When I was a girl, my father used to set me atop the postal service mailbox located around the corner from our house. Blue and red, with a cavernous mouth that swallowed envelopes into what I imagined to be an enormous steel belly, its steadfast presence signified a mysterious process of reception and delivery — the transport of words to somewhere else.
Of a related process — the carrying over of one word to another — poet and translator Forrest Gander observes a corresponding mystery:
Jaime Saenz (1921–1986) is Bolivia’s leading writer of the 20th century. Prolific as poet, novelist, and non-fiction writer, his baroque, propulsive syntax and dedication to themes of death, alcoholism, and otherness make his poetry among the most idiosyncratic in the Spanish-speaking world.
[»»] Jaime Saenz: Five poems from: As the Comet Passes, translated by Kent Johnson and Forrest Gander
[»»] Jaime Saenz: excerpts from: Immanent Visitor, translated by Kent Johnson and Forrest Gander
[»»] Forrest Gander and Kent Johnson: Jaime Saenz — Some Days in the Life of The Night: Notes from Bolivia, June 20–30, 2004
“It was with a human leg that Jaime Saenz, Bolivia’s visionary and most influential poet, came home from the university. Still living with his mother. Death, his constant companion.