>Translation

Florencia Castellano, Five Poems

Translated by Alexis Almeida

Monitored Property

from neighborhood to neighborhood
a father pulls his car out of the garage
and sings
the same in Olivos
in Quilmes or Colegiales

from block to block
a man with no gray hair
is looking for this type of father
who drives and sings

enough!
a moment in time
can become
late-breaking news

a panoramic view of the sidewalk
medium-sized house unpainted wall and door
garage with a zoom
on the paternal car

the rearview mirror captures perfectly
that repetitive gesture

the premeditation on the hunting trip
of the unpatented gun

the apparition of an unknown child
a cowboy that nods and puffs
his chest toward bullets
and a handsome revolver
“made in China”

all hail!
the gates of heaven also
fight themselves
to the death
same as provincial banks
and the dusty bars
of the Wild West

 

Keeping Ourselves Alert in the Battlefield

gold powder falls
over paternal hair
and the cuckoo clock
(a memento from a trip to Baden Baden)
from the kitchen wall
it declares:
fight!

like a souvenir
the rental contracts offer
a steady cable TV connection
but a mestiza is my reality
opaque
in the end we know
it’s not a gift if you pay

a banner frames the street
full of discrete lives
studies or jobs

with the omnipotence of the cosmos
the banner inaugurates
a whole new race
that believes
fervently in the present
and the certainty of not being able
to survive more avalanches

and they present a prayer
without pomp and ceremony
rigid
set as a cadaver

Tragedies and westerns
Aren’t what they used to be

the world is very quiet

ah!
say the men

is it over?

 

calm

 

silence

 

cicadas

 

After the Hoax the Tornado

in the middle of the oedipal parody
as in any kind of chaos
confusion becomes a tornado
it comes from the Caribbean
it’s name is Ángela

raging before the cowboy
it rises up
180 kilometer winds
uproots
cylindrical motors
fathers from the block
wall clocks
pedestrian signs
leather seats
treetops
pneumatic tires
tiled roofs
armored doors
cowboys

in a funnel shape
Ángela takes everything
my car in the eye of the storm
and inside it the father
now they’re gone
now they’re a metallic retina

like a free Big Bang
but in the doorway of a house
to start everything over again
with the feeling of leaving
through a locked emergency exit

 

The Chacarera of the cowboy and the dad

as if for a Chacarera
for months the cowboy in the dust
gesticulating with pistols and handkerchiefs
prepares himself in silence

the cowboy turns his head
the father turns his head
they eye each other curiously
while tracing a circle of footsteps

and the 184 bus passes

and the Southern Cross is a witness
to there being no music
or audience
that although they don’t know each other
they dance

the night prepares the confrontation
between the father and his prodigal son
the air becomes tense
bodes disaster
like a telephonic threat

and the 184 bus passes by

in the door of the garage
the shaking brings my father back
to San Juan
and the shattered family and the debris

it’s passed

he believed himself a singer
adored the law of Mogambo
but outside of the star system
there is struggle
according to him this is the concrete jungle

for the closing scene
the applauding hands will close
like pincers around his face
intending to capture a facial landscape
in a crystal ball
which you turn and deceptively
it changes

there are repercussions of the Fact
simultaneous to the fatal meeting
pieces of concrete hang
from the streets

 

Mogambo Takes Part in a Historical Fact

ever since the Fact more is known
for example
the doors of heaven are revolving doors
and giant receptacles like iceboxes in a freezer

from the slaughterhouses emerge
international cowboys
who lost everything
in the interior
and took to the wild streets
in search of auto parts
and fathers

the Fact requires
a fearsome familiarity with the supermarket
dozens of flat-screen televisions
cram the brick walls
spoken constructions
those Argentines represent something
according to Our Father

on the shoulders of the Panamerican highway kids read
daily special
we finish-off martyrs

at the unstoppable pace
of new windshields
one by one fathers
fall
bizarre droplets
on the foreheads of cowboys

apparent disappearance of the sacred oil!
no more patriarchs

if an oracle remains in this town
it spews
only one truth
that streak of sunflower oil
on the cowboy’s forehead
imitates sweat
but there was no communication with the Father
family ties yes but with leather
what a bloodline!

from a scarlet rock the historical Fact
hurls information

those chosen fathers
listened to Sinatra’s Voice
dreamed of being Mogambo

the conclusions will be unveiled
to the whole society
through blockbuster movies
thanks to the generous participation
of the airwaves

yesterday by certain requests
the official channel played MOGAMBO
all day
afterwards on the state network
the vice president speaks

Propiedad vigilada

barrio a barrio
un padre saca su auto del garaje
y canta
igual en Olivos
que Quilmes o Colegiales

manzana por manzana
un hombre sin canas
busca a esa clase de padres
que manejan y cantan

