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tearing the rag off the bush again
Narlan Matos translated by Sally Perret PDF E-mail

 TWO POEMS BY NARLAN MATOS

translated by Sally Perret

Post-Columbians

 

barely

just barely

the Indians

of the Americas

failed to

christianize

the conquering

Europeans

 

the Europeans

conquering

barely

just barely

the Indians

of the Americas

failed to

christianize

 

barely,

just barely

 

Enchanted Verses from La Havana

 

i write verses

like one who walks at dawn down the calles of La Havana

and sees magnolia trees pouring over walls

materialized as if they were starfish

all around green branches guard them from the darkness

other silent white flowers observe them

 

i write verses

like one who strums a gypsy guitar in the Plaza de España in Seville

on an afternoon where a tree battles the slow wind like a bullfighter

and a flamenco dancer makes birds with her hands

(beneath their cool shade poetry sleeps)

 

i write verses

like one who reads Florbela Espanca on a farm in Lisboa

resting between the ivory white of the city and the red sun

in a tavern at a table next to a bottle of red wine

i discover and fall in love with the muse and the breeze and the salty sea

at the end of the beach awaiting sailors that never left

 

i write verses

like an awake Chilean island waits for a shipwreck

like silver spoons under the Madrid morning sun

the mistrust of liberty before a flowery field

like one who sees with his soul and no longer needs eyes

 

i write verses

like one who is suddenly born like one who sees Andalusia

like one who plays with the light on the skin of things

like the wind whispering to the port and the white sails

like one who searches for sirens and treasures lost at sea

 

i write verses

like lovers driven insane by beauty burn one afternoon in Andorra

like those that commit suicide at dawn in the carriage of the unspeakable

without a letter or suicide note


i write verses

like one who commits a crime and awaits punishment from the gods


translated by Sally Perret from Narlan Matos'
"Versos encantados desde la Habana" and "Pós-Colombianos"

 

 

 

 
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