Translated works – English

Translator: Richard Bueno Hudson

Tea

Standing still in your trace I tend
in these days of orange and boredom
to lean my skin into the rainy air.
Water boils.

I return to an island that self-impregnates
in her womb of ravines,
around the black ribbon of moist lapilli:
the pores
clutter like fallen roses
under this moon that won’t retain you.
I pour the seed.

On the amber the sediment of the last silence.
I finish it off
while I imagine you up a dirty street,
dreadful above,
on your way to the city.

(* )”And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China. … and she lets the river answer that you´ve always been her lover. ” * Leonard Cohen.

(from On the Amber, 1986)

The Foreigner

For Elicura Chiuailaf

Silent as he who dances under water
and dreams.
Each night he returns to a city
stranded in the shadows of the trees
where a child hoards the names of things,
those who in time will divide him
whilst his fingers engrave on the air
another alphabet.

Love

He carried in his gaze and his age the appearance
of a fallen angel.

Along with your ancient name, the trace
that the circus would leave
on the grass and on the perseverance of the ephemeral.

“I have come to stay,” he said
as he bid farewell.

(From Removals, 2001)

Geography Lesson

Here the Earth trembles
oblivious to seismographs,
it trembles gently each night
as if a bolt of lightning
would steer her in awe.

Dates
have been fading away,
as have the rivers I recall
and those I do not.

In the evening
herds return tamely.
The animals I know
move in packs,
like dogs around Valparaiso,
along with them drinking salt from rock pools
offspring of
unthinkable others.

And trotting along that she-Wolf
with the lavish tail,
she who gave its name to the inhabited,
protecting your shadow.
Cat among the tables today, heiress to
lightning, kleptomaniac
responsible for
ensuring that private property exceeds
the sheets domain: that time
that the air dreams throbbed, silence,
scallop …
Who drowned this gallop
relaunching it?

Futaleufú

For José Viñals, in memoriam

There, where the water amidst the ashes
and the captive larch groves,
in the very origin
of the words that shape rivers,
– ruffff rufff kürüf (1)-
the wind and its sound
regardless of the tongue.
There where babbling is the beginning
and the end of
memory.

It takes place where the hours fall slowly
and when walking insects draw
the rain,
where chatty drinks,
but also on the border
where everything is rushed

There are trips from where you never return
Someone else always does

(1)Kürüf (pronounced [Ku:Ru:f]): wind in Mapudungun.

Summer

Summer
is a path
that fringes the cliff,
transparency of the water between scattered islets,
thunderstones
and caves that link the beach
to the horizon.

Inland,
there are those who wear the sea
in their gaze,
sand drops in the outbreaks of dream.

Summer is a light-eyed boy,
a February Monday afternoon
at a bar in Madrid.

On the Banks of the Irwell

One word
and darkness flutters,
it dissolves
and flies in a cloud of black butterflies,
despite the rain.
Behind it,
other colorful ones, sun, vine
and fruits in the valley and in the stone.
Kite word
that makes your laughter soar along with that of other children’s
amongst the knocked down columns of the temples.
Baalbek, Baalbek…

(from Of Dark Rivers. 2010)

If I had told you

If I had told you
we were not alone in the ghetto’s Heaven
you would have spoken to me about the kittens
that tied by the legs
died in your dreams.
I know it because I stayed awake all night
wrapped up in one of those embraces
that don’t touch
and because it wasn’t Yiddish or Knaanic or Polish
but our own language
in a strange code
that your lips mumbled.

(2011, unpublished in book)