¡basta!
un segundo en el tiempo
para ser
noticia de ultimo momento

panorámica sobre vereda
casa mediana pared y puerta despintada
garaje con zoom
al auto paterno

el espejo retrovisor capta perfecto
ese gesto repetitivo

la premiditación en la boleada
del arma sin marca

aparición de joven desconocido
cowboy que cabecea y saca
pecho a las balas
y un revolver pintón
made in chaina

¡Salve!
las puertas del cielo también
se baten
a duelo
igual que las de bancos provinciales
y polvorientos bares
del Lejano Oeste

 

Manteniéndonos alertas en el campo de batalla

cae oro en polvo
sobre el pelo paterno
y el reloj cu cú
(un recuerdo del viaje a Baden Baden)
desde la pared de la cocina
anuncia
¡combate!

como souvenir
los contratos de alquiler traen
la incorporación de TV por cable
pero mi realidad es una mestiza
opaca
por ende sabemos
no es un regalo se paga

un pasacalles delimita un cuadrado
lleno de vidas particulares
estudios o empleos

con la omnipotencia de lo alto
ese pasacalles inaugura
toda una nueva raza
que cree
fervientemente en el presente
y la certidumbre de no poder
soportar más avalanchas

y presenta una oración
sin incienso ni fanfarrias
dura
homologada a un cadaver

Tragedias y westerns
Ya no son lo de antes

el mundo está muy quieto

¡ah!
dicen los hombres

¿ya no?

 

calma

 

silencio

 

chicharras

 

Después del engano el tornado

en el medio de la parodia edípica
y como en cualquier caos
la confusion se vuelve tornado
viene del Caribe
se llama Ángela

por furia y ante el cowboy
levanta
vientos de 180 kilómetros
arranca
motores cilindrados
padres de las veredas
relojes de las paredes
cartels peatonales
asientos de cuero
copas de árboles
ruedas neumáticas
techos de tejas
puertas blindadas
cowboys

con forma de embudo
todo se lo lleva Ángela
en el ojo del huracán mi auto
y adentro el padre
ya son pasado
ya son retina metálica

como el Big Bang gratis
pero en la puerta de casa
y a comenzar todo de nuevo
con un sentimiento de salida
de emergencia cerrada

 

Chacarera de un cowboy y un padre

como para una chacarera
hace meses el cowboy en el polvo
gesticula con pistolas y pañuelos
en silencio se prepara

gira la cabeza el cowboy
gira la cabeza el padre
se miran curiosos mientras trazan
un circulo de pisadas

y el 184 pasa

la Cruz del Sur es testigo
de que no hay música
ni publico
que aunque no se conocen
bailan

la noche prepara el choque
entre el padre y el hijo pródigo
tensa el aire
predispone mal
como amenaza telefónica

y el 184 pasa

en la puerta del garaje
el temblor retrotrae a mi padre
a San Juan
y la familia desparramada y los escombros

ya pasó

se creyó cantante
adoró la ley de Mogambo
pero fuera del star system
la lucha
según él esto es selva asfáltica

para cuando termine el acto
se cerrarán las manos que aplauden
como tenazas en su cara
con la intención de apresar un paisaje facial
en una bola de cristal
a la que das vuelta e ilusoriamente
cambia

hay repercusiones del Hecho en simultáneo
por el fatídico encuentro
pedazos de mompostería cuelgan
de las calles

 

Mogambo participa de un Hecho histórico

a partir del hecho se sabe más
por ejemplo
las puertas del cielo son giratorias
y cabedoras heladeras de frigoríficos

de los mataderos salen
cowboys internacionales
que lo perdieron todo
en el interior
y se lanzaron a las avenidas salvajes
en busca de autopartes
y padres

el Hecho cobra
una temible familiaridad de supermercado
decenas de televisores con pantallas planas
atiborran las paredes de ladrillos
construcciones oracionales
esos argentinos representan algo
según dicen Nuestro Pater

a los costados de la Panamericana los chicos leen
oferta seminal
rematan mártires

con el ritmo desenfrenado
de parabrisas nuevo
uno a uno de los padres
caen
gotas bizarras
en las sienes de los cowboys

¡evidente desaparición del oleo sagrado!
no más patriarcas

si en este pueblo queda un oráculo
eructa
una sola verdad
esa mancha de aceite de girasol
en la frente del cowboy
mimetiza el sudor
pero no hubo comunicación con el Padre
lazos sí pero de cuero
¡qué sangre!

el Hecho histórico desde un peñón colorado
arroja datos

aquellos padres seleccionados
escuchaban a La Voz
soñaban con ser Mogambo

las conclusions serán develadas
a la sociedad completa
a través de superproducciones cinematográficas
gracias a la participación desinteresada
de los canales de aire

ayer por pedido de algunos
el canal official emitió todo el día
MOGAMBO
luego por cadena nacional
el vicepresidente habla


