Translated by Ron Paul Salutsky
conjugation of metaphysics
Being is a gerund
moving itself in the always
though it moves it cannot always
All that exists has weight
Dancing in existence
stepping on nausea
but make you
a lithe and durable body
It is an unknown
is an unknown
when yet to know
but not knowing or making sense
and that may still have meaning
knowing my bridges
say no to this no to that
but if near you
antagonize this with that
with all the others
tell them no
what they do not want
an even fight with the egos
with them all
with their own consciences
with genre and what else
with the poetic I
with the tiniest of the phenomenological
and with the negations and the negations of those
that contradict to the core and expel
a gray or white jet
“abuse of conscience” I read just now
this same fight
with this above all
conjugation of metaphysics
They say one time a world
in which there are places where a world
does not matter whether fiction or real
they speak of a world
I felt scraps, fragments
that is my greater notion
when I felt it was sufficient
did not matter if it was a world or not
certain it wasn’t god
I say once I felt that a world
I say it happened to me more than once
I say I would still like to do it
Still. Today it is my adverb
while I myself adverb me myself
and I am. Today I am that. It is so clear
it must be a lie
I am looked at with enormous eyes, tearful, bulging
with zeal, with desire
climbs and overwhelms me, which I was a wall
enjoyable because it is known I am not, nor want
I think cruelty
does not think
I’m going to be opened to my temples
There is where it rests
I have other parts. They are stirred
but confusing in the fight will not be able to say
if there are sides, zones. I have temples
in my guts, and guts in the neck
sometimes. Others all there, mixed
but shortish, feel remorse and weep. A good night’s
sleep may resolve it. Well, that does not happen
sometimes I feel like it does not matter
I cannot throw myself on you
thus surrender, annul me
Nor can I stay in myself
being me for the sake of me
So long ago I would
I need you
Still don’t know how
Karen Wild Díaz was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. She studied philosophy at the University of Paris 8-Vincennes-Saint Denis, and is now an assistant professor at the University of the Republic. Her first book in English, Anti-Ferule (Toad Press, 2015) was originally published as Anti-Férula (2013, Buenos Aires: Editorial Itinerante; 2014, Niñobúho cartonera). Her poems have appeared in the Argentine anthology Hijas de diablo, Hijas de santo (2014: Niñobúho cartonera) and in English translation in Blue Lyra Review, Copper Nickel, and América Invertida: An Anthology of Emerging Uruguayan Poets. Karen practices contemporary dance and incorporates performance into her poetry presentations, and she blogs at www.amapurea.blogspot.com.
Ron Paul Salutsky, a native of Somerset, Kentucky, is the author of the poetry collection Romeo Bones (Steel Toe Books, 2013), and translator for Anti-Ferule (Toad Press, 2015), from the Spanish of Karen Wild Díaz. His poetry, translations, fiction, and scholarship have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Colorado Review, Interim, Tupelo Quarterly, Narrative, Juked, John Clare Society Journal, Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Copper Nickel, and América Invertida: An Anthology of Emerging Uruguayan Poets. Ron lives in Ochlocknee, Georgia, and teaches at Southern Regional Technical College. Read more at www.salutsky.com.
from Clavel y tenebrario (Carnation and Tenebrae Candle, 1979)
Translated by Jeannine Marie Pitas
___When they realized what was happening, the
tragedy had already begun. A cloud came, fast, from the
South, and it hovered over the house, black, gray, a
chilling white, filled with hail and whistling, and every
few moments it sprouted a terrible grape.
___And the birds, at death’s door, were
collapsing over the courtyard. The trickster doves, falling
like paper, like memories; and the gold-winged parrots
who’d once made great speeches, on foot, over the orange
tree, were landing far off – without rhyme or reason –
like bunches of multicolored flowers.
___It seemed as if it were the end of
___The souls were afraid and searched for a crack,
the broken eternity.
___I’d like to tell you how things were born.
___When we lived in that house that had nothing in
particular. Almost nothing. With its many bedrooms in which
we put on plays, and the neighbors spied on us through all
the doors and windows. In one of these spaces – but, one
with neither ceiling nor floor – from the earth,
sometimes, from the night until dawn, things were born:
cutlery, graters, plates, pans, cups. Everything there,
meticulous, tender and nearly trembling. We brought these
things into the kitchen in order to use them, and it never
occurred to us to make a business of them.
___And when we moved away to another place no one
spoke about this.
