987)

Memoirs of a Mad Cook

Gwendolyn MacEwen
From:   The Armies of the Moon. Toronto: Macmillan, 1972

Thre's no point kidding myself any longer,
I just can't get the knack of it ; I suspect
there's a secret society which meets
in dark cafeterias to pass on the art
from one member to another.
It's so personal preparing food for someone's
insides, what can I possibly know
about someone's insides, how can I presume
to invade your blood?
I'll try, God knows I'll try
but if anyone watches me I'll scream
because maybe I'm handling a tomato wrong,
how can I know if I'm handling a tomato wrong?

something is eating away at me
with splendid teeth

Wistfully I stand in my difficult kitchen
and imagine the fantastic salads and soufflés
that will never be.
Everyone seems to grow thin with me
and their eyes grow black as hunters' eyes
and search my face for sustenance.
All my friends are dying of hunger,
there is some basic dish I cannot offer,
and you my love are almost as lean
as the splendid wolf I must keep always
at my door.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wendell Berry (b. 1934)

Like The Water

Like the water
of a deep stream,
love is always too much.
We did not make it.
Though we drink till we burst,
we cannot have it all,
or want it all.
In its abundance
it survives our thirst.

In the evening we come down to the shore
to drink our fill,
and sleep,
while it flows
through the regions of the dark.
It does not hold us,
except we keep returning to its rich waters

We enter,
willing to die,
into the commonwealth of its joy.
Wendell Berry :

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Denise Levertov (1923-1997)

Seeing For A Moment

I thought I was growing wings—
it was a cocoon.

I thought, now is the time to step
into the fire—
it was deep water.

Eschatology is a word I learned
as a child: the study of Last Things;

facing my mirror—no longer young,
the news—always of death,
the dogs—rising from sleep and clamoring
and howling, howling,

I see for a moment
that's not it: it is
the First Things.

Word after word
floats through the glass.
Towards me.

Denise Levertov :

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Judith Pordon


She welcomes hello
with eyelashes that blink
in waves
and I am the shore,
the resting place for her smile.

She shrinks
with fragile breath
bolstered by a long silver cord,
as if connected to heaven.
God makes oxygen machines.

She says bye
but my stomach says
and I wonder when I return
if she'll be here.

Empty space
will wave to me.
A hurricane
with a magnitude of years.
And the richter scale of sobs
will be shooting off the charts.

Judith Pordon

Monday, August 3, 2015

Linda Pastan

Wind Chill

The door of winter
is frozen shut,

and like the bodies
of long extinct animals, cars

lie abandoned wherever
the cold road has taken them.

How ceremonious snow is,
with what quiet severity

it turns even death to a formal

Alone at my window, I listen
to the wind,

to the small leaves clicking
in their coffins of ice.

Linda Pastan :

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Emily Pauline Johnson (1861-1913)

Low Tide At St. Andrews


The long red flats stretch open to the sky,
Breathing their moisture on the August air.
The seaweeds cling with flesh-like fingers where
The rocks give shelter that the sands deny;
And wrapped in all her summer harmonies
St. Andrews sleeps beside her sleeping seas.

The far-off shores swim blue and indistinct,
Like half-lost memories of some old dream.
The listless waves that catch each sunny gleam
Are idling up the waterways land-linked,
And, yellowing along the harbour's breast,
The light is leaping shoreward from the west.

And naked-footed children, tripping down,
Light with young laughter, daily come at eve
To gather dulse and sea clams and then heave
Their loads, returning laden to the town,
Leaving a strange grey silence when they go,--
The silence of the sands when tides are low.
Emily Pauline Johnson :