Chelonians

La primavera la sangre (y los versos) altera y ha salido un nuevo número de Zona de Carga/Loading Zone, la revista universitaria de mis amigos literatos de Madison, donde han acogido algunos de mis poemas: dos inéditos y uno que seguramente conoceréis.

Y bien, ¿sabíais que el corazón de una tortuga sigue latiendo horas después de su muerte? ¿Os ha pedido alguien alguna vez que grabéis un mensaje de voz? ¿Os habéis planteado alguna vez todas las cosas, la inmensidad del universo, frente a la absurda contingencia de la vida humana? ¿Queréis practicar vuestro inglés? Pues nada, a leer, a leer.

¿Sabíais que el corazón de una tortuga sigue latiendo horas después de su muerte?

Did you know a turtle’s heart keeps beating hours after the turtle is dead?

Spring makes our hearts (and verses) zing and a new Zona de Carga/Loading Zone number is out, the university mag published by my literary friends in Madison, and they are hosting a few of my poems: two unpublished ones and another you are probably familiar with.

So, did you know a turtle’s heart keeps beating hours after the turtle is dead? Did anyone ever ask you to record and send a voice message? Have you ever considered everything, the universe in its incommensurability, vis-à-vis the absurd contingency of human life? Keep reading…

 

Chelonians

When I was a kid
we used to have turtles

they would disappear
sometimes
to never come back

one day we found
a cemetery
under the washer

where our turtles
dragged themselves

to writhe under the rumble
huddling together with the spin

reptile mouths open
shell pressed against the tiles

hearts thumping
cold blood

I hear them
beckoning

 

Voice on Demand

You love voice messages
or so you say:
I’m going to yoga class
but leave me a voice note,
tell me what you did today.

Today… was an ordinary day.
I woke up and fixed some scrambled eggs
and coffee on my French press,
Ate some past due grapes.
Read the papers.
Applied to one job.
Considered working on my thesis.
Jumped, instead, for half an hour on an elliptical.
Then another half on a static bike.
Dined tuna, rice, salad and a kiwi.
I had a long siesta.

And then you asked me to leave you a voice note,
and I am leaving my voice, right here,
suspended, for you to take.

I wish this was an impressive revelation
of human nature, life, love, death:
many have tried to write
before my time
and failed.

Be satisfied,
this voice on demand
carries on all their mistakes,
the hem and haws,
the many breaths,
the absent speaker,
the void of desire,
a pair of sweaty yoga pants
worn by a sprightly red-head
who is attentively listening
to a silly voice note
and then the laughter of the listener,
the teasing end.

All Things Considered*

            To César Vallejo, inspired by Viola Frey’s “Man and His World” (1994)

Considering || Man and His World made hereof in despair: || that blind clockwork of daylight || its fooled moon in spousal || the truss of seasons that lend support to this emptiness we call time || the shit populating our guts, looming in translation || the plagiarism of faces || abjection || ages || things nondescript steeped in our imagined languages || considering their amorousness || how a language, a nation, a straight-jacket can soothe || how a book can crack open an almond || how an idea can play dead for centuries || how we strangle whom we love || how we die after a wise-tooth extraction. ||

Considering dispassionately || the aftermath of a nuclear bomb observed from a Japanese mountain top on a hiking trip || the minutiae of baking decorations || the controversy of power output vs. forward velocity in bird flight || the invention of love || the impossibility of writing || writing about love, unheeded, Petrarchan, hackneyed || the construction of gender || mops || particle accelerators || the aesthetics of resistance || chaotic enumeration || Whitman || Darío || Neruda || Vallejo || considering the accretion of figments || the blah-blah that would bore both pastures and cows, if they could only understand || the possibility that a Wisconsin pasture may feel it is being ruminated upon || that art and pastures and cows have ways of knowing and feeling that we do not. ||

Considering as pure matter of fact || the uses of contingency || an aunt woken up at 6 am by her nephew and child to assemble the Playmobil Western Fort || a blonde twenty-year old serving macadamia nut ice-cream on a beach-stand || a Mormon tween showing his father’s 9 mm Browning to his host-brothers || a young man pulling his back out lifting a chaise-longue || a young woman fainting while she drives to work || a young man relapsing, burning heroin with his college girlfriend on a steel spoon || a young man informed he has lung cancer || broccoli is a bouquet || a young woman informed she has brain cancer || pecans are flowers || a young man found dead from an overdose in his Las Vegas apartment || all fruits are ripened ovaries || why children love anything that glows in the dark and books of 1,000 questions and answers. ||

* This poem was written for the Bridge Poetry Series reading, November 13, 2014 at the Chazen Museum, in response to the exhibition The Human Condition: The Stephen and Pamela Hootkin Collection of Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture

http://www.zonadecarga.com/es/actual.html

 

 

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