Florencia-CastellanoFlorencia Castellano was born in Buenos Aires in 1975. She graduated from the University of Buenos Aires and now teaches literature in high school and at the Universidad Di Tella. She was part of the editorial team for the magazines Quesquesé (1997-2001) and Ilusiones perdidas (2001). Between 2007-2009, she helped organize the Latin American Poetry Festival “Salida al Mar.” She helped edit the anthologies Quedar en lo cantado, Antología de poesía argentina y dominicana (El fin de la noche, 2009), and Un libro oscuro: 106 poemas negros (Bajo la luna 2010). She wrote the serial melodrama Satélite de amor for the magazine Maten al mensajero from 2014-2015. She published fragments of ¿Como usar antiparras? in the anthology El Grito de Medusa (I-Rojo, 2003). She has published two books with the press Imprenta Argentina de Poesía: Propiedades vigiladas (2005), and Un ruiseñor completamente blanco (2007).

Alexis Almeida’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prelude, Oversound, Jellyfish, H_NGM_N, Eleven Eleven, and elsewhere. She is an assistant editor at Asymptote. Her chapbook of poems, Half-Shine, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press, and her translation of Florencia Castellano’s Propiedades vigiladas is forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse. She is the recent recipient of a Fulbright grant, and is currently living in Buenos Aires.

Karen Wild Díaz, Two Poems

Translated by Ron Paul Salutsky

conjugation of metaphysics

Being is a gerund
moving itself in the always
though it moves it cannot always
flow

 

All that exists has weight
Dancing in existence
isn’t
stepping on nausea
but make you
a lithe and durable body

 

It is an unknown
anguish
is an unknown
when yet to know
makes sense
but not knowing or making sense
and that may still have meaning

 

The anguish
knowing my bridges
always
undo themselves

 

say no to this no to that
remove all
shed it
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
say again:
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-brick-wallRon 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.

Marosa DiGiorgio, Four Poems

from Clavel y tenebrario (Carnation and Tenebrae Candle, 1979)

Translated by Jeannine Marie Pitas

1

___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
everything.

___The souls were afraid and searched for a crack,
the broken eternity.

 

15

___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
a tale.

 

18

___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
spot.

___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.

 

19

___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
the gardens.

___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.

Uljana Wolf, Two Poems

Translated by Greg Nissan

 

wood lord shaft

shakespeare titus andronicus

I

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

 

II

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

 

III

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

 

IV

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.

I

girl
your clothes
you fell
in the dunes

the sand
you lay out
in tongues

and between
your legs
nautical miles
anchor

 

II

the sky
a drunken
sailor
whose eye’s
been gouged out

in murk
the white pearl

you sleep
with the cyclops

 


Uljana-Wolf-PicUljana 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-NissanGreg 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

[r]tions, and Theme Can.

Ricardo Domeneck, Three Poems

Translated by Hilary Kaplan

 

Body

bod·y
(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.

They say
the same air
can’t surround
the same two people
at once.

2.a. Dangerous standard for the mechanics of purity; the illusion of hygiene.
2.b. Not a tree.

Colors ordered
according to preference.
Delivery follows the rules
of genetic production.
Red-headed specimens
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.

Sound
known as voice
causes adherence
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,
awakens.

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

Wars
have outlasted your
years.
Congratulations on your success
today
in exceeding the life
expectancy
of a giraffe or bat,
cow,
boa constrictor,
or owl.
Around the world, penguins
and pigs,
conceived at the same time as you, are dying.
Saturn
has not circled the sun even
once
since you were a fertilized egg.
Stalker
who guides me along the thousand trails
to the Zone,
another winter begins to crawl,
I bury
my face in your hairless chest.
If I could,
I’d sign a contract
with Lem
or the Strugatsky brothers,
screenwriters
for our days and future nights;
for the soundtrack,
Diamanda Galás bellows
and bleats,
caws and purrs, we fornicate.
I celebrate
the mind beneath your hair,
the penis,
attached to your body, erect.
Somewhere,
a pig, your contemporary,
reaches
the zenith of his rotund
existence,
I wonder, exhausted in sweat, if lovers,
eyelashes
at last united, count sheep
before
sleep, euphoric and pregnant.

 

 

The Poet’s Hollywood Dreams

1-

I’d like a script
in which an Estonian army
conspires to stone
Gertrude Stein
& I plato(o)nic at salvation
to the sound of the Rolling Stones.

2-

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.

3-

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.

4-

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.”

5-

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-PhotoRicardo 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-PhotoHilary 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.

Javier Etchevarren, Four Poems

Translated by Jesse Lee Kercheval

El niño que dibuja

Hojas en blanco,
lápices de colores,
algunas horas ensimismado
y muchos cuadernos repletos de dibujos.