___I tell it to you now, because now it sounds like
___Walking through that field, there appeared, all
of a sudden, those strange things. The people of that place
called them virtues or spirits. But, in truth it was a whole
show of sad beings, nearly immobile, never moving from that
___Substances that seemed from another world,
almost eternal, because the wind and the rain washed them
and polished them again and again. To see those snowflakes,
those drops of cream, those purest mushrooms. Those dews,
those eggs, those mirrors.
___Sculpture, or painting, or writing, never before
seen, but easily deciphered.
___Reading between the lines, the previous day came
back completely, and the future became clear.
___The great, old poets are there, where I have said.
___We put on shows in the gardens, at nightfall,
alongside the cedars and carob trees; the play was
improvised, there on the spot, and I was always afraid of
forgetting my lines, though such a thing never occurred. We
went from here to there among the cedars and orange trees,
and they came to spy on us, to listen to us, the residents
of all the neighboring mansions.
___We also had some animals in the cast; they had
learned to move on stage, to dress up, to put on shoes, and
they even said a few words.
___Throughout my teenage years, I performed in all
___But then, it all fell apart.
___And the animals returned to the forest to resume
their silent lives.
Born in Salto, Uruguay, and raised on her family’s farm, Marosa di Giorgio (1932-2004) is one of the most prominent Uruguayan poets of the twentieth century. Di Giorgio began writing in her childhood and published her first book of poems at the age of twenty-two. She then went on to publish a total of fourteen books of poetry, three collections of short stories, and one novel. While some critics have categorized her as a surrealist, she herself denied membership in any literary movement or school. Although she was relatively unknown outside the Southern Cone during her lifetime, she is now becoming more and more widely read throughout Latin America and Europe. Thanks to the efforts of various translators, she is also becoming more known in the English-speaking world.
Jeannine Marie Pitas is a poet, teacher, and Spanish-English literary translator. She is the translator of Marosa di Giorgio’s The History of Violets (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010) and I Remember Nightfall, a compilation of five books by di Giorgio forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse in Spring 2017. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, and her first full-length poetry book, Things Seen and Unseen, will be published by Quattro Books in Fall 2017. She is currently Assistant Professor of Global Literature at University of Dubuque.
Translated by Greg Nissan
wood lord shaft
shakespeare titus andronicus
the woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull
— titus, act 2, scene 1
in woods in woods the moss-lit paths
the fuck-rich bloodline in tandem
conspiring with the buried drives that were
called victory and roman honorandglory
and did i mention murk mention dread
and scoundrelhour of two brothers that
were called chiron and demetrius: sons
of tamora antiroman miscre-ants of the
anecdote their gothnads antithetically jacked
up for the hunt – in the woods there in the
woods they let their vengeance run their
cocks punched a message into the moss
as from a conduit with three issuing spouts
— titus, act 2, scene 4
don’t say rome and roe don’t say dainty
doe chant hunt not pluck a flower plow
a field not plunder back or bedyard not judge
absolightly take flight in waterworks: to tug
the plug out of the captainless speech out
of the faithless stuttertrough which spills
forth lavinia red the legend you are and are
not oh conduit with three issuing spouts speak
bleakly a word in current flushes past the surface
and with blazon and blabla from the fountain’s
floodmouth blundering now and ever blinder
bids good day: your reader i your re-offender
thou map of woe, that thus dost talk in signs
— titus, act 3, scene 2
the father speaks: you map of woe you thrice
bloody folded-over cipher net-enmeshed
in the markings of scribes how should i
unfold how read how speak for you. shall i
of something other than my pain – you
lack a hand i’ll let mine fall hacked off
and if i knew men dug a grave in your
lap (forgive me i don’t find out till
act 4 scene 1) i’d give my ass instead for
aaron’s führer staff so too should my wrinkles
rummage and cramp into illegibility the
bodies i say are the trouble-shoots of rome
faint-hearted boy, arise, and look upon her
— titus, act 3, scene 1
we read what we saw picking up with
eyes open from the bare retina—
woods-rim filth-fringe foaming at the lids
we didn’t see what occurred in the scene
hollowed behind the densely branching
curtain that spewed you rich with glyphs
onto the screen: a hack and stab fest
into the broadcast of the tongue-root the
daughterbodies flawlessly cut up
in ovidian style stria we saw you
in livestream lavinia we read and in all
eyes you were cataract the dreadgray star
night in f.
