Uncollected poems (2019)

Translated by Judah Rubin

Havana Jetty 1985

                                                          To Emma Roldán

She had her jumpsuit set on the shore
Its chimera calmed in the shadow
Of the bank sang with Fierro on guitar
And the silence sounded the air entranced
Gallopless, yes, though solely mountain cumbias
Which in my intimate notion of calm conti
Nued at the threshold with the curled waves
We went two dislocated lovers on the
Sea’s spur, assured by the foam
Breathing in its stiffened breasts &
Beneath the clear tide that bursts into
Gloom or sings keeps singing
Until daring to pray at dawn

Engorged gulls turn this page
Happy to have it in the regnant hours
With the leap of the crests aqueous &
Sunny attributes of love heaped beneath
Rosy essences lost in the
Most delicately deceased night for three days
Guided in the tails of her skirt accelerated
Memory tibia traced on the sand
Iris & cornea slowly caressed
Beads from her skin that remain
Forever on the daydreamed jetty
Your laughter and your magnetic sweetness
O the unfinished poem of beached youth

Banks of the Cooper River, November 2019



1) Piura River

The region casts me into memory’s oblique loneliness
Restless lines of girls that postpone their
Song for me / fanning themselves on the sand
Living dead in the trimmed ribbing & call me
Petunia daring perpendicular to desire
So wild a glade is born with the hum of the
Air’s puffing its aubades watery portions of the
Wisp that no one recognizes but the whistling
Slipping out around the breeze / springs
Soaking the magnolias and fecund locusts
Beatific in the tranquil peace of the apple groves
That is my joy damp like the purity of
Drops that plash the current to divine perhaps
Or to listen to the syndrome of its language sibi
Lantly eviscerating curling lost childhoods
& taking root at dawn knowing to break
& pull down the limb that remains suspended.

2) Rimac River

It’s one thing in Lima & with boreal carnitas
The indecipherable tenderness of the mother in the garden
Filled with murmurs / pearled / private
The bridge and the path remain oh pigment
Of the darkened nocturnal foam of a non-
Existent sea but in Aymara where in the
it sardines playing the visual quena on
Pages stained with bitterness they are perhaps
Stranded thoughts disjointed in unison
Or the hidden track recomposed in my shipwreck
My father’s mountain dawn shades
Tanagers at the bus stop rapidly beating it
To Nacre-Colunga it promises bare rosebushes
Licks the eyelids of the Dynamite Girl
Enclosing the starched edges of
Time’s margins a pressing fog
Sweeps the halls & continues on to infinity.

3) Cooper River

Chance you dazzle me you bring me to these
Wild pure summer skylights you’re not
Worth it anymore though you sing with the toy mandolin
& I run from the toilet with the slow flowering
& smoothness of sleepy watery silks
At sunup / sick / thick-headed
I am clear green as Hernandez said
Farewells condemned to mud that
I tread still on the border of the abyss
Embracing the lovers kiss before they
Kill themselves smile and shove the canoe off
They could be dreams that I glimpse from the
Shore, a morning habit more subtle if it is that
Which returns to invent the cornered dedication
The virgin’s cascade-mane fills my brain
& I celebrate its beauty reining in vented gripes
Or subscribing to the sweetest surface’s blink.

Collingswood, Southern New Jersey, November 2019.