Historias completas de invasiones extraterrestres,
héroes musculosos decapitando villanos,
animales salvajes devorando humanos,
paisajes imposibles.

Tan bien dibujaba el niño
que algunos vecinos huyeron de los extraterrestres,
que algunos cuerpos aparecieron decapitados
o devorados por fieras indomables
en lugares imposibles.

Aterrado por su poder
ya no dibuja el niño
pero escribe su fábula
el hombre desconsolado.

The Boy Who Draws

Blank pages,
colored pencils,
long hours daydreaming
and many notebooks full of drawings.

Complete histories of extraterrestrial invasions,
muscled heroes decapitating villains,
wild animals devouring humans,
impossible landscapes.

The boy drew so well
some of the neighbors fled the extraterrestrials,
some corpses appeared decapitated
or devoured by untamable beasts
in impossible places.

Terrified by his power
now the boy does not draw
but writes his fable,
The Inconsolable Man.

El palacio

Una pradera, un monte,
un galpón y una enredadera.
Todo eso en el fondo enorme
de aquella casa.
También el Cerro
de Montevideo.
Ese volcán que nunca hizo erupción.

Árboles que trepar.
Construcciones que trepar.
Una azotea desde donde,
con las nubes más cerca,
podía descifrar en ellas
la aventura del cielo.

En los rincones más oscuros:
combate de insectos,
arañas venenosas,
millones de hormigas.
Hubo un par de perros y hasta un cuy.
Ah, varios gatos muertos.

Podía jugar a la pelota solo,
rebotándola contra la pared.
Siempre ganaba.

No queda nada
de aquel palacio.
El volcán hizo erupción.

The Palace

A meadow, a hill,
a shed and a tangle of vine.
All this in the enormous back garden
of that house.
Also, the Cerro
de Montevideo,
that volcano that never erupted.

Trees to be climbed.
Buildings to be climbed.
A roof from which,
with the clouds closer,
I was able to decipher
the adventure of the sky.

In the darkest corners:
the battle of insects,
poisonous spiders,
millions of ants.
There were a pair of dogs and a guinea pig.
Ah, and various dead cats.

I was able to play alone with the ball
bouncing it off the wall.
I always won.

Now nothing is left
of that palace.
The volcano erupted.

La muerte de la cerdo

En el fondo del almacén vivía un cerdo.
Yo jugaba con él,
con su gracioso hocico,
con sus patas cortas
a pesar de las cuales nunca lograba atraparlo
cuando jugábamos a perseguirnos.

Una mañana, sobresaltado,
escuché los gritos desesperados de mi amigo.
Eran los gritos de un niño horrorizado.

Corrí hacia el fondo del almacén.
Le hundían un cuchillo en el corazón.
Grité desesperadamente.
Eran los gritos de un niño horrorizado.

Alguien tuvo que sujetarme
porque quise detener con violencia la masacre.

Algún día vengaré
la muerte de aquel cerdo.

The Death of the Pig

In the yard behind the grocery, lived a pig.
I played with him,
with his graceful snout.
In spite of his short legs
I could never catch him
when we played chase.

One morning, startled,
I heard the desperate cries of my friend.
They were the screams of a terrified child.

I ran toward the yard.
They sunk a knife in his heart.
I cried out, desperate.
They were the screams of a terrified child.

Someone had to hold me
because I wanted, violently, to stop that massacre.

One day I will avenge
the death of that pig.

La muerte de un pájaro

Un rifle prestado.
Apunta lentamente.
Dispara sin miedo.
Ha muerto el pájaro.
Ha muerto el niño.
Su inocencia.

The Death of a Bird

A borrowed rifle.
Aimed slowly.
Fired without fear.
The bird has died.
The boy has died.
His innocence.


Javier EtchevarrenJavier Etchevarren was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1979. He is the author of the poetry books Desidia (Yaugarú, 2009) and Fábula de un hombre desconsolado (Yaugarú, 2014). His poems will appear in América invertida: An Anthology of Emerging Uruguayan Poets which is forthcoming from the University of New Mexico Press. His poems appeared or are forthcoming in Palabras errantes, American Literary Review, Blackbird, Notre Dame Review, the Colorado Review and Waxwing. His work has been featured twice on Poetry Daily. Fábula de un hombre desconsolado / Fable of an Inconsolable Man, translations by Jesse Lee Kercheval, is forthcoming from Action Books.

Kercheval-author-photo-colorJesse Lee Kercheval is a poet, fiction writer and translator, specializing in Uruguayan poetry. Her latest translations include Invisible Bridge/ El puente invisible: Selected Poems of Circe Maia (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) and Fábula de un hombre desconsolado / Fable of an Inconsolable Man by Javier Etchevarren, which is forthcoming from Action Books.

Vincent Tholomé, The hotel room

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 Tholome

Photo: Jean-François Flamey

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 NiemiAlex 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.