in the dunes
you lay out
been gouged out
the white pearl
with the cyclops
Uljana Wolf is a German poet and translator living in Berlin and Brooklyn. She has published four books of poetry, most recently SONNE FROM ORT (kookbooks), a collaborative erasure with Christian Hawkey, and meine schönste lengevitch. i mean i dislike that fate where I was made to where, a translation by Sophie Seita, was published by Wonder in Fall 2015, adding to the three English translations of her work: my cadastre (Nor By Press), false friends (Ugly Duckling Presse), and aliens, an island (Belladonna*). Wolf also translates English-language poets into German, among them John Ashbery, Christian Hawkey, Cole Swensen, and Matthea Harvey. She has received several awards for her poetry and translation, including the prestigious Peter-Huchel-Preis in 2006 for kochanie ich habe brot gekauft, from which these translations are drawn. She teaches German and poetry translation at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
Greg Nissan lives in Berlin, where he’s working on a documentary poetry project as part of a Fulbright grant. His translations of Uljana Wolf have appeared in Asymptote, The Brooklyn Rail, and Two Lines. His poetry is forthcoming from Denver Quarterly and has appeared in Rogue Agent, Small Po
Translated by Hilary Kaplan
(bŏd’ē). n. pl. bod·ies. No-
body’s. Weight and mass
(please don’t confuse them)
attached to surfaces
of the binary code
known as masculine and feminine.
1.a. Geography of self-placement. Area with well-defined borders; dedicated space to dream of dictionaries.
1.b. Locus of focus in terror, hocus pocus of logic in damp orifices.
1.c. Carcass. Back to reality.
the same air
the same two people
2.a. Dangerous standard for the mechanics of purity; the illusion of hygiene.
2.b. Not a tree.
according to preference.
Delivery follows the rules
of genetic production.
with a penis
are a rare treat.
3.a. Unreliable in raincoats. Makeshift and often vacillating. Anything that comes in parts.
3.b. A set of mistakes and misunderstandings known as sanity; a public corporation.
The private sphere
is a nightmare, too.
4.a. A commercial establishment.
4.b. For instructions, refer to manual. And oral.
known as voice
to its definition.
5.a. Gobbledegook that won’t sweat in photos.
5.b. The biggest play about friction. Anal Tommy.
5.c. Machinery to make liquids.
5.d. Fated for lubricants.
If cut or pierced,
6.a. Exclusively for indexes and appendixes.
6.b. For mass, what’s tangible. For matter, rags.
Give it water,
make it celestial.
7. Comfortable furniture that requires maintenance. A collection or quantity, as of material or information: proof of its inflation.
On a map,
YOU ARE HERE.
In which the poet celebrates his twenty-five-year-old lover
for Jannis Birsner
have outlasted your
Congratulations on your success
in exceeding the life
of a giraffe or bat,
Around the world, penguins
conceived at the same time as you, are dying.
has not circled the sun even
since you were a fertilized egg.
who guides me along the thousand trails
to the Zone,
another winter begins to crawl,
my face in your hairless chest.
If I could,
I’d sign a contract
or the Strugatsky brothers,
for our days and future nights;
for the soundtrack,
Diamanda Galás bellows
caws and purrs, we fornicate.
the mind beneath your hair,
attached to your body, erect.
a pig, your contemporary,
the zenith of his rotund
I wonder, exhausted in sweat, if lovers,
at last united, count sheep
sleep, euphoric and pregnant.
The Poet’s Hollywood Dreams
I’d like a script
in which an Estonian army
conspires to stone
& I plato(o)nic at salvation
to the sound of the Rolling Stones.
I’d like science fiction
with Winnie-the-Pooh in coitus
& I in an act of humachine
mixegenation uterize automatons
struck with Sisyphean cramps
to the sound of Sonic Youth.
I’d like a cartoon
in which a tsunamic infection
in franchises devastates amygdalas
from Poughkeepsie to Rangoon
& I shaman develop the vaccine
to the sound of Maysa & Björk.
I’d like an epic porn
from Rob Lowe to Rock Hudson
all hunks and hulks of Hollywood
in rows in collars on all fours
& I’m mixed up in a harem to 8 ½
to the sound of “I’m a slave for U.”
I’d like a western
once again waiting for the barbarians
to invade the Occident
& I a monk copy & paste
to save Oz & Dante from oblivion
to the sound of Portishead.
