There are poems that bite
that scratch unmercifully. Insatiable
Beasts that sting
Destroy your everything.
There are others that blind you with their light,
And a certain delight, as they say. They flow
Straight to their graves
In an elegant anthology.
Then there are those that have suffered
Some grammatical accident
Or those who inherited
The curse of a drunk father.
There are poems that are earthquakes,
A tsunami tearing up your skin,
Your guts, your darkest deceits.
And what’s there to say about dead dogs,
Like this one. Dogs
Who wander adrift
Who are pointless.
Errant poems, stray
Bullets seeking your eyes
Your forgiveness. Loving
Dogs like death.
Poems that forge their resurrection:
Howls that fade
In a forgotten notebook.
Verse beaten by the rain
Your writing gallops in
Glum remarks that will later win
And a forgettable prize.
In the ashen silence that surrounds you
You don’t know what to do
With the runaway image
That escapes your hands,
A verse beaten by the rain.
Or with the metaphor you thought stunning
At one point but now erase
With thinly veiled fury.
And you don’t know how to ease
The sulfur that point instills
And besides that, it throws you off track,
That zealous finning of sharks you do.
Beauty is in nature, you say
As you pound your forehead
In the abyss
Where serpents govern your pulse,
Your wayward tongue, life carries on.
The art of forgetting
Love itself dictates the laws of forgetting
It’s not enough to rip up pictures, manuscripts about dead
Sunflowers or the poem that was hardly a sigh.
Fate takes you to the past you thought was a blurry asterisk,
The footnote to a silly afternoon. The wind
Carries in its chest the scent of that skilled hand erasing
Kisses, verses and visions you amassed like a beggar.
You thought gods like you shouldn’t be weighed down
Or cry about an unforeseen setback. Now, my friend,
You wash your words in a dry riverbed and
Crave the nails and rhythm and skin
That lifted your now battered body above death.
You will die
You will die, why are you surprised? You will die.
And no one will recognize your scent.
Didn’t you enjoy until you went mad
Your infamous life of petty materialism?
Where is the love dust
You used to sweet talk
You will die, your gray
And pointless movie is coming to an end.
The only thing left
Is to sing in a peña club
“Grave keeper, I ask that when I die,
You erase the traces of my humble grave.”
You will die, hypocrite reader. You will die
You will die speckled bird,
You will die bay horse,
You will die equestrian turtle,
You will die blue fly,
You will die green notebook of poetry.
You too will die forever.
And for your comfort
You will have a cosmopolitan
Tomorrow, with neither arm bones nor downpours.
And a renewed sadness
That awaits you with open legs,
And a closed heart.
Translated by Amy Olen