The word and the clinamen
Poetry crashes into the clinamen of the page.
And so I run like a blind train and get impaled by time.
Before I sailed from the zenith to the nadir of the body
pinned to its vertical axis beside the void.
It was the rose. All wet.
Now it is only the root, and suddenly the whole tree.
And the dryness of the branch. And the unnameable mucilage.
In the prose goes the fire
to the burning thought
comes the wing of poetry
and later it flies toward the eyes’ fire
and floods in the darkness:
blindness, muteness and a hollowed out poem.
I could barely throw the voice’s stone to the ground.
The body’s root trembles
and the split word remains on the branch.
I am a tree, naked.
Poet reading aloud
To open the wasteland word for word,
Open ourselves and look toward the opening that signifies (…)
the head shines in its steadfastness
with a lit eye.
Beside the book a hand holds
the other hand takes flight, comes and goes, trembles,
opens the enormous door
where poetry enters
up toward the mouth,
entwined branches where birds flutter,
supple feathers that breath ripples
in the flooded well of the poem.
Written, the word dug the well
for the body of the poem
born like a child.
Now the book is open
with the voice’s gifts
that offer refuge to writing,
and to reading,
the being that is opened.
And he teaches the lesson
Given the provisions for living …
the grandmother takes life’s journey full of nothings …
I have read the poem to Marco
and he knew how to point out his name’s letters one by one
in the water of the mirror of my eye
and he repeated the rhyme
trilling in amazement
at the correspondences
leaving a little bird inside my head.
May it live in my eye and trill in my tree
and receive in verse
the provisions for living.
Then, may it read,
see the shining water of the poem,
its meaning in the lovely bower of letters.
Be the tall flower that holds up my tree.
Translated by Jesse Lee Kercheval and Jeannine Marie Pitas
Photo: Uruguayan writer Mariella Nigro.