Ricardo Domeneck is a poet, short fiction writer and essayist, born in Bebedouro, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, in 1977. He has published six volumes of poetry: Carta aos anfíbios (2005), a cadela sem Logos (2007), Sons: Arranjo: Garganta (2009), Cigarros na cama (2011), Ciclo do amante substituível (2012) and Medir com as próprias mãos a febre (2015). His poems, short stories and essays have been published in magazines in Brazil and abroad, including Inimigo Rumor (Brazil), Babelsprech (Germany), Lyrikvännen (Sweden) and Samplekanon (Netherlands). His poems have been translated, included in anthologies of contemporary Brazilian poetry and published in Germany, the United States, Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Sweden, Mexico and Chile. Working also with video and sound poetry, he has performed in galleries and museums such as Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid), Museum of Modern Art (Rio de Janeiro), Museo Experimental El Eco (Mexico City), Akademie der Künste (Berlin) and deSingel International Arts Campus (Antwerp), and he was among the poets and artists who prepared billboard-pieces for the Biennial of the Americas 2013, in Denver, Colorado. He has collaborated with Brazilian and German musicians such as Tetine, Markus Nikolaus (Lea Porcelain) and Uli Buder (Akia). A bilingual anthology of his poems was translated by Odile Kennel and released in Germany with the title Körper: ein Handbuch (Verlagshaus Berlin, 2013), and, in the Netherlands, with the title Het Verzamelde Lichaam (Uitgeverij Perdu, 2015), translated by Bart Vonck. His book Ciclo do amante substituível was translated into Spanish in its entirety by Aníbal Cristobo and published by Kriller71 Ediciones in 2014. Ricardo Domeneck lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
Hilary Kaplan is the translator of Rilke Shake by Angélica Freitas and Ghosts by Paloma Vidal. Her translations of Brazilian poetry and prose have been featured on BBC Radio 4 and in Granta, Modern Poetry in Translation, The White Review, and elsewhere. She speaks frequently on poetry and translation, and has received grants from the PEN Translation Fund and Itaú Cultural.
Translated by Alex Niemi
THE JOHN CAGE EXPERIENCES
The hotel room (during the duration of the experience john cage or his equivalent will stretch his arm desperately toward a bedside lamp that is real and illuminated but nevertheless unreachable)
We ask ourselves what goes on in john cage’s head. We also ask ourselves what he thinks about. After walking many many kilometers. In 1935. In the Arizona desert. John cage. And the future mrs. cage. The fiancée of mr. cage. A superb woman. Certainly. At that point in time. In a baby doll nightdress. Well. They arrive at a hotel. They take a room in a hotel. With a bed. One bed. For two. Wow. It’s. Yes. Sex. It’s. Yes. Very hot. Very hot between john cage and the future mrs. cage. But. After a frugal meal. And even though it’s very hot very sexy between john cage and the future mrs. cage. We ask ourselves why john cage. Once in his
(john cage or his equivalent meaning anybody, you or me, stretches an arm desperately towards a bedside lamp that is real and illuminated, and if the rendering of the experience is done sitting down, at the far end of the table)
bed. After his ablutions. Once the covers are pulled tightly up to his armpits. Stretches his right arm out desperately to turn off the hotel bedside lamp. We ask ourselves why john cage. Comfortably stretched out on his bed. In pale blue pajamas for example something very ugly very astonishingly old-fashioned. Doesn’t just ask his future wife who’s still awake at this hour. Still in the middle of the night. As for her. The ablutions. To turn off the hotel bedside lamp when she comes soon. In 5 minutes. Max. To
(the effort that it costs to stretch out an arm is clearly visible on the face of john cage or his equivalent, anyway we see it if the rendering of the experience is done sitting down… if the rendering of the experience takes place lying down, all the effort will be visible in the body of john cage or his equivalent writhing desperately to reach this damn lamp)
sleep. To join in fact her. Yes. Fiancé. This is the way we say things. In fact. We ask ourselves a lot of things on the subject of john cage a man like everyone else meaning like you and me like you and me. It appears looking as we do here in detail at john cage’s reasons for being and for acting that there is in john cage’s head like in
(if everything takes place lying down, the body of john cage or his equivalent should render the effort without moving too much, john cage’s experience being as mental as it is physical)
anybody’s head a black hole. Well. Then. Meaning. We notice for example how carefully john cage smoothed the sheets and the blanket so that john cage is now in his hotel room perfectly ensconced in a creaseless sarcophagus. The
(here, for a little variety, attempt 2 quick punches in the direction of the lamp)
wallpaper in the room is tearing at the rate of 1 mm per year. Once the drapes are drawn. They don’t let in a single sound from the street. Not a single tire screech for example. Not a single drinking song bellowed by a drunkard. So that. We
(a small jump towards the lamp and that’s it)
can say that. In the hotel room. John cage and the future mrs. cage. Human beings. All the same. Like you and me. Like you and me. Well. They live yes as if in the shadow of an experience. They live an experience withdrawn from the world. So that. Everything that happens in shadow. Everything that happens in the hotel room. Well. Yes. Assumes. John cage thinks. Suddenly nervous. A considerable importance. So that. John cage thinks. Suddenly nervous. There is some of that. Of this experience. Something of. Yes. Well. To get out of it. Without a doubt. Without a doubt. John cage thinks. The composer. The
(take care separating the words and gestures, to let each live in turn and have a space where it can stretch out easily, thinks john cage or his equivalent)
musician. So that. She. The future mrs. cage. A superb woman. That goes without saying. Passes. Phew. Very sexy. Very sexy. By the foot of the bed in a baby doll nightdress. She is vigorously pulling her hair from a brush when john cage sees her pass by the foot of the bed. She even hums a popular tune. And why not something by louis armstrong. It is 1935. All the same. All the same. She still has things to do in the bathroom. Thinks john cage. The composer. When his future. His. Yes. Already. Already. Promised. Vigorously. Passing by the foot of the bed. She pounds the ground.
(barely moving here)
Literally. Her feet are bare and she is hammering the ground. While the future mrs. cage returns to the bathroom. While john cage is wrapped tightly in the sheets and. Desperately. Stretches his arm. The left or the right. Not so important in the end. Not so important. In view of. Yes. Reaching the hotel bedside lamp. In fact its switch. Then turning it off. A clump of hair flies
(here move the hand once and then that’s it)
gracefully into the trash. The wool threads of the full carpet stand up straight. The wallpaper continues to tear. A truck outside backs into a streetlamp. It can’t be heard from the room. It could be guessed from the dimming of the electric bulb’s light but john cage. Absorbed in his thoughts. And in his actions as well. It must be said. Does not notice. No. So that. Yes. John cage’s life in the hotel room is now a dearest future wife doing something bad but what at the bathroom sink. The wallpaper tears imperceptibly in the upper right corner of the room. The feeling of being the object of an experience but what kind. So that. Once a future mrs. cage has finished with the bathroom. Once a future mrs. cage. Very sexy. In a baby doll nightdress. In a baby doll nightdress. Carefully closes the bathroom door. Once the heels of the future mrs. cage circle the bed. So
(And so here john cage or his equivalent gets up from the chair or stands up, goes and turns off the lamp that has been illuminated throughout the entire experience then comes back to either sit in the chair or lie down on the ground, concluding the experience)
that. Now. The future mrs. cage. Superb. Really hot. In a baby doll nightdress. She disturbs the bed’s careful organization. The smooth sheets without a single crease. She. Yes. John cage thinks. Oui. Slides under the. Yes. Oui. Sheets. Like it was nothing. Like it was nothing. Thinks john cage. Who observes her. Without saying anything. From his sarcophagus. From the cozy nest concocted in his bed. Slides yes maybe under the sheets maybe without turning off. Without turning off. The. Yes. Bedside lamp. Unattainable. Out of john cage’s. Reach. Unless with a superhuman. Effort. On his part. By him. John cage. A man. Like anyone. Like you and me. Thinks john cage. From his black hole. From the hole he has. Like anyone. In his head. Somewhere. He thinks. Obliged as he is to get up. To leave the bed. Just to turn off. All the same. All the same. John cage will think. In old-fashioned pajamas. She exaggerates. She exaggerates. That’s all. That’s all that there is to say. That’s all there is to say about john cage. That’s all that there is to say about john cage at the hotel. About the beautiful and terrible experience. Very hot. Very sexy. Of john cage at the hotel. In 1935. In Arizona. He will specify. Nothing to add. Later. Much later. Yes.
Vincent Tholomé is a Belgian writer and performer, living in Belgium, eating Belgian food, drinking Belgian drinks, but writing in French and sometimes in English. As a writer, he has published almost twenty books mixing fiction and poetry. As a performer, he works with musicians and reads his writings in a lot of countries (USA, Canada, Russia, Germany, France, Hungary, etc.). Currently, he is working on 2 CDs, 1 short movie and 2 new books. You can also hear some of his works with musicians on the net, here, for instance, or here, or here.
Alex Niemi is an English teacher in Russia. You can read some of her recent work in Dusie and Banango Street. Her translation of The John Cage Experiences by Vincent Tholomé is forthcoming from Autumn Hill Books.